This is not a traditional post about being a “daddy’s girl” or “his little princess.”
Why? Simply put, I don’t have a dad.
Sure, there was a guy I am biologically related to that somewhat raised me until I was about 4, but due to many complications and hardships that I don’t want to get into, my parents divorced when I was about 5. I grew up with him being in and out of my life. I grew up with the flakiness of a middle aged man trying to get to know me, and then misusing my trust and leaving again.
I grew up having to emotionally provide for myself a lot.
I felt forced to make very adult decisions at a very young age.
I grew up knowing and experiencing brokenness in marriage.
I grew up without an earthly example of my heavenly father.
I grew up in a single-parent home.
I grew up without financial support from my dad or emotional ease.
I don’t know what it is like to have a “dad”.
That doesn’t mean that he didn’t teach me anything, though. Believe it or not, I learned a lot from him and have become a much stronger person because of where he lacked and his unreliability.
1. You cannot fix someone.
My parents once loved each other and mom thought her love could provide the emotional support that he needed. How I understand it is that she thought her love could fix his problems. She tried, but it couldn’t.
Because I am stubborn, I have decided to observe this concept, put the issue to practice, and try figure it out for myself. It was unnecessary, but the lesson is really cemented into my brain now.
You cannot fix someone who does not want to be fixed or thinks that they don’t need fixing.
From my perspective which has been molded by my faith, we are all broken and bruised. We all need fixing because, without Christ, we are utterly shattered and un-mendable. However, God is the perfect healer and lover of our souls; but not everyone believes in this. Many are unaware of their depravity and need for a Savior. Sometimes all we can do is pray and love from a distance.
My challenge for you: let go! Don’t keep holding onto his or her burdens because you think you can carry them. You will get burnt out and they probably will be so used to carrying around their burdens that they won’t give them to you.
Also, let go of holding on to your parent’s divorce. It is not your fault.
2. Forgiveness is so sweet.
Let’s be real, forgiveness sucks sometimes. It’s really hard. It’s especially hard when you’ve finally allowed yourself to forgive someone and when you try to tell them your progress, they admit that they feel as if they have done nothing to hurt you. That really sucks.
Oftentimes, forgiveness is a “pick up your cross daily” type of process. Just because you have forgiven them once doesn’t mean you won’t have to forgive them again tomorrow due to the realization that you’re still harboring bitterness towards them.
Forgiveness is a journey and very good journey has a destination. The end destination in the journey of forgiveness is peace.
I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing it feels to forgive someone and not feel anger towards them anymore. Everyone uses the expression, “It’s like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders!” We hear this all of the time, and I’m going to be honest, sometimes I think that the phrase sounds so cliche. I won’t lie to you, either. When you forgive someone, it will literally feel like you're 10 pounds lighter. I kid you not; go try it out and get back to me in a few years.
My challenge for you: go loose weight! (Not literally, your body is beautiful). Go forgive someone and actually commit to forgiving them. You will feel the weight lifted off of your shoulders.
3. Don’t place your value in people.
Don’t put your full faith in earthly people or things. I’m not saying this because I hate people or think that you should be skeptical, never allowing yourself to become close to anyone; that is completely untrue.
What I’m saying is to not find your validation in the things of the world.
I love my friends and family, I trust them with my life, and I want to be closer to them. However, I do not define my worth by their words or actions and they should not find their worth in me.
We ought to find our worth in God. He is all and will be forever. He never disappoints. He is always faithful and reliable. He defines our value because He is the standard of worth.
My challenge for you: find your value in God! Point those who need forgiveness to Christ so that they can also find their worth in the Lord.
Just because my earthly father was not in my life does not mean that he didn’t teach me anything. His absence drew me to a greater dependency on Christ and showed me that this world will fail, but the Lord will not!