Friday, February 08, 2008

Daddy Issues

These are my beautiful daughters, who are eight years old, going with the best earthly daddy there ever was to their daddy daughter dance. As you can see, they are so excited... and I am just over the moon too. I mean, the man on his own with no prompting from me, bought them roses. Roses, people. Roses. *sigh* what an incredible man. Having a great Daddy is everything I imagined it would be. And more.

Aaaaaaand here it comes. The topic I've been avoiding since I began blogging, 85 posts ago. I always told myself that this would be one of the 6 topics that were off limits. Some of that list of 'untouchable' topics are there because they are private, some because they are painful. This is the topic that is both. It's private and painful... it's also beautiful and amazing. Today I think it's time to do it.

*deep breath*

I began to sign my emails "His Girl" about 10 years ago. It was to commemorate an amazing work that God did in my life. It was the end of something I had been wrestling with since I was small... my Daddy Issues.

Oh my friends, I know I am not alone in this story. I know this because though I thought I was the only one as a child, statistically, at least half of you reading this post have my same story. Many of you have much more traumatic tales. Mine is relatively easy. When I was about 4, my parents separated. My dad, though he loved me very much, was not able to find it in himself to be a long-distance Daddy. He visited for a while the first few years, but apparently found it too painful to just visit and leave crying kids behind... so at some point, he just stopped coming at all.

Now, like I said before, I had it easy in comparison. There was no ugly custody battle. My mom actually was able to keep a civil tongue about my father in front of us, and somehow I knew I was loved despite his eventual complete abandonment.

My poor dad, though I believe in his heart he meant well, was a promiser. You know, "I'll come back soon and take you to...." or, "What you need is a .... I'll bring you one next time." As these kinds of promises often go, they never seemed to pan out. Sadly, I still had faith and hope. My poor mom wanted so badly to protect my broken heart that she often gave us gifts and trinkets in his name. Unfortunately, this only dragged out the fantasy... though I don't blame her one little bit. She did the best she could with what she had and what she knew.

As often happens in this dark and sinful world, Satan used the weaknesses caused by the break in our family to wreak a little havoc in my young life. Some of those events are still in that top 6 of topics I'm not ready to blog on, but I am glad to say that He was able to use every single of those dark times for good- and I am humbled to say that today I actually thank Him that they happened, not just that He helped me survive them.

But back then, I honest to goodness used to dream that my daddy was going to come and pick me up or hold my hand or something, and that when he came everything would be okay. We wouldn't be poor anymore, and the dark secrets that I was hiding would go away. I would be rescued.

I learned who God was in Sunday School and when I was about 9 years old, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Though I was a Christian from then on- I didn't know that the cries of my heart for a "really real daddy who will love me and come and save me" were answered that day in 1981. I didn't know yet that He had already fulfilled my wishes on birthday candles and on stars and dandelions by making me the very thing I longed so deeply to be... a Daddy's girl. That didn't occur to me one day until years later when I was praying and confessing that I still was mourning the loss of a father and He lifted my chin and opened my eyes. It was like when Glenda says to Dorothy that she's had the way home all along, right on her feet. I saw that I was truly, truly, truly being raised and loved and cared for and rescued by my Daddy. I had been all along. On that day of realization, I became His Girl.

And that's why tonight was so special. I realized that the tears I was shedding as I snapped these pictures were not sadness that I never had this. They were tears of joy in realizing that, because my girls have such an awesome earthly father, it will be easier for them to understand that they have an even AWESOME-ER Heavenly Father who wants good things for them. They will have a better trust in the Promises of God because they have a daddy who keeps his promises. They will have better faith in the protection of God because they have a daddy who would lay down his life for them without a second thought.

As a matter of fact, I hear that tonight he did the Macarena with them. Now, that's love.

I am blessed indeed. Thanks for letting me share. Blessings to all.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God
John 1:12


Alana said...

I'm in tears over this beautiful post. I love your story and your title of His Girl. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I hope those precious girls had the best time with their wonderful Daddy!

Mama P said...

that was a beautiful story. and so true. you always remind me to dig deeper, and i thank you. you always touch my heart, even if you are WAY more effusive with your Jesus freak talk than me, and i mean jesus freak in teh best way possible - it's awesome that you are so passionate, and yet not judgemental about others journeys toward it. thanks so much.

i hope one day we can meet and have a good cry over a cup of coffee. in your case, a duck. you weak, weak woman - you have no idea what you're missing@ LOL.

i'l be the six one woman waving you over with the yuban breath.

Sing4joy said...

