A Father's Heart: A Safe Place
So, I told you last week I would be starting a little series on my blog about hurts caused by a Father. I started this whole conversation with the challenge to simply open the door. As long as we keep the door closed and locked to our heart, nothing can heal. The first step has to be acceptance. It's not an easy thing to do, granted, but necessary. Accepting the truth means we become aware of the truth. So many behaviors and habits, in fact most of them, are a result of our experiences as children. I thought I was doing a great job of moving on in my life as I grew into an adult, but I was wrong. What I called "moving on" was me ignoring the past and trying to craft a life that would not allow room for any more pain.
Our father's are called by God to offer us safety. In fact, my husband and I were discussing this just last night. Our oldest daughter was a little upset that daddy was leaving again today for a trip after just returning from one. Usually she doesn't seem to mind too much so this was a little unusual and I wasn't sure what to do for her. When Allen and I were discussing it later, I was asking him why he thought it upset her and he said something that really stirred inside of me. He said it was because his presence in our home gives her security, makes her feel safe, and she is getting older and really recognizes that feeling of safety...and missing it when he isn't around.
I cannot relate to that.
When we grow up with a Father that doesn't protect, we learn to live without that security; we try to create our own security. I did this by pretending. I thought if I said what others wanted to hear, acted the way others expected me to act, I would have their acceptance and "feel safe." My relationship with God was no exception to these rules. After all, He is a father too. I assumed he was no different than my earthly father. I assumed I had to earn the right to be safe in his presence too. I assumed that if I had been a better person, done something different, my father would have loved me the right way..and I would have been safe.
I assumed I wasn't good enough.
While it's true that we are born in need of salvation, that never means that we must earn love. In fact, we cannot. Love must be given freely, or it is not love. A father is called to love you first, before you understand what love is. It is not your fault if he chose not too. It doesn't make you less worthy of love.
It doesn't make you less worthy.
The lack of a father's love and security in a life will leave a wound labeled, "I'm not enough." Can I speak to that lie that has been defeated in my own life? A father that chose not to protect you, not to love you, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. His own issues, his own deception, is the reason for his treatment of you. You are not meant to carry the weight of his deception. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it leaves you in need of healing...but it is not your fault.
You are enough.
I cannot express in words (which is unusual) what freedom I found when I finally accepted that it wasn't my fault, that I did not earn the mistreatment I received. When I did accept that, I turned tot the only place I could turn, the place that felt safe. I turned to Jesus. He understood my fear. He understood that I was afraid to approach a God who calls himself "Father." He knew I could not face God alone, that I was to afraid. So, he took my hand and lead me there himself. See, Jesus is the answer to the fear of a Father. When we cannot relate to God as our Father, we can turn to Jesus, our friend, our Savior, and he leads us there as gently and slowly as we need, pouring healing into us as we journey closer to the perfect Father. When we cannot understand the safety found in the arms of a father, we can turn to Jesus and find safety in his arms first. When we are to afraid to believe the Father's whispers of love, we can turn to Jesus and hear him first. Yes, Jesus is one with God, but he represents things our heart needs so we can enter the presence of the Father. He represents worth, forgiveness, redemption...all things that will lead us to the very throne room of God...who offers us perfect safety.
I am praying for you, friend. If you have been living in the chains of unworthiness because of a Father that left a wound in your heart, I am praying for your freedom from those chains. I am praying that God will do for you what He did for me. I am praying he will begin to show you, like pieces of a puzzle, all the dimensions of a true father's heart. He will use your own heart to show you those things. You are valuable. You are enough, not because of anything you do but because of everything he did. You are not fatherless. You have a Father in Heaven and His heart beats for you...His heart beats for you...
His heart beats for you.