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Kia Stephens

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June 14, 2015

When You Feel Fatherless on Father’s Day

June 14, 2015 | By | 26 Comments

“It’s just another day,” she said in response to my question about Father’s Day.  She, being a 30 something friend of mine, who has never met her biological dad.  I assumed the day would conjure up feelings of sadness for her; but I was wrong.

It was more like being a foreigner on the 4th of July; the day came and went with no emotion.  And when the same question was asked to different people, they echoed this sentiment as well.  There was no sadness or anger, just indifference.

I am acquainted with their response, even though I know who my father is.  At one time I felt detached from the warm fuzzies associated with this day.  There were no memories of daddy daughter dates, late night talks, or boyfriend interrogations.  My less than ideal relationship left me feeling like an inside outsider.

I was not alone, a growing number of women stood on the periphery with me – and still do.  And sometimes, on the outside looking in, Father’s Day seemed like an exclusive club for the lucky few, rather than a national holiday. But I am now convinced that this day can be celebrated by every woman, even if she has a difficult or non existent relationship with her dad.

It happened for me.  Like that moment after a thunderstorm, when the clouds part and the sun shines through; I noticed a change in my attitude.  There was no longing, bitterness, disappointment or indifference; it had been replaced with perspective.

The impact of this new found state was shocking.  Was it really my brain those thoughts were coming from?  For so long my negative emotions were like gum sticking to the bottom of my soul.  I felt indefinitely cemented to my view.

Then, after years of prayer, periodic counseling, and many times of digging through the Bible in search of scriptures that applied to me, I changed. The prayer the apostle Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus was realized in my life. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling. . .” Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

When Paul said “the eyes of your heart”  he was referring to their understanding.   And although I spent most of my life on a pew, I needed the panoramic enlightenment found in that scripture to comprehend the hope found in Christ.  My faith was limited to the basics: confession of sin, faith in Jesus as God’s son, and a belief in eternal life.  But I did not see how the hope of His calling impacted me and my father.

I struggled to believe this hope pertained to the broken hearted daughter; but it does.  Nestled in the truth of that scripture is hope for those who feel no connection to Father’s Day.  Through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, we have the promise of acceptance and adoption by God.

Why Father's Day Matters memm 1

We are like children on the sidelines waiting to be picked for the team, when God says,”I choose you.”

Why Father's Day Matters Meme 2

 Yes, you who:

Were mistreated by your daddy,

Feel abandoned,

Lost your dad to cancer,

Long to be loved,

Never knew your father,

And feel indifferent on Father’s Day.

You are the one I want.”

He repeatedly communicates this truth in His word.

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”

Psalms 27:10 (NIV)

“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6: 18 (NIV)

“He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”

Ephesians 1: 5 (NIV)

“…The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry Abba Father.”

Romans 8:15 (NIV)

And please don’t be distracted by the word sonship;  know that if we (His daughters) are followers of Jesus Christ, God is our Father too.  

 This Aramaic word for Father is the term Christ used in the garden of Gethsemane.

As He approached the bloody culmination of His earthly work, He touched the heart of God by crying out, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 (NIV) And because Christ chose to endure the suffering of the cross, we too, are afforded that same level of intimacy with our heavenly Father.

Whether our earthly dad is physically present but emotionally absent, deceased, addicted, or missing, we can have a relationship with the perfect Father.  This is why Father’s Day matters; celebrating this day is not dependent on the relationship we have, or lack with our earthly dad.  On this day we can choose to honor God our heavenly Father.  And so, to the sovereign, almighty, merciful, and loving God who chose me – the woman on the sidelines – Happy Father’s Day!

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Comments

  1. Love this message! My husband is speaking on the fatherless this father’s day at our church. We are currently fostering to adopt and this something that is so near to us seeing that so many children grow up with out a dad. I cannot recall the stats my husband keeps telling me but they are heartbreaking. Many blessings to you, Tiffany
    Tiffany recently posted…music monday: give me jesus by jeremy campMy Profile

    • Hi Tiffany, The statistics are staggering – more than 20 million children live in homes without fathers. I pray your husbands message will effectively communicate the heart of God on this subject and may God bless you on your forthcoming adoption. I think what you are your husband are doing is awesome. Be blessed! – Kia Stephens

  2. Kia, great message! Everything that we may ever need can be found in our Father who is up above. This week, I wrote a post about my relationship with my own father. We do not speak often, and I haven’t seen him in several years. I have grown to be ok with this, and find comfort in God’s unconditional love.
    Laura recently posted…Living Above Broken Parental RelationshipsMy Profile

    • Laura, I am definitely going to read you post today. I totally understand less than perfect parental relationships. But God. . . His grace is sooooo sufficient and His love abounds more and more. May God continue to sustain and overwhelm you with His love and if it is His will I pray God will restore what can be restored between you and your father. He is able. Be blessed! – Kia

