Last Updated on March 20, 2018

Father’s Day hasn’t always been an enjoyable experience for me. My parents divorced when I was eight years old. Before they separated I was “Daddy’s little girl,” but after the divorce, the time with my father was limited. That, plus the addition of a new stepmother and stepsiblings, changed everything.

Late into my 30s, an excellent counselor helped me discover that I blamed myself for my parents’ divorce. Those wounds to my young soul formed a self-hatred and a distorted view of God. For more than ten years after I gave my heart to Christ, I didn’t really believe God loved me. This lie manifested into a continuous state of attempting to perform for Him. I’d take three steps forward and two backward. In my heart, I felt He saved my soul because that’s what God does for a living. It’s His job description. But does he like me? No way. Why would he? What is there to like?

Fortunately, my Heavenly Papa loves me too much to leave me wallowing in lies. He exposed the villain that stood between us — Fear. Fear of trusting, fear of abandonment, and fear of rejection were keeping me from his lavish love. I had to decide. Would I abandon myself and leap into His embrace? Or would I settle for the frigid slap that performance offered? It all boiled down to trust. I knew this was the turning point in my voyage with God.

Through a long, painful process, God revealed his deep desire for me to climb onto His lap, place my head against His chest, and listen to His heartbeat. He wanted me to know the comforting, steady rhythm that whispered, “I love you, Laura. I cherish you. You are precious to me. I will never abandon you.” At last I knew — I am loved. I don’t understand how or why he loves me. He knows every flaw and foolish choice I make, and yet He never leaves me.

I loved my earthly father, and many of the gifts I have came from him. This was my first Father’s Day since his death, and it did feel strange. However, it’s my Heavenly Daddy who fills me with joy. He is the one who replaced the emptiness and shame in my life with the truth that I am Beloved. His relentless love broke through my wall of fear and taught me how to breathe in the abundant life Jesus promises. He assures my mind and soul that I truly am “Daddy’s little girl.”

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5 NIV).

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  1. KatiefromTexas says:

    Thank you for sharing this Laura. I have spoken to so many women this week who struggle with Father's Day for this very reason. Thank you for sharing your heart and the hope that we all have in our Heavenly Father

  2. UI’m a little late in reading this post but still find it very useful. I struggle every year with father’s day, mostly because while everyone out there is celebrating fathers day with their fathers, I feel like celebrating fathers day would be celebrating the father that was not truly a father to me and my siblings. Now that I’m older I have an internal fight because my daughter loves her father and while I try to show her the significance of it all, it all feels so superficial. I guess seeing God as my father may help with those struggles and in turn help my daughter connect with her father and God.

  3. brokenhearted says:

    Thank you for this post. This year my husband left us unexpectedly & has started the divorce process. This fathers day was so absolutely incredibly hard! I love him & still so very confused why he is doing what he is! I am so thankful to know that God really does care so much more then I can even imagine, I just have to get myself to let Him love me… I know he is there! I won't give up on my husband or the marriage that the Lord always intended for us! I hate divorce! I don't know how anyone could go through this without the hope in Christ that only he can give!