Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Main Truth: Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy."
I loved my Dad…I was the classic Daddy’s girl. I would follow him around the house and wanted to be wherever he was. He was handsome, smart and funny. He knew how to fix everything, make anything, be in charge of everything. In his presence, all was well. Until, it wasn’t. My wonderful Father was also a product of the depression, the Korean War, lost his father and brother to divorce and his mother to cancer. PTSD, anger and alcohol became the driving forces in his life and ultimately, I came home from school one day and all his things were gone. That’s it. Just gone. No goodbye…just gone.
For years I didn’t hear from him. I didn’t know where he was or why he didn’t come and find me. Surely his heart ached like mine did at not being in his life. Or perhaps it didn’t. Did he not love me? Not care how I was? The day I had surgery, all I could think about was that he didn’t know. The day I graduated from high school, he wasn’t there. When a boy would asked me over for dinner to meet his family and his father asked what my father did….ouch. I had no idea.
I was consumed by his absence and it defined me. I ruminated on it, I stewed in it, I suffered under the implications of it. I built a deep seated and complex belief system that I was unloved and unlovable, and I had an overwhelming body of evidence to prove my case. I was the victim, prosecutor and final judge and I closed the case with 100% conviction. Guilty as charged. Just mark the words UNLOVED across all evidence to the contrary from henceforth hitherto. Lock her up and throw away the key.
That’s a snapshot of my love story with my father and you have yours too. I wish you and I could “girl chat” by a fire on a comfy sofa, latte in hand, and you could tell me all about it. Praise God for Sisters in Christ! Confession is good for the soul and sharing our stories are so powerful and healing. But some stories are just tragic enough to trap us in the pain of what we went through, and the emphasis becomes what happen TO us instead of what God did to rescue us.
I have been a Christian for many years and read and memorized all the scriptures on how much God loves me. I have sung the songs and prayed the prayers. Jesus loves me, this I know. But I really didn’t know. All I had to do was once again look at the evidence. I was unable to let my husband get too close, always struggling with depression, always mad at the world. UNLOVED still had its mark on me.
God had stamped me HIS and LOVED so how come that stamp didn’t seem to matter as much as the UNLOVED identity of my youth? It wasn’t until I intentionally decided to ruminate on God’s love for me that my old identity began to fade. I had to set aside time, focus on it, act as if it were true before I truly believed it was, take every thought captive to the contrary and think on whatever was good, pure and lovely in my life. I had no idea that the strong belief system I had created in my youth would not just surrender in a moment of truth.
I had to battle the lies daily, hold them at gunpoint and make them bow in obedience to the whispers of love growing in my Spirit.
I had to fight the good fight and ruminate on the love of my Heavenly Father. God has overturned my conviction, but I had to stand up and walk out into the light. It was work and it took time.
What do you think about? What thoughts consume you as you drive kids around, get ready in the morning, do the dishes? Where does your mind go? I beg of you to pay close attention and if you have the suspicion that you have a network of a false identity still ruling in your mind, I beg of you to ruminate on the love of the Father as much as you can for as long as you can until you walk out into the light of His love. Aren’t you tired of the lie?
Contemplate the love the Father has for you, consider it, give thought to it, meditate on it, muse and ponder it, chew and chew and chew some more on it. Come on girl….come with me. Can you imagine His church 100% convinced of His love? Can you imagine a life stamped by His love?
I can now.
Post written by: Janice Seal
Janice grew up in the Bay Area in a broken family. She met Christ in the 3rd grade at a neighborhood gathering for kids called a 5 Day Club. The woman who led the club took her to church where she was baptized and received her first bible. In later years, she encountered the ministry of Young Life where she deepened her faith and felt the call to love others with the love of Christ as she had been loved. She now serves at Powerhouse Ministries and claims it is the highlight of her week. Janice is married to her husband of 24 years and they have three children all now in college.