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 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?
God cares about our stories. Your story matters.
I’ve always tried to fit in, to be “normal” like everyone else around me. But, as my journey for answers unfolded, I discovered the broken pieces I tried to hide about myself were the very things God celebrates as beauty. You are no less beautiful, friend!
God invites us to embrace our true worth, because brokenness is made beautiful in God’s love.
During the pandemic last year, I began to write my third book about this journey to find my father and share what God taught me about brokenness made beautiful. I am writing this book to empower each woman to blossom in her true worth.
As I captured my stories on paper, God brought me back to His faithful promises in the Bible that comforted, strengthened, and encouraged me as a little girl. I believe each woman who reads this new book will gain the same encouragement to celebrate who God created her to be. As I learned to make sense of the past in light of God’s truth, I was renewed with peace, courage, and joy to face my challenges today in the present.
As we step into the new year, I want to cheer you on with a few of God’s beautiful love notes for your soul. Hear God’s whispers of love to you today:
You are my beloved. You are mine.
The Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid — I will save you.
I have called you by name — you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1 (GNT)
I will always hold you tenderly through the night with my love.
By day the Lord directs His love,
at night his song is with me –
a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8 (NIV)
I will always take care of you. No matter what.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.
Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
I will always be faithful to love you with kindness.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
(Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)
As I share the most vulnerable stories of my heart to release my new book this year, I’ll be holding onto these promises from God, my Forever Father. He’s holding onto you, too. As you step into the new year, turn from fear and uncertainty and look down. Embrace your true worth as God’s beloved daughter. See Jesus folding His hand into yours, tenderly whispering, You are worth loving in the new year. You are my beloved.