Like millions of Americans, I grew up without a dad. It’s a complex story but I only saw my dad once as a child. I remember him burying me and my half sis in the sand on the beach, the sand still in our bathing suits as we sat in the backseat of the car, sharing grains of sand with the car and eventually with the house. The fact that my sis is 2 1/2 years older than I and didn’t remember these specific events when I shared them with her on my last visit, speaks to me of the importance of that time to my 5 year old self. Even then I must have known to savor every moment because they would be few and far between.
I remember dancing on his feet and meeting his friends, visiting Disneyland, having one-on-one time, him telling me he loved me. Growing up I must have buried my longing for him beneath layers and layers of thick skin, as I can’t recall feeling like I was missing out on anything. It wasn’t until my teen years that I reached out to him for what would be the 1st of several times. Whether I was aware of it or not, I did miss out. I missed out on very intimate and pertinent father-daughter moments. Moments that would help mold me and shape me into the woman I am called to be. And though God has done a wonderful work in my relationship with my father, and we’ve had some moments I hold dear to my heart, the father and daughter moment I experienced today was with my spiritual father. My pastor. He’s been my pastor for the last 6 years. He has his own kids and yet has the gift to father those he is not related to by blood. Today I felt like a teenager as I shared my heart with him about a guy I have feelings for. He was so patient, and kind and caring, I knew I could trust him. I knew I was safe. And I knew God had given him to me, to be a dad. That his counsel was not just that of a minister, but of a father, which is the ministry I’ve needed so dearly, more than any other ministry. After our talk, for the first time in a while I felt lighter about the situation, even joy….
God has revealed Himself to be my heavenly Father. I know Him more as Father than anything else. And it truly is miraculous as most can’t relate to Him in this way unless they have a (good) father to be an example. God knows that He made me to be a “daddy’s girl” and how important it is for me to see Him as Father. That even when man fails me, I can know Him in this way. He truly is a father to the fatherless. I am blessed that He has called me by a new name. Daddy’s Girl.
Isaiah 62:2-5 (NIV)
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
and your land Beulah
for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
My parents…You can only see the resemblance when looking through Christ’s blood…