Friday, November 4, 2011
“He must have loved me once…“
The thought gripped my heart as my eyes gazed on the tattered photo in my hands. My eyes focused intently on the image of a new father as he held his newborn baby girl in his arms. His faced was turned away from the camera, and it left me only to imagine his expression during this tender father/daughter moment. The baby girl in this picture is me. The man is my biological father.
Life has given me many images of this man. I know him as my father, but I do not call him "Dad". For the word "Daddy" is far too intimate to describe my relationship with him. This is a man who is a mysterious puzzle in my life. For although he was gifted with fatherhood, he discarded me when I was just a girl. The role of my "Dad" was filled when my mother remarried. And the loss of my father faded over time.
I have many pictures in my mind of my interactions with this man. Most of them conjure up feelings of helplessness and fear. For as long as I can remember, his presence filled me with deep insecurities. And though it has been almost three decades since I was in his presence, there are some things time cannot erase. Hateful words and devastating emotional games have left an unforgettable impression on my heart. He simply was not equipped for the responsibilities and privileges associated with being a dad. Over time, as his interest in me vanished, I became one of the "fatherless".
Now a grown woman, I see him differently. Memories of the past now fail to look so dark. Though I will never understand his choice to leave his post of fatherhood, I no longer yearn for his affection. As a girl, I anxiously wondered how I might earn his love. As a woman of faith, I understand there was no way to capture his heart. But I am adored by the One who made me. He is "Abba", my "Daddy". My Heavenly Father.
Even though my biological father is part of me, it is God the Father who gave me life. As I place the photo back in the box from which it came, God gently reminds me that I am no longer "fatherless". In fact, I have never been so. The LORD is "the father to the fatherless". (Psalm 68:5)Daily, He continues to make provisions for my future. I am never out of His sight. I am not unlovable. I am not unworthy. I am His precious daughter. And he gave me a stepfather who filled the space left behind in my dad's absence.
Perhaps what amazes me most is how my Heavenly Father has used every hurt to shape my life into the beautiful adventure it has become. My husband and I are pursuing domestic infant adoption. Now, as we wait to meet our chosen child, I dream of days to come. I look forward to the day when our baby is placed in my husband's arms. I long to hold our child close, and sing him/her to sleep. This baby is deeply loved and prayed for already, and we shall point him/her to the love of the Heavenly Father each and every day. This baby, who might otherwise be fatherless, shall never know what it is to be so.
So, I watch for God to move. And I wait for the next step. More than anything, I rest secure in the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father, "Abba", who “takes delight in me. Quiets me with His love. And rejoices over me with singing.“ (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV) Forevermore, I have my Father's love.