a father's love...
my daughter is a daddy's girl and she isn't shy about saying so. "it's okay, mommy", she consoles, "because parker is a mama's boy". "it's more than just okay," i tell her. so much more...
i grew up visiting my father once a year. my mom married my step-father when i was seven and although i would grow to love him dearly in adulthood, we didn't have a relationship - or a real conversation for that matter - until after i had graduated from high school.
as a child, i cannot remember longing for a father. i do remember the longing for a sense of normalcy. and later on, for a sense of belonging. i carried them both into adulthood, silently and desperately trying to fill the hidden voids in my heart. striving to create a life that looked idyllic, filling my need for normalcy. and striving to attach to people, places and things in order to feel as though i belonged. waiting for wholeness. and falling deeper into despair when the emptiness remained.
the two most important relationships, my two covenant relationships - with God and with my spouse - struggled constantly. i both longed for and rejected their unconditional love, placing the three of us in a proverbial cycle of ebb and flow. in our humanness, we grew weary. but in His divinity, He remained relentless.
until at last, i laid down at His feet. and i emptied myself: my pursuit of the idyllic facade, my hope for belonging, my futile attempts of using everyone and everything as a filler for the holes in me and there, buried in the depths of me, my longing for the love of a father flowed out at last.
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor 6:18)
the eyes of my heart were opened and in it, i could see where i had written all over it, "unworthy". time and time again. like a wall covered in graffiti. . . and then washed clean.
chloe truly epitomizes the term "daddy's girl" more every day. and the feeling is mutual. these two delight in each other and it is a joy to watch. i am so very grateful that my children are growing up basking in the love of a father who demonstrates such steadfast love. earthly fathers are meant to be - and often become - a depiction of our Heavenly Father. watching my daughter interact with the kind of father i could have only dreamed about has changed my perception of my Heavenly Father and ultimately, enabled me to accept this love that i never knew, but always longed for.
it is not because of our worthiness - or lack thereof - but only by His grace that He calls us His own. and He calls us by name.
"To know God as our father - as our almighty, loving Father - is the highest, richest, and most rewarding aspect of our whole relationship with Him." J.I. Packer