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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Dads. I'm forty-three years old and I'm still not sure what to make of my own. Truth is, I don't really know him. We rarely see one another. We rarely speak. No anger. No fall-outs.
I've never understood it. The last time he visited (five years ago), he stayed less than twenty-four hours. Left town before the children woke. Later that day, I cried. Then I told myself that it didn't matter. Allowing it to matter would've prolonged the pain. At the time, I simply didn't have the energy to spare. So, I forgot about it.
Then last Saturday, as I waited by the register after ordering barbecue, a grey-haired gentlemen asked, "Have you been helped, Sweetie?"
"Yes Sir. I'm just waiting."
When I returned to my car, my eyes betrayed me with secret drops of disappointment. Sweetie. His tone had awakened ancient pain. My own father has never sad anything that endearing to me. Sure, we talk on the phone. He describes the weather and tells me of the chores he's completed. Then we say our I-love-you's and hang up.
I'm sad. Sad that my father has never addressed me as Sweetie or Honey. That he doesn't see me as the apple of his eye. I can't help but wonder. What would it be like to have a father interested in me . . . my children, my life?
I know God is "a father to the fatherless." That He judges righteously on my behalf. My heavenly Father is perfect. I thank Him everyday for being perfect. For creating perfectly. For forgiving perfectly. For His perfect love, in spite of imperfect me.
Still, the reality of me and my earthly dad, just plain hurts.
I also know that God is the one who brought this whole thing to my attention. He knew where I hurt and why I hurt. That I'd painted myself into a "spiritually mature corner" in an attempt to avoid the heart of the matter. I founded The Medicine Place with a sincere desire to inspire and encourage other women to face the heart of their own matters. So, over and over, God calls me to "walk my talk."
So, it's time to write a letter. I'll mail it if God asks me to. It's been a while since I've felt this vulnerable regarding a relationship. One thing I know for certain--God is in control. God has my best interest at heart. By His grace, I've already overcome more than I ever thought possible. I can trust Him with this. I will.
I'd love to tell you that I allowed God to be my ONLY comfort over the weekend. But yesterday I spent three hours cleaning my pantry. Pretty glass jars. Organized rows of spices . . . Martha Stewart's got nothing on my pantry.
This morning I asked God to forgive me for getting lost in my pantry yesterday when what I needed most was to be lost in Him. So, today I spent time in my pantry and time alone with God. Progress, people, not perfection. Or as the Bible says, "from glory to glory." I'm forever God's girl.
Has God ever revealed hidden sadness in your heart? How did you react? Did you talk to Him about it? Did you find ways to comfort yourself? Perhaps a little of both?
Search me, God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
(from my archives)
Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 @ 11:43 AM CDT