Sometimes I forget that I am a fatherless daughter. It may sound odd, but it’s true. Yes, most days I’m just not consciously dwelling on my absent father in the frenzied fluidity of everyday life.
But then there are those random, unexpected moments that seem to fall out of the sky to remind me of my father’s absence. Just a few months ago, I was standing at the checkout counter of our local Jockey store. I was kid-free and simply in a hurry to exchange some white undershirts for my husband. I casually glanced beside me to see a man and his teen daughter checking out as well. They were buying a bra, and seeing them made me almost grin and think to myself: “Hmmm, that’s interesting…a man buying a bra with his daughter. Isn’t that more for a mother-daughter outing?”
But then I glanced over again at the father take out his wallet while his daughter quietly stood beside him. There was such undeniable tenderness in his face. Suddenly, I felt a lump in my throat as the thought hit me: “Your father was never there to help you navigate those awkward and uncertain teen years.”
A lump still in my throat, I smiled at the Jockey sales associate and told her to have a nice afternoon as I whisked out the door. Tears brimmed up to my eyelids as I drove away from the store, trying to catch up with my emotions. Here I found myself again in the pit of grief. A thirty-something mother and wife, but still feeling inside like a little girl crying sobbing, “Daddy, where are you?”
And if you’re a young woman like me with father wounds, chances are these “where are you?” daddy moments are continual and inevitable, sneaking up on you and me at the most random of times throughout the years. So what’s a “fatherless” girl like us to do?
Well, I’m learning the best way to prepare my fatherless heart for moments like these is to be anchored in God’s Word. Being anchored means allowing my heart, my mind, and emotions to be deeply rooted in the reality of who God is as my Heavenly Father. I’ve found it empowering to memorize a few verses to recall for those times I feel fatherless. Below are four of my favorite ones to take to heart. They’re simple, they’re short, and they all have the word “father” in them!
- Psalm 103:13 – “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”
- Psalm 68:5– “A father to the fatherless… is God in His holy habitation.”
- I John 3:1– “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.”
- Romans 8:15– “…but you have received a spirit of adoption, as sons [daughters] by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Can I challenge you to pick just one of these verses and really meditate on it this week? Write it on an index card, and post it somewhere visible like your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Not only memorize it, but affirm it in your prayers and start declaring its truth (silently and a loud!) in those moments you feel anything less than a beloved daughter of your Heavenly Father.
I’m confident you’ll be amazed at how God will bless you for choosing to meditate on His Word. For it’s in knowing His Word that you will know His heart. And God certainly longs to reveal his Father heart to you, friend. He is always pursuing you. He is always waiting for you. And He is always speaking to you through His Word, the Bible. You and I may not know when the next wave of grief may hurl our way and seem to overwhelm our hearts. However, we can be confident that knowing and declaring God’s Word keeps our hearts anchored in the Father’s love.
Scripture to Savor: “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
Reflect and Respond: What are some of your other “go-to” verses when you feel fatherless? How has memorizing God’s Word impacted your personal journey of healing from father wounds or rejection in general?