Funny. I knew this story. But I didn't know how much deeper it would touch me to hear you tell the story in this way, naked and transparent to all who will hear it. And I knew when I saw those pictures how blessed those girls were without even really being able to know it yet. As you said, it is the same with our Heavenly Father. I believe that in every mile marker in life, when we are walking with God, we will be able to look back and see how blessed we were without really being able to know it yet. Thank you for the beautiful perspective and the beautiful gift of your friendship.

Gretchen said...

Tears. Big, juicy tears.


I am so with you. You are not alone. And guess what, I tooootally tell myself all the time about how it doesn't matter who my earthly father is because my heavenly father loves me more than he ever could have. I'm HIS princess. Sounds silly and little girl-ish, but I am someone's little girl. I'm His. I'm good with having a younger sister in this. ;) I can share.

Big is the gift that the Father sent my children, much as your husband is for yours.

sending you hugs and i get its.

care-in said...

Very beautiful!

Tracy said...

How wonderful to know that your girls feel loved, and how marvelous for you to see first hand how a Father's love should be.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I'm one of those who understand where you're coming from. I've shared about my experience (in a post called "Searching No More"). I, too, have had to deal with "Daddy Issues". I've found that when the Lord takes something away, He fills that void with Himself.

What a testimony that He's given you a Godly husband who adores his daughters (I've been blessed with the same).

Blessings, sweet friend. Thanks for sharing your struggle.

mer said...

THANK you for sharing this beautiful, beautiful story. I am so thankful that God has used all of this for good in your life, and SO thankful that your precious daughters have an earthly father that loves them to pieces and gives them a taste of how much they're loved and cared for by their Heavenly Father. You are a rich woman!

Earen said...

Wow...thank you for opening up your heart and life to us. What a beautiful story of love and restoration and now knowing that our precious Heavenly Father loves you do deeply. Thank you for sharing this. I am touched...

Halfmoon Girl said...

These kind of thoughts always touch me deeply as well- I did not have the best father/daughter relationship either, though my parents were together. That contributed to making bad choices and picking a 1st husband who is not there for my daughter, which is the absolute biggest regret and sadness in my heart. BUT I know that she too can discover the truth that God is her ever present, every loving Father. In the meantime, I talk to her about it and pray for her heart- when I go to those fearful places, I wonder what bad choices she will make in relationships as a result. THAT is not very fruitful, so I try not to do that! I am thankful that she has an example of a honest, sincere Christian man in my 2nd husband, but pray that their relationship would deepen. Well, that was a long comment- all about me and my life! Sorry 'bout that.

I am so glad for your daughters that they have such an awesome daddy! I bet they had tons of fun!

I caught up on all your posts since I have been gone. I really enjoy visiting here!

Fran said...

What a night your sweet girls had with their daddy. You are all blessed so much to have him in your life.

Thank you for sharing your personal journey with us.

Much love~

Jessica said...

you are blessing my life. thank you. His redemption is so sweet - when i read it in your life, it spurs me on.
it's hard to blog/share/write about the off-limits. i know. but somehow, these are the things He uses the most, because they are the places where His light now shines the brightest. thank you for being honest. thank you for sharing this story, His girl.

love love love


Jenster said...

Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of you with us. While it made me sad for you it also filled me with such incredible joy. Joy for you in that you DO have an awesome Daddy who loves you more than any earthly father could and joy for your daughters that they do have an earthly daddy who's giving them a glimpse of their Heavenly Daddy.

I was blessed with a great dad and I think you're right. I find myself often comparing God to him - and that probably sounds silly because he's no God - but I think you know what I mean. However merciful and kind and loving my dad has been, God is many times more. But I've seen what all that is.

Oy. Great post!

BethAnne said...

I found you through Stephanie's blog and I had to comment. This post is so beautiful (and your family is too). Isn't it awesome to know that even though humans will disappoint us, our Heavenly Father never will? Thank you for sharing your story and unfortunately you are right, there are so many other women who have a testimony just like your own. What a fun night for your girls to spend on a date with Daddy. I love it (I have 2 boys, so that kind of thing doesnt happen here ;-)

T said...

absolutely beautiful story. I completely know where you are coming from. I am so happy that my four daughters have had a fabulous earthly dad. As I have seen him with my girls, something I have never had, I have learned to grieve for girls who do not have that. I didn't know what I was missing until now.

Beck said...

I think one of the biggest blessings in the world is the gentle way in which our prayers are sometimes answered - your childhood wish for a good father being answered with your own children's wonderful father. It brought a tear to my eye to read that, really.
My husband brings our kids flowers on valentine's day. Sniff.

God's Guitar Girl said...

