See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I hugged my pink stuffed poodle to my chest. We were about to have a serious conversation, even though I would be the only one talking. My ten-year-old self looked into his black button eyes and confided the empty ache that I dare not admit to anyone. I didn’t say the words out loud. I didn’t need to. We were close like that.
I wish I had a daddy who loved me, I began. I wish I had a daddy who would kiss me on the cheek when he came home from work, tickle my sides after catching me in a game of chase, and carry me piggyback in the park. I wish I had a daddy who liked me. Hugged me. Said nice things about me.
I wish my daddy didn’t ignore me and act like I wasn’t in the room. I wish I wasn’t afraid of him. I wish I had a daddy who loved me. Poodle understood.
I remember sitting at my friend’s house watching her daddy stroke her long red hair as she sat in his lap and leaned her head on his chest. For the two of them, it was nothing special. To me it was magical. I tried not to stare. Mr. Jack loved his daughters and I wished I were one of them.
The scars of being an unwanted child, an abused child, or even an ignored child run deep. They cut against the very grain of what God intended the relationship between a parent and child was created to be. But even the deep trenches left on a little girl heart, trenches cut like careless tires through soggy earth, can be filled in with God’s love and healed by His grace.
No parent is perfect. None can be available all the time—physically or emotionally. From time to time parents are too controlling, too protective, or too permissive. They lose their temper, patience, and control. They fly off the handle and fly by the seat of their pants. All parents have feet of clay—including me!
Maybe that’s your story, hopefully not. But here’s something that is your story, and mine. We all have a daddy who loves us. That is God the Father.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He said, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you… your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, (Matthew 6:6,8-9)
Of all the names Jesus used for God, He used Father more than any other…and He invites us to do the same.
John wrote: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1 NIV). Think about that. The God of the universe who created the heavens and the earth; who always has been and always will be; who is all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere at once—that same God invites you to call Him Abba (meaning Daddy).
One day my friend, Gayle, had her granddaughter, Carlie, and her little friend in the back seat of her car while she ran errands. Carlie knew her daddy; her friend had never known hers.
While riding in the car, Carlie’s little friend said, “I wish I had a daddy like you have a daddy.”
Carlie replied, “Oh, you do have a daddy.”
“No, I don’t. I want a daddy like you have a daddy. I wish I had a daddy.”
“But you do have a daddy,” Carlie insisted. “We all have a daddy. God is our daddy. He’s everybody’s daddy.”
Gayle looked in her rear view mirror and saw Carlie’s friend hold up her hands in exasperation. “Why has nobody ever told me this?!”
No matter what kind of father you had as a child, here’s one thing I want you to remember: you have a Heavenly Father who loves and adores you. You are the apple of your Daddy’s eye (Psalm 17:8).
Heavenly Father, oh how I love You. Thank You for adopting me into Your family and making me your child. Thank You for being my heavenly parent who loves me unconditionally, cares for me unendingly, and provides for all my needs. I am so blessed to be Your child.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Make a list of what you would consider the perfect father. Now put a check by the characteristics found in your Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father, oh how I love You. Thank You for adopting me into Your family and making me Your child. Thank You for being my heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally, care for me unendingly, and provides for all my needs. I am so blessed to be Your child. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
More from the Girlfriends
Father is just one of the many names for God in the Bible. To learn more about the His many names and what they mean for you, grab a copy of Knowing God by Name written by Sharon, Gwen, and Mary. Better yet, grab a book and a handful of girlfriends and go through the book together!
© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Beautiful devotional, Sharon. It appears as if we had a similar experience regarding earthly fathers.
My father was physically and emotionally abusive and the main emotion I had for him would be the definition of “terrified.” And it scars.
But it is a great gift that we have another Father, who is God. I would not be here without Him. I know He would like me to forgive my earthly father and with His help I will do that. It is a process, but with my Godley Father nothing is impossible. Blessings to you, Sharon.
While mine is the mother wound, you painted such an intimately painful childhood experience that only God can heal. A beautiful devotional.
Unspoken prayer request please!
My father was also very different, memories then we can talk about with out tears, with siblings laugh, not during growing up years,or early adult with family, he made me in the long to be a determined better mom and parent with my children, not a little house on the prairer or Waltons. This hallmark mom couldn’t buy most wonderful father cards, or walk into his home with joy unspeakably and full of love, my heavenly father helped me to forgive, and love him. Somewhere in his lifetime he was a little boy what his life was like, we never knew, silence always. Looked into genealogy, found his parents names, it a blank wall his past, names and grave sites, and names, places, could never compare to God my heavenly father, he knows my name, and doesn,doesn’t, forget it, loves me shows me he cares, walk with me , is silent when he listens to me, and talks to me.can,t change my birth parents, forgiveness has happened and healing long time ago. But God as our heavenly father never, ever, leaves us, we need to look up with opened arms and receive his presence, hecwaits for us.
Thanks for sharing. Sometimes we think we’re the only one. Yes God is our Heavenly father. What a blessing!
I so loved your share “Best Daddy of All”. When you have an earthly father that does not fill the daddy hole in your heart life can be so painful. But, trust in knowing that there is ONE who will fill your heart to overflowing.I too was scarred from a rough and gruff, alcoholic father. Thankfully I knew God all of my life, beginning with the visitation of Angels when I was eight years old. He was who I talk to in my darkest nights. But I get to rejoice because three years before my father died, He came to know Jesus and in a very profound way I might add. His last years on earth he made things right with all six of his children! Now my thoughts towards him or sweet. That is the Daddy God that we serve. There is always hope and it can be found in the arms of our Heavenly Father, our Daddy God!
Thank you for your beautiful ministry, Sharon. I have a group of ladies we color selves the Yaya sisters and we have been together for 12 years and more often than not we share the devotions from girlfriends in God. Many blessings to you!
Your sister in Christ, daughter of the same Daddy, Rebecca
Thanks Sharon for your reminder of how blessed we are to have the love of our wonderful Heavenly Father. Your words brought painful memories of the earthly fathers’s love I never knew. It reassured me of how God loves me without fail, and I’m so grateful!
I never met my Father and had no father figures in my life and when God called me I finally knew my Daddy. I laughed at the little girl in the backseat saying “Why has nobody ever told me this?” It is true. We all have a loving Father just waiting for us acknowledge him. Thank you for sharing this devotional!
Being one of those who had a wonderful Dad, always it makes me so sad to know that so many little girls do not have that. However, Thank you for sharing how all the little girl in the backseat needed was to be told that she did have a Father who loved her……….”Why has nobody ever told me this?” ….I had the security of an earthly father who loved me and knew there was a God but it was not until I was 40 years old that I found out how approachable and loving God the Father was!!! I laugh now but my reaction was just like the little girl in the back seat…….”Why has nobody ever told me this?”…………we assume if people believe in God or go to church they know that they can actually talk to him!!!!! I just found out my dearest friend, had no clue……..did not even own a Bible!!!! Let’s just, I will not assume anymore……..Love being a daughter of our Father!!!!!
Oh Sharon, how we love to Share around here! I lvoe being a daughter of our Father who art in Heaven!!!! I am only a teenager but I inherited this form my laptop lovin Mom and Aunts! The best security a young girl or any senior citizen of 40 and above should “dwell in” forever! I’d just walk and walk and walk the streets of Brooklyn with news like this!
GOD IS GOOD!