My father left when I was seven years old, but I always held out hope that one day he might come back to see me again.
When it came time for my birthday each year, I secretly believed a card from him would arrive. Since I walked home from school, I was always the first in my family to check the mailbox. But, as each year passed, I never did find what I longed to arrive from the post office.
When I graduated from high school and stood at the podium giving my graduation speech addressing my senior classmates, I still looked for him in the stands. I thought maybe once I turned eighteen, my father would appear in the crowd as it dispersed. I imagined it to be like an after-school movie special and I would finally be reunited with the man who was missing from my life.
But no such person came forward to shake my hand or call me daughter. And that’s when I decided it was time to grow up and to stop wishing for such childish things. I remember getting on an airplane for the first time to fly down south to Los Angeles to go to college. As I sat looking out the window, seeing the city I grew up in disappear as the plane climbed into the clouds, I remember whispering to Jesus, “It’s just you and me, Jesus. Thank you for taking care of me. I love you.” Then, I decided to stop wondering why my father left and why he never came back for me. A new exciting chapter of life and my future was opening up to me and I was happy to leave my questions in the past.
I told myself that my Heavenly Father was the only dad who took care of me all these years anyhow. I had asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was seven years old, sitting in the back of an old-fashioned revival meeting one night. From the moment I heard words read from a book called the Bible – that God loved me so much, He sent His only Son to suffer and die for me – I went from being a little girl who had been abandoned to becoming the adopted daughter of my Heavenly Daddy.
And because I loved reading books like gobbling chocolate chip cookies, I didn’t read the Bible as a manual for life. I read the Bible as love letters from God, who was now my Forever Father. I wanted to know everything about Jesus and He would be the one I would rely on from that day forward.
The Bible became the one loving voice in my life. My diary entries journaling how I felt, my questions, heartaches and dreams, and the promises I found in the Scriptures became intermingled in one place. God’s love whispered to me like a song in the night and Jesus became my all in all.
God takes our broken pieces and makes beautiful things with the touch of His love.
I never would have guessed that years later, once I became a mom of two boys, I would stumble on an old birth certificate and decide to investigate the secrets of my childhood. With Jesus as my guide, I began a search for answers to the questions I once abandoned: Where was my father and why did he leave?
But God in his abounding love says to me… to be continued on (in)courage where I’m posting today. I’m sharing a vulnerable but powerful truth with you! Join me there!
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