Father’s Day for the Fatherless
Father’s Day is bittersweet for me. I rejoice that my son’s have the father I never did – and I realize more keenly what I missed and wonder what I would have been like had I a father like they have. This post is for all the fatherless daughters, whether because their fathers were physically absent or emotionally absent, this is for you.
For these daughters whose father never said, “You are mine, a gift from God, to cherish and protect,”
or wrapped you in his arms to hug away your wounds, whether self-inflicted or inflicted by others,
If your father did not provide security or chase away the night terrors,
or missed seeing you receive your award because he was standing outside smoking a cigarette,
If you missed those Father Words, telling you you were beautiful, filled with awesome gifts – well, every daughter should have a father who thinks she is beautiful.
If your father did not carefully help your mother choose your name and rejoice on the day you were born and every birthday afterwards,
Who did not stand between you and danger,
Who received your shabby chic gifts with careless disregard, saying your handwriting too small to read your stories,
Who never treated you like a princess, or the world’s greatest softball pitcher, or the next Jane Austen because your dreams just never entered his mind.
Never tucked you in or taught you to pray,
Who never said, “I believe in you” when the world did not,
Who left it up to someone else to teach you how to drive a stick shift with manly patience,
Who did not rejoice in your marriage or was there to hold your child in his arms when he was born, to be a doting grandpa who would say, “Don’t talk that way to my daughter, boy.”
Who never said, “I love you,”
If you had an earthly father who did not father you, I encourage you to ask our creator, our Father, our God to fill that empty void, to open your eyes to the true daughter-ship that you have in Him, your rightful place in His family. Brokenness through rejection is NOT God’s plan for you.
“But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Matt 9:22)
God will be that Father you never had. He gave you great gifts that unfurl within you at just the right time He created you beautiful (Psalm 139).
He rejoiced the day you were born and on the first day you sought Him out – “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek” (Psalm 27:8)
He knows the needs you have before you ask him (Matt 6:8) He wants to know what is going on in your life. He wants to hear every rambling word, every detail, every thought written in your heart no matter how small.
He not only takes care of the night terrors but the life terrors as well “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 34:4)
He is a father who not only provides but is like the father who stops by and fixes your sink when your husband’s out of town, who checks in on you when one of the kids are sick. “And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper” (2 Chronicles 26:5)
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1)
Stop swinging your arms like a small child fighting someone bigger. You waste your energy. Let Him stand between you and danger. He wants to fight your battles. It is like He is telling you, “Step back, little one. Take deep breaths. Stop shaking. Wipe your nose on your sleeve. Be still. I’ll take care of this for you” (Exodus 14:14).
The first thing I want to do when my spirit soars is to throw my arms around his neck for a massive father-daughter hug that I have spent my life reaching for, believing for. He wants it for me; He wants it for you, too!
Dear Father, I thank you that you called me away from a spirit of brokenness and rejection. Father, there are days here that I miss the tangibleness of an earthly father who loves me, but I pray that you will open my eyes to the relationship you offer me. Open my eyes to how you help me through the day. Help me to overcome what I do not feel or see – but have by faith and hope. I want a father/daughter relationship abundantly alive and real. Replace emptiness with Father Words and Father Memories. Help me to live that. Thank you Jesus your great sacrifice so that your father could be mine, too!
Thank you so much for sharing this today. It is exactly the thing that I needed to read!
Thank you so much. Thats so encouraging. It put me in tears.God Bless, and thank you so much. – Esperazna, B.C,16.f.
Such a beautiful heartfelt post! Too many people have absent fathers in their lives. I am so fortunate to have been blessed with a loving father who is still alive and continues to tell me how much he loves me. But it seems that is very rare!
I love that you are so encouraging to others and remind them that we have a Heavenly Father who is there for each one of us. No human father could ever be so perfect and loving as He. It’s wonderful that we can have a personal relationship with Him.
I said a prayer for you as I am writing and reading this post of yours. May you be especially comforted and loved by the Lord today. He is the Perfect Father. And I’m so glad that you have a husband who is a good father to your children.
Blessings and love,
What a beautiful post! Though I have a very sweet father, he did lack in the spiritual leadership role of our home and never encouraged me. (And did he ever call me beautiful? I don’t know.) But I did have arms to run to and I will be rejoicing with you someday when I see you sitting in the arms of the Father!
Your earthly dad sure did miss out on a treasure. He is the one who lost …
This is beautiful!
I’m so glad we have a Father that loves us abundantly.
What a perfectly beautiful and powerful post. I know that pain and I know that blessing. You’ve woven it together so perfectly. May many other daughters like us come to know the lovely arms of our dear Father.
I have a wonderful father, and yet it’s still hard for me to grasp the Father’s love. Thank you for this today. I think I needed it.
Thank you for this post.
