The current journey I’m embarking on involves extreme vulnerability in telling parts of my story. Of course my story involves other people, so handle my story and theirs with care.
I spoke previously of a relationship that I was involved in during much of my adolescent years and into my twenties. I became engaged to that man. We set a date and began planning. I was beyond excited.
All was going well, I was happy thinking about our future together. But as the day approached I became very aware that something wasn’t right. I felt like God was telling me to stop. In fact, I was hearing a loud “No, don’t do this.” I didn’t know at the time whether it was a “never” or “not now”.
I tried to push away the feeling. The day was fast approaching but I was paralyzed with doubt. The wedding date was only 3 weeks away. I tried to pretend this wasn’t happening. I had family coming in from out-of-town to attend. My parents had spent a lot of money on the event and invitations had long gone out. It was embarrassing to say the least. I really wanted it to be right.
During the process of sorting out my feelings my parents supported me unconditionally. They sensed I was having doubts and never once made me feel as though I had done anything wrong. My parents provided a safe environment for me to make whatever decision I needed to make.
I won’t go into the all the details out of respect for those involved, but in the end I called the wedding off. Calling off the wedding was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, but that’s not the most heartbreaking or difficult part of the story. The very day the wedding was scheduled for, a tragic accident occurred involving the would be groom’s father and he died a week later.
I can remember vividly the moment I received the phone call informing me of the accident. I will never forget it. The scene plays back to me like a movie. My dad, brothers, and a close friend were by my side. I put the phone down and began to sob. I remember repeating what had happened to my family and then collapsing into my dad’s arms. My dad scooped me up and cradled me like a little baby. On the outside I was a grown young woman, but on the inside I quickly melted into a small child being comforted by her daddy.
I felt like I was in a horrible nightmare. The doubts, the calling off of the wedding, and the death of a man who was like a dad to me all happened in about a months time. 9/11 had just occurred during the previous month. My world was quickly spinning out of control. And it was all my fault. If his dad had been attending his son’s wedding, the accident would have never occurred. Or would it? It didn’t matter what was truth at that point, it felt like my fault.
In my mind, God often brings me back to the moment when my dad cradled me like a baby as I sobbed. He reminds me of a dad’s unwavering love for his daughter and the intimacy between father and child. God reminds me that His love is the same. That kind of intimacy with God might seem crazy to some. But Jesus addresses God the Father as Abba. Abba is a very intimate term, the same kind of intimacy a child would use to refer to a loving father. Some biblical scholars would even describe the term Abba as the same as Daddy or Papa.
Jesus showed us what a relationship with our Heavenly Father should look like. That relationship should be intimate and close. God isn’t far away in some distant place annoyed by our requests and concerns. He loves us like a daddy loves us. He loves us in our darkest hour and our brightest.
When the lie rings in my ears “I am not enough” Abba Father reminds me that he has me cradled in his arms and I don’t have to do life on my own. I don’t have to pretend I have it all figured out. I don’t have to be strong enough. He reminds me that HE is enough. Abba cares about the really tragic moments in my life just as much as those that seem insignificant.
Maybe your earthly Dad wasn’t stellar. Maybe you didn’t have a dad at all. Maybe you have no idea what a dad should be like, and therefore it’s hard to relate to God the Father as intimately as a Dad. Ask God to show you truth about who God is and how He wants to father you. God the Father wants to be Abba to you, if you’ll let him.
If you are feeling challenged by how you view your Heavenly Father, ask him to show you truth through these three points:
1) Unmask Lies: Ask God to show you how you view God the Father and why? Do you see him as unavailable, busy, abusive, distant, or cold? These are lies about God’s character and need to be confronted head on.
2) Reveal Truth: Ask God to show you the truth about who He is and how He wants to Father you. He is available, loving, and close. Ask God for a specific word regarding the relationship he wants with you.
3) Ask Forgiveness: Ask for forgiveness for believing lies about God’s character, and come into alignment with truth. God is safe. He is the kind of Father that you can be vulnerable with.
Achieving wholeness as a son or daughter of God isn’t a one time prayer. My hope is you will continue to use these steps to combat lies when they are uncovered. Continue on the journey of knowing God in a deep and intimate way. And know that I am on that journey with you.
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