“My daddy is my hero!!” Squealed my best friend, her hands clutched to her tiny heart and eyelashes batting towards the sky. Her eyes sparkled as I hopped down from the monkey bars onto the chunky, wooden bark. I almost giggled at her comment thinking: “How can your daddy be your hero? Aren’t all dads the same as mine?”
Until I turned about six years old, I thought my family was just like everyone else’s. I didn’t know that traveling between my parent’s houses wasn’t a common occurrence for every child. I mean, maybe I did know, I just never thought about it. When I was in elementary school, thoughts of my distant biological father were passive, and I didn’t notice his absence often. It was a normal part of life, not having him home, and instead having my stepdad. It wasn’t until my best friends in grade school and even in middle school, leading up to high school talked about their amazing fathers, that I realized my daddy wasn’t the same.
It wasn’t common at school to have a dad who was so absorbed in alcohol and drugs that he didn’t have time for his daughter. It wasn’t common to have such a complicated family that trying to explain it was a hassle. It also wasn’t common to have to explain why you don’t share the same last name as the rest of your family. Soon all this difference between me and my friends put up a wall. Their comments about their awesome dads they loved, they isolated me. I could have fought them, but I did just what the enemy wanted me to. I felt ashamed and unworthy because my first daddy didn’t love me the way a daddy should.
I feel your pain. I can see through your envious eyes when you look at your best friend’s father who has loved her from the day she was born. I feel the heart ache of opening your eyes in the morning and realizing you are going another day without him. I too have suffered long sleepless nights, pondering over what you did to make your own dad leave. I have heard them say: “Don’t blame yourself, it wasn’t your fault…” and “There was nothing you could have done…” But you still lie awake, never understanding what you did to never deserve your own parent’s love.
I also know the pain of holding all of this in. You use excuses like: this is how it’s always been or no one would want to listen to my side anyway. You don’t bring him up in daily conversation because the topic is so foreign to others and you don’t want to waste your breath explaining this to someone who won’t ever understand. And they try. They really do. But they will never feel the intense, deep hurt that you have survived.
If you can relate to any of what I have gone through, you understand the anxiety build up when you hear the word: promise. You shutter at the word because you know it’s not actually a promise. It’s a “well, maybe” or “if I can get to it…” or “if I have time”. It’s hard to trust people, especially if you have been let down before. And it’s hard to open up your heart, truthfully to others.
For years, I thought there was no one who could understand me or even begin to feel the pain I have felt. Then I gave my heart to the Lord and my life was transformed. God was the first person to make a promise to me and not only keep it, but cherish it (Luke 1:48)! He promises that…
He loves us. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (NJKV) So you are probably thinking, “Okay Megan, that’s great, but what does it have to do with me?” God loves us so deeply that He gave up His only Son to die the most painful death known to man!! Can you imagine watching your daughter or son, or if you are like me and you don’t have kids yet, your best friend die? Watching them sacrifice their life for sinners who deserve nothing but hate, but are given love? I know I couldn’t do that. Jesus gave His life willingly for us, that’s how much He loves us.
He will always be our Father. Psalm 27:10 says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.” (NKJV) How powerful is that? God blessed us with parents. He created a love between a parent and child that is beautiful. However, we as humans are fallen and we won’t ever be perfect. But God, oh man. He promises to never leave us. So if you don’t have a daddy, ladies, I want you to know, God will always be the most perfect Father you could ever ask for!
He has a plan for YOU. Yes you!! You may think that your life is over, you have messed up too many times for someone to ever love you. But guess what? God loves you endlessly, no matter what sins you have committed. And you may be asking God, “Why did you give me a not so great dad?” or “What was the point of putting me through all of this pain?” I know I have thought about these questions countless times! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (NKJV) God knows what He is doing. It may not seem like it, but He promises that His plan will bring peace and hope! It’s hard for us to see a bigger picture sometimes, but I promise you, He is creating a masterpiece with your life (Ephesians 2:10).
He will protect you. Psalm 91:4 says, “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” (NKJV) Oh my goodness I just completely adore this verse! Can you imagine God holding you under His wings. It’s warm and His protection is over you! God made the universe, meaning everything has to go through Him. I promise you, you are safe in His arms. He will never ever let you walk in this world without His protection! He is your personal body guard and He will keep you safer than any security guard you have ever met.
He thinks you are beautiful. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Woah. This verse leaves my heart in awe. When you have been let down by your dad, the pain is real. And I don’t want to sound like Instagram when I say: “the struggle is real.” Because this struggle is real and it’s raw and it hurts. It’s painful. Realizing your own dad doesn’t love you is worse than any crush or teen heartbreak I have experienced. “Maybe if I were prettier?” Is always a thought that races through my mind. But God knows your beauty and He is making your life beautiful! And He won’t ever give up on your beautiful story. He is never the type to start something and not finish it. He started your life and brought you to this earth, so He will make sure your story finishes with the same amount of effort and beauty that it started with. He will not give up on you.
God will fulfill these promises, if He hasn’t already.
The last verses I want to encourage you ladies with are from 1 John 3:1-3, which say: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (NKJV)
I hold onto these verses very dearly because of the promises they hold. I am a child of God! And although I have been struggling through this crazy life without my first dad, I know I have a Father who deeply cares for me. And through all of this, I have a chance to glorify Him and the work that He is doing in me. So when others read my story, I never want them to think of me, but think of the Lord! He is in me and working through me, and I am His beloved! I strive to be like Him and want to be like Him more each and every day. I am praying for the same for you, that you would be encouraged by His love and understand that you are loved, even in a world that makes it seem as though you aren’t. We are free in Him.
I know what it’s like to live with a father’s empty promises that he doesn’t fulfill. I also know what it’s like to live in a Father who does fulfill His perfect promises. I promise you, trusting in His promises won’t be a mistake.
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