I am so sorry you never had that earthly father but am thankful you found a father in our God. Just think though, you may not be a male but you can still be that influence, encouragement and love to someone else that also misses it. It doesn’t have to be your own children but anyone who also missed out on having a father.
Exquisite! Your words tore at my soul and comforted all at once. When my husband comes home tonight the first words to greet him will be thank you. He is a wonderful father. It touches my heart to see his affection and tenderness toward our daughter. Thank you for sharing so openly.
This was such a comforting post. As a fatherless daughter, it was much needed.
As one who has had her father in and out of her life, this was a great encouragement.
What a beautiful post. What a great reminder of such powerful truth! God will never be absent from our lives and having a less than perfect father just drives us closer and more frequently to Him.
Thank you for your theraputic words!!
this post ministers to the soul, friend. thank you. xo
I continue to be surprised, as I meet people in blog-world and read their stories, that I see over and over again that God really does redeem, heal, and restore all things. Thank you for sharing your story. I really, really like the paraphrase of Exodus 14:14–is that the Message?
I read this earlier in the week and was very touched, but am just now coming to actually write my thoughts. As we were leaving my parents, having taken my mom and dad out for lunch for Father’s day, my dad hugged me and held on tight. He whispered in my ear that he wanted me to know he loved me. I told him I did and then he added that I was special, and again said he loved me, a little choked up. My dad saying he loved me was not necessarily abnormal – it is the opposite of greeting me – it is the good bye. The emotion was different. Sentimental like. My dad has always been around, but quite a few of your examples were him (more than half). I thank God that God has always been a part of my life and saw me through some tough times growing up and delivered me from anger at my dad about his inability to be available emotionally. To be my spiritual guide, let alone, allow me or show me I was his “princess.” I found myself turning off certain stations last week that went on and on about father’s day. It did touch a spot. Then I read your post, and was reminded of some things God has brought to light for me in the past couple months. Thank you for the post!
Happy you found the bestest dad.
hi Mary Leigh,
this was just beautiful–i loved this: “Stop swinging your arms like a small child fighting someone bigger. You waste your energy. Let Him stand between you and danger. He wants to fight your battles. It is like He is telling you, “Step back, little one. Be take deep breaths. Stop shaking. Wipe your nose on your sleeve. Be still. I’ll take care of this for you” (Exodus 14:14).”
this spoke so strongly–as if these were God’s direct words to me today– i needed these words–just step back, child–let me take care of you–let me fight the battles. i had a dream/nightmare last night about one of the people that hurt me, and this morning i broke and cried out to God about it. i forgave this person, but it continually comes up over and over, especially when i hear through someone else that they said they would do the same again and they dont seem to know they were wrong.
God is doing it, and with the help of friends like you–you have been amazing. thank you for helping to restore my faith in the body of Christ and God.
i do not have a father that wasnt there, like you. as a matter of fact, my dad was a pastor and was there with us all our lives. early on, when i was very little, my mom stayed home, and to make ends meet, he was always at work, most nights when we went to bed, and on weekends. sometimes he missed things. but because he was a constant part of our lives, i didnt feel a huge hole–just maybe some regret of some moments missed–something that my husband and i are doing very differently with our children. and there was some dysfunction, (i dont want to be dramatic and say abuse) that has been hard to get over, and has affected me in my adult life. that is what he asked forgiveness for, and i am on the path to forgiving not only him but my mother as well. it is hard when those we try to forgive continue to hurt. he was severely abused, as as his mother, and my mother was also abused and did not grow up in a christian home, so i feel they did the best they could as God healed them. but there are still the echos of pain…and God is helping me to deal with it.
i want to very humbly ask something…you have been such a great friend to me and a mentor–probably much more than you know. we are probably coming up to TN for our anniversary next month. what would you think about us stopping by to meet you?
i left a little response for you to your most recent comment on my blog–as always such a comfort to see you there.
blessings and prayers ;),
p.s. sorry so long…did not mean to write a novel…maybe we should exchange email? but i do like communicating this way–about what we pour out to God–it is refreshing and convicting.
Beautifully written… read by a fatherless daughter with a hole in my soul only God the father could heal.
So touching and beautiful, sweetie! I’m so sorry you didn’t have the father you needed but so glad you do now. I know this will bless many who have been down the same road. Blessings to you, dear one!
Beautiful! Every word is mine, your story is my story. Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one.
Wow. I just love this post … it easily could have been written about my earthly father. Thank you for the inspiration this Fathers Day. I also cling to the truth that God is the Father to the fatherless. Look forward to following this blog in the future.
Dear Mary Leigh,
May He continue to hold you closely. May you know how deeply you are Loved. May the scars be healed and the sting ease. I love you, sweet friend. 🙂
That was sweet. Thankfully I had a great stepdad and still do. But my son’s do not have a father do to drunk driving. The Big One did not even know it was Fathers Day untl our Pastor said something. It made me a little sad.
