Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Father Has Always Been With Me

My parents divorced when I was around 3 years old. When I was 5 years old, my mother remarried. Within the first year of their marriage, my father signed away his parental rights and I was adopted by my step-father. At first, I don't think it bothered me too much, I was young and didn't realize what was going on. But later in life I struggled with it, almost daily.

I knew who my father was. I knew his face. I knew his voice. I knew his laugh. I clearly remember it. That is what was hard. I knew he was out there, but I just wasn't allowed to see him. I understand that my parent's divorce was painful on both of them, however, I don't think they understood how painful it was on me. There were several times growing up that I felt like a piece of property, instead of a child.

When I would go and see my paternal grandmother, she would make me go hide in the laundry room when my dad would come and pick up my little half-brothers. I remember sobbing in the laundry room. I could hear him. All I wanted to do was run to him and have him wrap his arms around me. I wanted my dad. I wanted him to see how I was growing. I wanted him to tell me I was his beautiful daughter. I wanted his love. There was one time that I snuck out of the laundry room and ran to my dad. My grandmother yelled at me to get back in the laundry room. She did not do this to be mean, she did this because she didn't want to risk being able to see me. She knew if my mom found out, that it would be the last time I would be able to visit her.

For years I struggled with not having my dad there to watch me spin around and be a princess. Not having my dad around to hug and snuggle with in his chair. Not have my dad around to tell me that I was a beautiful little girl, his beautiful little girl.

My mother and adopted father would tell me how horrible my father was. They told me about the day they asked him about the adoption. They told me that he said yes right away and didn't even have to think about it. They told me he didn't want me. Just hearing them say those words, whether they were true or not, hurt me deeply. How could you tell a child that their dad didn't want them. Why would you intentionally hurt a child with those words?

That hurt and struggle carried on to my adult relationships. I did not trust. I did not know what love looked like. I made horrible mistakes looking for what I thought was love. I was broken. I was hurt. With all the hurt of not having my father and the hurt of my horrible mistakes, I became cold. I had a cold heart. I didn't let myself date nice guys. I intentionally looked for guys who treated me poorly because then I knew what to expect and I didn't think I deserved any better.

Only in the past year has my heart began to soften, at least when it comes to trust in relationships. This past year, God has shown me that even though I did not have my earthly father all those years, I had my Heavenly Father. He has always been there for me. He has always loved me. He has always thought I was beautiful. He created me beautiful. He has always comforted me, even though I may have not realized it at the time.

"I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18

I pray that I always remember that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me, cares about me, created me, protects me.

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