To say that I didn’t have a good relationship with my father is an understatement.

On any given day, I never knew what version I was going to get.
Sometimes he’d let my brother and me playfully wrestle and hang on him, and as if a switch had been flipped, within a split second, he would grow angry and tell us to “knock it off” and forcefully throw us aside. 

To add fuel to the fire, my dad didn’t like me.
For real.
And he made it known that he never wanted me.

I remember coming home from a weekend visit to his house (my parents were divorced when I was almost 5 years old) and asked my grandmother what an abortion was.

In her innocence, not knowing the context of where I heard the term, she told me it was murdering a baby inside of a mother’s belly.

My little 8 year old mind couldn’t make sense of this explanation. I continued, “How come my dad told me he wanted my mom to abort me, nana?” 

In her sweetest, most innocent way, my nana patted my hands with her sun-spotted hands and said in her best broken-English, “He’s not nice.” And then she filled my plate with pasta, and we never talked about it again. 

Needless to say, I struggled with wanting to be accepted and loved. As you may know from reading my blogs, sunshine, I gained acceptance from food–literally. I was in control of it, or so I thought.

What I was really craving was love from my dad, as most little girls do.
But I never got it from him.

My father passed away in March 1995, my sophomore year of college. While our relationship was smoother, it was never the relationship that I desired or craved. 

Fast-forward several years, I was awakened.
I heard a sermon from Rick Warren where he talked about the many facets of God. (Did you know, sunshine, that God has hundreds of names in the Bible, each revealing specific characteristics about Him?) Warren shared the importance of communing with God through prayer and addressing Him as “Father” hence The Lord’s prayer begins with “Our Father…”

This seemed crazy to me, because I didn’t want to put God and my dad in the same arena, but the more exploration I did, the more I realized that I sometimes viewed God similarly to my earthly father.

I saw Him as angry.
Disappointed with me.
Ashamed of me.
Withholding gifts.
Loving with specific conditions.
Favoring my brother.

But through therapy, time, healing, and lots of prayer, I’ve been able to see God as my Father and even more personally, as my Daddy.

Recently my best friend shared this A.W. Tozer quote and it struck me deeply.

When I hear the word “God” now, I no longer think of negative and unkind descriptors.

Instead words like merciful, grace, love, accepted, and chosen now fill my heart and mind.

The very essence of who we are is what we think when we hear His name. 

What about you, sunshine?
What words come to mind when you think of “God”?

If the words do not reveal His mercy, grace, and love, perhaps it’s time for a little exploration of your own. I’d love to pray with and for you. Simply hit “reply” to this message and share how I can pray you through some healing.