Here is a picture of my father and I. I look like I had just got out of baby jail and life was hard for me. I don’t know why he didn’t do my hair and put some clothes on me. But in this picture, I can see how happy my father is holding me- his first baby girl. He was a #girldad. Sitting there on his lap I was safe in his arms and of course distracted by something; and knowing me, it was probably food. I like to eat. A LOT. But growing up, I lost the essence of that picture. Things that were told to me as well as my perception clouded my judgment of who my father was and what we had.
I sat and listened to Sarah Jakes Roberts talk to her father in a service they had. It was so powerful because although I was not in the conversation, it felt like Bishop Jakes was counseling me in my own situation. One thing Bishop Jakes said was, “It is seldom that a father ever leaves his child, he leaves the situation.” I was like wow. All these years I really thought it was about me. I really thought my father did not want me and left me. By leaving me I do not mean left my life, he just was not in my home. Proximity meant everything to a girl who wanted to be daddy’s girl.
I never expressed my emotions because I was too afraid and thought I would disappoint my father. All of that internalization of a problem that was not about me created a world in my own mind that never existed. After all these years I have allowed my lack of affirmation to make me unsure and uncertain about everything. I have doubted everything about who I am, what I want, and have not trusted my own decisions. Who would have thought a lack of affirmation would breed a fear to fail and be the breeding ground of insecurity. Failure is a part of life but the gaps in my own identity made that feel unacceptable.
I have come to realize that what my father gave me was the best he had to give and even today, what he gives me is the best he has to offer. I have to let that be enough. Every other void I have to allow Christ to fill.
I am in a season of really learning my identity. After being divorced, I went through this process of trying to re-identify myself for the sake of showing that I am not what happened to me. But now I am in a place where I am finding out who I was always called to be and what I was called to do. I feel like life tainted my purpose and tried to mold me into some other person, but now my true self is calling out and ready to be revealed. It is going to start with affirmation. There has to be a knowing that I am okay just the way that I am and even my flaws do not scare God. I also have to realize I will always be daddy’s girl- my father here on Earth and in heaven. This is certainly a journey but I am excited and ready for it.
Welcome to this New Year and thank you for coming along this journey with me.