My earliest memories center around my daddy. In the five years I had him as my daddy I am grateful. I have pictures of him imprinted in my mind and rooted in my heart.
I remember a nights of bad dreams and flat pancake like people trying to get me. I awaken screaming. Moments later daddy is there comforting me. He stays with me to assure me I am safe. He stays until I am once again asleep.
I fell once on my swing set while my daddy was close by talking with my Uncle, his brother, who lived next to us. I no longer feel the pain of that injury but I can feel the love, compassion and safety in my daddy's embrace. He wiped away the tears and made the hurt go away.
My daddy had a great sense of humor. He loved playing practical jokes on people. I can still see him all dressed up in my mother's dress standing behind the door in the kitchen waiting for my mother to come inside. I was standing there laughing so hard and he kept trying to hush me for fear I would ruin the surprise.
I was only five when daddy left this earth. Momma told me he went to be with Jesus. My five year old mind and heart just couldn’t understand why Jesus needed him more than I did.
Within days of the funeral momma went away too. She would go to a hospital for six weeks. We, my brother and sister and I, would spend time in various homes of family and friends while momma got better. But she was never quite the same when she came home.
There was no time to mourn. I felt there was no one to ask all my questions too. I remember being told “you must be strong for your momma and your brother and sister.” I was the oldest. I was a “big” girl now.
So I stuffed down the questions and the emotions and they were silenced within.
Stuffing emotions, and silencing the cries of my heart would be something I would grow to do well. I would learn to live in a world where emotions were not expressed. Pain was not shared. It was also a world where love was not felt.
It was hard. It was a painful place. I wanted my daddy. I wanted his comfort, his love and I wanted him to hold me until everything was alright again.
I would live for many years with that longing. A longing to be loved by a daddy…a man. The journey would be a road filled with abuse, pain, sorrow, hopelessness, neglect, betrayal and a hurt that would leave me feeling as if my heart and soul had been ripped from me.
But this journey would also lead me to my Father in heaven. My Father who loves me and comforts me. He holds me in the darkest of nights until I can fall asleep.
My Father, the one who promises to be a Father to the fatherless. Who promises to never leave me or forsake me. My Father in heaven who sent His Son to die for my sins. This Father would be the One who filled the longings that were left empty so long ago. He would sit and listen to my questions and the cries of my heart.
In His arms I feel love and compassion. There is safety in my Father’s embrace. He wipes away the tears and make the hurt go away.
He makes all things new again.
No matter where you are or how you feel your Father is waiting for you to run into His loving arms.
It doesn’t matter where you have been or how messy your life might be your Father in heaven loves you and is waiting for you to turn to Him.