Life after daddy issues: #FathersDay

“God is a Father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5), “Even if my father and mother should abandon me, You will take care of me.” (Psalm 27:10)

Father’s Day used to be such a hard holiday for me. It was a constant reminder of all that I didn’t have growing up and that I came from a broken tumultuous home. It was a very grievous time for me, and I can definitely recognize the long-term effects of daddy and family issues. I’ll share a few of them in detail. I was always attracted to guys who were similar to my biological father (who has been in prison since I was a baby) and like my ex stepfather: former bad boys, emotionally unavailable, players, smooth talkers and boys who didn’t understand healthy boundaries. I always struggled with feeling not good enough and uncomfortable in my skin. I liked guys, but I didn’t trust them and I was definitely attracted to guys much older than me. I felt that boys just wanted to be physically intimate with me and take advantage of me. When I picked out my clothes, did my hair and accomplished things it was mostly for the approval and validation of others and not for what I actually wanted. I spent majority of my life comparing myself to other people and wishing that I had someone else’s life and story. We don’t treat Father’s Day with the same enthusiasm as Mother’s Day, but I personally believe that fathers are just as important as mothers. They are equally an intricate part of a child’s life. A father (or father figure) brings a certain security, strength, confidence, peace, care (and more) that only a dad can. I always longed for a healthy father, and as I look back on my life I can see that God stepped in for me right on time. I believe that God will be whatever and whomever a person needs. God knows the depths, complexities and desires of each human being’s heart and knows exactly how to provide for them.

Not only has God been the Father for me that I always dreamed of, God has brought many spectacular father figures into my life who are a physical representation of who God is. For so long I was searching for love in all the wrong places- I was really looking for the Jesus I first remember meeting as a little girl. God never gave up on me and continued to stay with me, bringing the right teachers and leaders into my life, speaking to my heart and mind and showing up in creative miraculous ways until I was able to return to the love I once knew. Except now, it’s greater and stronger than ever.

This Father’s Day (and every day) I am celebrating the One from where my life flows, the One who created me out of the overflow of love in His heart. I am celebrating the growth and depth of our relationship, the Father who shows me how I should be treated by men and what to expect for myself and my life. I want to share 5 specific things that God has been doing in me:

1. God is always cheering me on.

The love of God for me is my absolute greatest motivation. All day long and all through the nights I feel God speaking words of hope, grace and joy into my heart. God is always telling me how proud He is of me, that I am not defined by anything in this world, and how His love for me (and all people) will go on for forever and ever. God encourages me, and I feel so free to be myself and pursue my dreams and passions regardless of the outcome.

2. God is always rescuing me from lies that I have believed about myself, God and others.

I lived from enough lies to fill an entire book! Once I was able to see God for who He really is, I could actually understand God and hear God for myself. I can actually trust in the integrity and character of God- so now faith is relatively easy. (Faith is something that happens to you, not something you do.) Now I can feel, see and hear God gently correcting me when I am believing something that is not true. Lies distort our vision and bring pain to our hearts. It is impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone when lies are present.

3. God is always restoring my life.

I felt like most of my life and childhood was stolen from me, and I wondered how I would ever get it back. Today I feel better than ever, and every day God is putting my life back together and showing me the bright future I have ahead. He doesn’t miss a thing and weaves our stories into something beautiful. I truly believe the best is here AND yet to come!

4. God is always healing me from the effects of anything I’ve been through in this world.

It is easy to feel defined by what we’ve been through and what has been said about us. By what we have and what we can accomplish. But there is a greater truth- we are defined by Jesus. We are defined by what God says. God has been healing and restoring my heart, loving me and caring for me, taking care of me in such a way that I no longer feel unloved or unwanted. Anxiety, panic, paranoia and depression are becoming a distant memory. "God has made me forget all the trouble of my childhood and my sufferings” (Genesis 41:51-52)

5. God is always renewing and expanding my vision.

My creativity is on fire! I have never felt more open and limitless in my artistry and dreams. When you and God create your own blueprint and definitions of success, you are released from all the pressures in this world. And then we can just relax and enjoy our days. God is showing me numerous exciting adventures that are ahead and empowering me to write, speak and create things from a whole new consciousness.

This Father’s Day I am praying for anyone who has struggled with daddy issues like me, and anyone who’s father has passed away. Know that you are not alone, and there is Someone who is always willing to be for you whatever and whomever you need. God is wherever you are. God will not let you down and will make up for all that has been lost.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart...” Jeremiah 1:5