…And I will receive you and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.  2 Corinthians 6:17(b)-18

I recall watching an Oprah special on “Daddyless Daughters;” and I remember being shocked because the women in the audience were still grieving for their fathers. There were grandmothers, mothers, and daughters of all ages. Their fathers had not died, but instead had walked out on them as children. The women’s pain was very tangible. I could literally see it on their faces and hear it in their voices. In one case, there was three generations struggling with negative behavior patterns established in their lives, because the grandmother’s father walked out on her and the pattern followed her daughter and then her granddaughter. I sympathized with these women but I could not understand why their pain still ran so deep. After all, they were no longer little girls; they were now adults with their own children, and for some, grandchildren.

This, of course, led me to think of my own biological father who had not been in my life. At that very moment, my mind wandered to an incident that happened when I was a teenager; I believe I was in middle school. A friend and I had walked to a neighborhood store and on our return walk, I saw my biological father’s car, so I attempted to flag him down to give us a ride. He kept going. Interestingly, I was not upset but I made an instant decision to no longer recognize him as my father. In my young mind, I said, “If he does not know me, I do not know him.” From that point on, he was instantly removed from my heart and mind to the extent that I never thought about this incident again until I watched the Oprah special. I continued to see him around town, especially when I got older and could drive; but there was nothing there – I had no emotion whatsoever connected to him; he was just like a stranger. I never acknowledged him again; not even in his death.

After watching the Oprah special, I realized that I could have been just like those women. Their story was my story – I grew up daddyless too. However, in that moment of reflection, I discovered that my Heavenly Father had protected my heart at a young age from knowing that pain. I believe my Heavenly Father protected my heart by allowing me to accept things the way they were instead of going through life wishing and hoping they would change. My Heavenly Father protected me from walking through life wanting and craving affirmation from someone that was incapable of giving those things to me. Instead, my Heavenly Father led me along a path of peace with being a daddyless daughter, and He surrounded me with uncles, brothers, and cousin-brothers that filled my life with goodness. And then He mercifully led me to Himself and showed me through His lovingkindness and unfailing love that all along He had been and is my Father; He had been and always has provided for and protected me; He had been and is always right here for me. The revelation of who my Father truly is changed my life forever.

Therefore, on this Fathers’ Day, I honor the only Father I’ve known – my Heavenly Father. Thank you Father for all that you have done and all that you continue to do for me daily. Thank you for your abiding presence and unconditional love. Thank you for being my safe place and my place of peace. Thank you that I can always come to you and receive whatever I need, whenever I need it. My gratitude to You, my Heavenly Father, is endless!

To our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:20

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