This made me cry. My dad barely speaks to me, so Father’s day is hard.
oh, this is so beautiful. yes.
I had a wonderful father but do I recall any words of encouragement? I knew he was “there” but talking wasn’t his thing until toward the end. Then he talked and hugged his last few years on earth. Pretty cool. God sent me a wonderful man who encourages and protects and stands in front of me to guard – he believes in me, loves unconditionally and raised my son to be an amazing man. God is a wonderful Father.
Thank you for this. My mother passed away 4 years ago, and my father left my life several years before that. I came across a photo of him, my half-brother, and my stepmother via a paternal cousin’s fb page. I instantly began to cry. Not necessarily because I miss him, but because I feel an emptiness in my heart. Your post reminded me that I have my Father in heaven, and he is all the father I need. Thank you so much for helping me to dry my tears.
Thank you for your inspired message. My earthly father died when I was 2 and the father of my children abandoned us when they were 2,4, and 6 years of age. Now, my daughter was abandoned by her husband when she was pregnant with my granddaughter, now 3 years of age. While I know God is a father to the fatherless and have most certainly relied on Him for that, it was painful to see my daughter and sons long for a tangible dad and the pain continues as I now see my granddaughter long for a daddy. Even though she has never known her father, she is noticing that she doesn’t have one. I see the familiar longing in her eyes and I feel a deep ache in my heart because I know the challenges she faces. It doesn’t make sense to me. We are good people who honor God and are morally upstanding. I often wonder why there is now a third generation in my family that must experience this. Whatever our lot, I will continue to trust Him and to bless His holy name. Your message brings comfort and encouragement.
I’m glad you re-shared this post. I’ve read it before, but today was the perfect day to link to it at My Place to Yours.
What a beautiful post. I am blessed to have had an earthly father that loved and cherished me. I am doubly blessed knowing that my heavenly father loves me even more!
I’m so thankful fo my Father in heaven.
Absolutely beautiful! My husband had an absent father, so through him I know the pain that inflicts. Thank you for writing this. I’d love for you to link-up on my blog http://www.heartreflected.com (found you through Still Saturday)
This brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps to my arms! I am fortunate to have a very present father who is also an awesome grandfather to my daughters. Lovely post.
Here’s my Spiritual Sunday post:
Thank you for this. My father is not a part of my life. He dealt with addiction for the majority of my childhood and (as far as I know) still deals with it. I stopped allowing him in my life about 8 years ago because I didn’t want my children to have to be exposed to the types of behaviors he displayed. I remember our pastor telling me that it’s right to love and forgive a parent but you don’t have to continue to allow abuse in your life.
Hi! It’s my first time here. I came via Shell. That’s how I think about adoption. We are ALL adopted into the family of God. We all have the same playing field in his Kingdom – no more, no less – which such a precious thing, isn’t it?
Bless you for the encouragement.
I love you, Maryleigh. This is beautiful. So beautiful. Thank you 🙂
I so needed this.
Funny how God brings us to a place we need to be … I wrote a post today that made my heart weep. And remembering to live in Christ was just exactly where I needed to be – thank you xxxx
Pingback:Father's Day for the Fatherless | Christians Anonymous
Sometimes folks do the best they can and sometimes they don’t. My Mom has broken the cycle of physical abuse but has been unable to break the cycle of verbal/emotional blackmail/abuse. I’m okay with that; she’s done the best she can and I’ve learned how to protect myself. When we get to heaven, it’ll all be perfect!
You’ve won the JRRTolkien plaque on my giveaway; you’ve until noon 6/20/15 to give me your snail mail address. Congratulations!
Thank u Maryleigh, I am comforted that God steps in to feel the void. Anna and I once read about our dad when he was featured in the paper with his other family as a Father’s Day tribute, he had seen us only a maybe twice and we weren’t mentioned when he discussed the number of kids he had, life is complex but I think one day all things will have their moment for judgement. Thank u for recognizing those who stand alone without fathers in life.
It breaks my heart, Mary, that there are fathers who don’t love like they should. I cannot fathom what was in my dad’s heart – how you cannot just fall in love with your children. God, though – I asked him to fill that void – to be that dad for me – and He has. I cannot wait to feel God’s big bear hug one day – and be in the physical presence of it!
Very well written. I too write about father issues and how my faith has helped me through. I’m very glad to have found your blog and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
This is very touching. Dad has very important role in all kids’ growing stages, especially when kids developing their ideas about love, relations and emotions. Dad just like a model for kids to learn. But some of the dads get used to leave most of the childcare work for moms to do it.
So currently I’m doing a campaign that aims for encouraging dads to share childcare work with moms; build up strong relation between father and kids; and enjoy fatherhood;
If you interested in fatherhood topic, welcome to visit my sites, thanks.
So beautiful Maryleigh.
Blessings, Paula! Thank you! ~ Maryleigh