Be Interrupted

Mother and daughter

As many of you know, this past Christmas/New Year my mum visited London to see me for the first time since I moved here. Before she arrived, I had a long list of wonderful London things I wanted us to do. Visiting Paris and Madrid was also on the agenda. Mum had never been to Europe and I was set on giving her the best time possible, which meant having a packed itinerary for three full weeks.

A couple of days in I realised that though she appreciated my efforts, she was just excited to see me.

She didn’t care about getting stuff done. The holiday was about us spending time together after almost five years apart. To her, it was about rich conversation and laughter and fun. It was about connection. It was about relaxation. After all, it was a holiday for both of us. She was eager to see the city I call home but what mattered is that she was doing it with me.

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To the Girl Without a Father

Creative Commons. Lauren Hammond

I wrote this letter to myself and every other “Fatherless girl” many months ago, and it was probably the most healing collection of words I have ever written. I tried to publish it on a number of other blogs because it seemed a little too “close to home” for my own site. I may seem honest on here, but I am privately open. There are some things I keep close to my heart and one of them is my experience of not knowing my father when I was growing up.

However, last night when I was working out what to publish today, it felt right. I’m ready for my past to help others as I know there are many girls and women who have struggled as I have. I am simultaneously terrified and excited to share this with you.

As you read, try to remember that today I am different. Today I have a relationship with my earthly father that the girl in this story didn’t. Today and every day, the Lord is restoring the years that the locusts have stolen.

***

Precious girl. You’ve lived your while life trying to convince people that you are loveable. You’ve spent years being loud and outrageous so that others would take notice and think you were special, when deep down you didn’t even believe it yourself. You just so desperately wanted it to be true. Are you tired? I can see it on your face despite your sweet youth.

All that smiling and pretending, all the pining for attention, it came from somewhere deep and dark in your then-adolescent heart. Somewhere lonely. It came from the place that housed the lie that has defined your life until now; that you were unwanted.

There was a guy. His aloofness towards you was attractive because you didn’t know you deserved more. He took your tender heart into his uncaring hands and broke it a little bit more. It hurt, but the rejection was all too familiar and before long it had happened again with someone else. Though you were hurt, you weren’t surprised by this pattern because it only drove the point home further: rejection was your birth right. Lies, lies, lies. Still hanging over your now-adult head and still stealing your joy, your security and your identity.

After seeking out male love and validation for your whole life, you finally met a good man with faithful intentions. It was terrifying. His affection and devotion toward you came up against the solid brick wall you had built around your heart. Every single time he attempted to shed light on the truth that you are beautiful, funny and talented…. BAM. You were both trying so hard; him to convince you that you were worth loving, and you to believe him. It became exhausting for both of you and you pushed him away for the final time. You couldn’t let him in because you weren’t ready, but God knows you tried.

“Where to now?” you’ve been thinking. You can’t seem to find the fulfillment you need, every relationship is a dead-end and you constantly feel empty. I know, I’ve been there and it’s incredibly frustrating. You want to be whole and happy but you don’t know how. You know God loves you in your head but nothing is changing; you aren’t changing.

Little lady, it’s time you knew it in your heart.

The rejection that hung over your childhood like a dark cloud and labelled you as unworthy, it broke you when you were just an innocent little girl. Your beautiful mother did an amazing job of pouring love into you, but she couldn’t fill the gap of your father. There’s no shame in your brokenness but there’s also no life in it, and definitely no future for you there. Now, after experiencing first hand that no man can heal you, it’s high time you let God do what He’s best at. It’s time you let Him be your Father.

Restoration is waiting at your door. Will you open it and invite Him in?

There was no one to tell you the truth when you were young, so of course you didn’t know it. There was no Dad to lift you high on his shoulders and plant seeds of self-worth. There was no male role-model to set you apart as unique, lovely and talented. You didn’t have an adoring Daddy to admire your pretty dress and sweet laugh. That isn’t fair and it wasn’t meant to be this way.

But it’s not too late! Not now, not ever.

Jesus has a plan which starts with exposing, attacking and eradicating the lies that you are unwanted, rejected and not valuable. He will then replace those now vacant spaces in your heart with the truth: that you are absolutely loved, fully accepted and devastatingly beautiful.

Restoration is waiting at your door. Will you open it and invite Him in?

No boyfriend or husband, no matter how much he loves you, can fill that gaping hole that has been left by your absent father. Your partner can be an extension of God’s love for you, but he alone will never be enough. It is a father shaped hole, and thankfully our God is the greatest Father of all.

You are enough as you are, and God is enough for you as He is.

All it takes is a whisper that yes, you’ll invite Him in. Over time as you experience God’s redemptive love; that whisper will become a shout in the face of the lies that have held you back all this time.

You are loved and you do have a Father!

So sweet girl, take your broken heart off your sleeve and pass God the baton, ‘cause He’s got it covered from here. As He redefines your value and rewrites your future, you will shine. You won’t have to convince yourself and the world that you are lovable, because your newfound identity as a precious daughter of Christ will do it for you.

Restoration is waiting at your door. Will you open it and invite Him in?

***

Please leave a comment so that I’m not left here feeling vulnerable and stupid. Was your father around; was he what you needed? Do you relate to this girl I am writing the letter to?