  3. Yes, it does matter.
    Happy Father’s Day to all outstanding men out there.

  4. You wrote so beautiful here and yet very encouraging Kia. We need to hear this always our earthly fathers aren’t perfect. They are first humans and are prune to mistakes.
    Our Heavenly Father is perfect in His love for us. He completes us.
    I enjoyed going through your blog and I am glad to meet you.
    Loads of Blessings.
    Ifeoma recently posted…How toxic are your thoughts?My Profile

    • Ifeoma this is so true, we are complete in Christ and is unconditional love for us. Thanks for joining the conversation at the Father Swap Blog. Be blessed! – Kia

  5. Lauren

    What a powerful post that resonates with me as a fatherless daughter who has known the richness of my relationship with our Abba Father! I pray this message will touch the hearts of many fatherless daughters who need to be reminded that God promises to be a “father to the fatherless!”

    • Lauren, I’m so glad this post spoke to you and I am truly honored that you allow me to be a part of your difficult but beautiful journey. May God’s love completely overwhelm you and your family. Be blessed! – Kia

  6. Oh, Kia! This is beautiful! I have the blessing of a great earthly dad … But the verses you chose to describe our Heavenly Father and how He chose us … Moved my heart. “You are the one I want.” I’ll be sharing this later today. Visiting from PurposfulFaith.
    Dianne Thornton recently posted…4 Practical Gifts Of Friendship In ActionMy Profile

    • Dianne, so glad this post impacted you today. Isn’t it incredible that whether our dads were present or absent we can have a relationship with the absolute perfect heavenly Father. For every believer He is that and it is so amazing and awesome. Glad you joined me today and I want to encourage you to be blessed! – Kia

  7. Yes! We have the perfect Father who chooses us everyday even when we feel alone or abandoned. He is the one we can rely on, turn to and know without a doubt will love us through every part of our lives. Thank you for this beautiful post.
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Life IntersectionsMy Profile

    • Mary you said that so well! I couldn’t agree with you more. In light of all the people I desperately wanted to choose me it is so comforting to know I have already been chosen by God – forever! Thanks for linking up with me today. Be blessed! – Kia

  8. Beautiful message! My earthly father died in March. He wasn’t perfect by any standards, but I loved him dearly. So, in the ache of his absence this Father’s Day, I’m turning to My Heavenly Daddy for comfort! Blessings, liz
    liz recently posted…For Crying Out LoudMy Profile

    • Oh wow Liz! Thank you for being so vulnerable with me. I am praying God’s sufficient GRACE would be more than enough for you this Father’s Day. I am confident that God will meet you at the very depth of your need for Him. I’ll be praying for you. Be blessed! – Kia

  9. Kia,

    Chosen daughter of the perfect Father.

    Beautiful. So beautifully written and expressed. Love you. Susan

    PS-I’m your neighbor at Holley Gerth’s today
    Susan B Mead recently posted…Oh My Heartsie Girls Wonderful Wednesday #106My Profile

    • Hey Susan,

      Thank you friend for you kind words. Truly God our perfect Heavenly Father. Glad you linked up with me today. Be blessed!

  10. Thanks for the beautiful post. I love it that God is our heavenly Father. I do have a wonderful earthly Dad, but I am putting way too much pressure on him if I expect him to fulfill the role in my life that only God can. Blessings to you and please share this at the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup. http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=1135
    Leslie recently posted…Happy Blogaversary: Thanks to My Blogging CommunityMy Profile

  11. Kia, you offer light in the darkness. I look forward to Sunday to celebrate my Abba Father. “Because Christ chose to endure the suffering of the cross, we too, are afforded that same level of intimacy with our heavenly Father.” Glad to by your neighbor at #livefreeThursday.
    Kelly Smith recently posted…The Truth of the Gospel Found in the Editor’s Red InkMy Profile

    • Kelly, I too celebrate God as my Abba Father. Isn’t it great to know the gift of salvation affords us an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father? Thanks so much for joining the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  12. Kia,

    Thank you for these powerful reminders that even though there are some of us who experienced the heart-wrenching emotions of being unwanted by an earthly father, we have a Heavenly Father who WANTS and accepts us unconditionally!

    Sweetest blessings to you!

    • Yes Leigh, we are wanted 365 days a year by a God who deems us valuable in His sight. May every woman who has ever been rejected by her earthly father know this with certainty. Thank you for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  13. What a beautiful message Kia! It’s wonderful that no matter what the situation may be with our earthly father, we can always have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Praising God that I am chosen, cherished, and loved by Him!

    • I’m right there with you Kelly! This is my heart, that every woman would know this truth that you so succinctly stated. Thank you for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  14. Thanks for joining us at the #LMMLinkup.

    • No problem Leslie. Thanks for the invite and for joining the conversation on The Father Swap Blog. Be blessed! – Kia

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