A Fatherless Father’s Day

Growing up, Father’s Day was always an awful time for me. My father was never around. For a long time I never had someone to look up to, nor someone to put in the role of father. Like many, I was hurt and felt betrayed. I absolutely hated the idea of God because I always heard people call him ‘The Father’. Because of this I couldn’t know who God was or what he was calling me to. I don’t have many memories of my father but the ones I do have are awful. All I know about him has come from stories and very hazy memories.

Almost three years ago, my sister got married. Little did I know, this was the start of a very long and painful healing process. I was talking on the phone with my mom one day when she brought up that my sister had invited our dad to her wedding. I was livid. Although I kept my thoughts and opinions to myself, I was secretly hoping and praying that something would happen to make it impossible for my father to come to the wedding. Eventually I found out he wasn’t going to be there, but the anger never went away. My dad declined my sister’s wedding invitation because ‘he couldn’t bear to see someone else walk my sister down the aisle’. It wasn’t until all of this came about, that I realized the hold that the absence of my father played in my life.

In my anger, I prayed. I plead with God. I told Him how angry I was. I yelled, screamed, punched my pillow, and used some pretty strong words that I am not proud of. I realized that I wasn’t angry at my father. How could I be when I barely even knew the man? I was mad at God. I couldn’t possibly wrap my head around how ‘the Creator of heaven and earth, healer, provider, Almighty God’, could let such awful things happen to His children. Once I was done yelling at God, I sat and I listened. I sat on my bed, a big blubbering mess, and expected answers. When my tapping of the foot and eye rolling didn’t get an answer out of Him, I decided to go to His word.

Listening to my Father

I then came across two passages that have spoken into my life in more ways than I can count. The first was Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” God allowed Habakkuk to go through the storms and trials so that God could be glorified. Habakkuk didn’t necessarily know what God was going to do, but God had it under control.

The second passage I was brought to was Colossians 3:12-13, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Upon reading this passage, I broke down. I was striving to be the woman that God had called me to be, but always felt inadequate. I knew something was standing in the way. I needed to forgive.

When father’s day rolled around, about 2 years ago, I decided that it was time. I sat down, prayed, and wrote. I wrote a letter to my father. I asked the hard questions, I told him I was upset with him, I explained my journey, and finally, I told him I forgave him. In no way did I want a relationship with him, but I needed to forgive him in order for me to be able to move on. I didn’t get the response I was expecting, but I was free from the hurt and turmoil he had left behind. I clung to God and He restored what once was a very bitter day for me. God showed me what a father truly was. He saved me.