While I don't have a similar experience to share alongside of you, my late husband did, and it tore him up almost every day of his life. It was painful for me to watch how much his heart broke, even at the age of 30, over his "daddy issues," knowing that there was nothing I could do to erase or take away that pain for him. But I will tell you, it gave him resolve to be a better father than he ever had. And I know that his heartbreak is now gone, and he is in the one place where his heart won't break about that anymore! Thank you, Jesus!

You hang in there; we're all proud of you and will always support you! *Smooches, chica!!!*

Jenn said...

I loved hearing the story of how you came up with the name "His Girl". After reading your post I wasn't quite sure what to say so I said a prayer.

My heart was so sad when I read your story, but at the same time I was feeling so much joy for you that God has healed your heartache and brought you to the place that you know you are "his girl". What an amazing gift of love that he brought Jason into your life to be a wonderful husband and father. Thank you for your courage to share your story.

Thank you for being so open and honest in your posts and for letting God direct what you say. He uses you to touch so many lives - including my own. :o)

Becky said...

*sniff, sniff* That was so *sniff* beautiful! *dabs tears* Truly.

You have an absolute gem of a hubby who is an amazing father to your children. Those young men that come knocking one day to date your girls are going to have big shoes to fill comparing to their daddy! He's set a high bar. You (and your daughters) are indeed, very, very blessed.

I can indentify with so many of these same things. My dad was a lot like yours for many years. It took me going through a very similar ordeal in my family as a kid to learn that our heavenly Father is indeed our "Abba"...our daddy. The one we run to. The one who "rejoices over us with singing". The One for whom I am the apple of His eye. I, too, am a daddy's girl.

Excellent post and testimony of God's grace and love!

Ann said...

thank you for sharing your heart with us, HG. it's beautiful :)

PJ said...

What a wonderful, painfully beautiful story! I don't tell mine online because...because...some people reading my blog know my Dad now, not the former, dark character who terrorized my nights. At least I hope it's former...he says he's been converted. At this point I allow him that.

It's wonderful that God always provides that which we need. That assurance that we are special to HIM. And...he provided me with a husband, too, who is everything that a man can me, father, grandfather, husband.

Thanks for sharing. If you make it to She Speaks, let me know. We'll have to meet. (I haven't registered yet, but I'm working on it!)

chickadee said...

what a sweet post. and what a blessing that god has given your daughters exactly what you have always longed for.

truth said...

I read this yesterday and wanted to respond, but ran out of time. This post stirred so many thoughts/emotions and today it overwhelms me again and I can't open up today.

But thank-you for sharing so deeply. I'm delighted for your girls to have such a loving father to present a glimpse of their heavenly father.

Jennifer Partin said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your heart. What a precious testimony too!

Your girls are doubly blessed!

lovemyraysons said...

i hope that you are truly blessed by your honesty and transparency. doesn't it feel GREAT to share what God did, does and will do all because He loves us? what an amazing gift He has given you through your pain to bless others and to someday teach your girls about God's incredible love.

i really do hope you have gained tremendous encouragement by your risk at being open. it's so worth it, huh?! praise you God, You are awesome today and every day!!

Still Learning said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I'll never forget the counselor who helped me see how I could bypass my earthly Dad in reflecting how much my heavenly father LOVES me! I also learned how my earthly Dad was so limited and probably did the best he could. Changed my life! I am SO glad you found God and he continues to shower blessings on your life and I am so glad he blessed your girls with such a wonderful Daddy. Thank you, His girl, you helped me so much tonight. Blessings, Patty

bcolmer said...

And then...the Macarena!!! BAH HA HA HA!!! What a perfect mad us all cry, and then...the Macarena!! I can't even stop smiling about that one! J doing the macarena!! Oh man!

Perfect ending, my friend. And I never knew the His Girl story. I guess I must have been out of your life at that point in time.

Well, I'm glad to know it now! And what awesome pics of J and the girls. Reminds me of the work the Lord has done in my heart with my own Daddy issues.

Denise said...

just followed you over from alana's blog.
i too have referred to myself as "his girl" or just "his." my "daddy issues" definitely brought me around to this, to belonging to Him, out terrific daddy, Father.

thank you for sharing your story. i love to hear how God redeems, loves, calls us His!

Shanda said...

He is most definitely a "father to the fatherless." Although my earthly father was a wonderful man, he died before I would have liked. I prayed and asked God to show me what it meant in Psalm 68:5 that He was a "Father to the Fatherless," and He truly has. I love being one of His Girls!

Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hey!All I have to say made me cry! Happy tears. You are very blessed. And I am too having you back in my life. Love ya, Kim Barfell-Bigham