It’s Monday. The day after Father’s Day. You can breathe now. You made it. I know it was tough for some. For others, you just don’t think about it too much. I get it. Truly. So I thought I would share the prologue (at this point) to my book in the works, followed by a few thoughts afterwards….
To say that the relationship with my dad is peculiar would be pretty accurate. We do have one, I guess. It’s just…different. We don’t really talk. We don’t spend much time together. We no longer send cards at the Hallmark best times of the year. And yet, I know if I really needed to, I could call him and he’d be there. I could ask him for anything and if it was in his power to do it he would. So strange.
I’ve been so hesitant to write this book because I don’t want you to hate my dad or think poorly of him. I don’t hate my dad or think poorly of him. Our relationship, or lack thereof, just is what it is.
You see, I was born on August 3, 1965 into a marriage that probably should never have happened anyhow. But seeing as how my mom got pregnant her senior year of high school with my brother three years earlier, my dad did “the right thing” by her and so a shotgun wedding took place. And those of us who have lived much life know that if you ever do something because you feel you HAVE to and not because you WANT to…well it makes for a recipe of messy.
So they added another kid. Me.
And then divorced a short few months after I was born. My older brother and I lived with my paternal grandparents from the time we were 3 and 18 months. They provided everything we needed: food, shelter, clothing, stability, love. They were the best. And yet there was always this place within me that was searching. This place that seemed empty. I grew up never quite feeling like I belonged. Like I never quite measured up.
It’s hard to understand big people issues when you’re a little girl. The absence of my father wasn’t so much about rejecting me as it was about his needing to get away, far away; from my mom, from our small town, from reminders of mistakes made. I know that now….years later.
I also now understand why I cringed every time a pastor talked about God as my Father. But I’ve learned, my Father loves me. And I let Him.
This is my story of how I got there…
Many of you get this. This searching. This yearning. This hole. Maybe your dad was never in the picture. Maybe he left by choice. Maybe he passed when you were young. Whatever the reason, those of us whose dad’s were absent growing up spent some time struggling.
It wasn’t until years (and some therapy) later that I began to understand the role of God as my Father. I was so tenderly stubborn to open my heart to such love. A love that is immeasurable and unconditional. I couldn’t fathom it.
I spent my entire younger life trying to be good enough (or bad enough) to get attention. I wanted to be seen, heard and loved by someone who simply (and honestly) didn’t ever really want kids.
The beauty of this story is it’s not new. The Bible tells us so. There are women all throughout this ancient script that discovered the love of the Father.
He sees you just like he saw Hagar in the wilderness after she had been rejected. (Genesis 16) He sees you in your wanderings.
He sees you just like he saw Leah whose father thought it took trickery for anyone to love her. Leah never measured up no matter what she did, until she turned her eyes on her Father. (Genesis 29) He sees you in your trying.
He sees you just like he saw the woman at the well…thirsting for something more than relationships gone wrong. (John 4) He sees you in your desperation.
He sees you just like he saw Mary Magdalene who had demons. In fact she had seven, which some scholars believe meant she was wholly possessed. (Luke 8) He sees you in your despair.
And so on this day after Father’s Day, breathe and remember…
You are seen.
You are heard.
You are loved.
You are valued.
You are adored.
You are treasured.
You are delightful.
You are beautiful.
You are you.