The Reflect Series....my story...part 1

aaaand we're off!!!!!  Remember I said I started a new series? Well, I finally hit the publish button to start telling my story and go through some more healing....
First things first.this is not a pity party story.  I don't speak of anything for some pats on the back.  I share this for the praise of God and His undeniable mercy and grace! :) 

So, here we go.....part 1

{for the intro, see here, A New Series}


I saw Matt sitting in our home in front of a room full of college students to whom he's just been teaching Matthew 18….about becoming like children and not causing children to stumble and what the humility of a child really means.

Our oldest little girl, Anna Jaymes, 7 years old, has just crawled up in his lap.  Her long body limp against him and her arms wrapped around him, head lying on his chest.

His arms embrace her. 

He has asked us what made us stumble as children.

and as I look at them sitting there, it hits me again, and I remember… 

the long, caring, loving embrace of a father are so far from my understanding.

and how does that affect me still now, I wonder.

and the tears come.

Wait, what?? Am I making this up? Why are there tears?

But, I have already been down this road…this loooong road of healing, haven't I?  Dealing with pain, overcoming the emptiness, and finally grasping that God Himself is the only One who will fill that void in my heart and satisfy my greatest craving for love.  I have already realized all of this, haven't I?  I have totally and undoubtedly forgiven anyone and everyone involved in any hurt in my life, whether they meant hurt or not. I expect nothing more from them. I'm not looking for anything.

Well, maybe I have dealt with the pain, healed from it and moved on….

Maybe I stopped looking for love elsewhere.

Maybe I learned that Matt wouldn't even fill that void.

But, did I ever fully start receiving the complete, perfect, caring love from my Heavenly Father? Did I ever really start knowing Him as Who He truly is?  Did I ever replace my misconceptions with absolute truth of Who He is?

What does that even look like?  How in the world does a spiritual love and care like that even come across?  a heavenly Father's embrace? His unconditional love, His quick forgiveness? His loving discipline? His caring for all of my details? His pursuing me.

Seeing Matt's continuous love and attention for the kids….I see it and wonder, what does that all feel like? Am I missing those details spiritually? Do those feelings received from an earthly father truly reflect what comes from the Spiritual Father? 

...because that's not what I imagine I receive from God, even after lots of healing...maybe I just don't recognize.

Have I only received what I had known to receive? or thought I had known to receive?  Have I only received what I could personally picture as a father figure?  
Have I laid the wrong understandings and expectations on the One True Father? Have I cut myself short because of my misconceptions?  Have I "limited" God in my understanding  because of what I'm choosing to believe and what I'm doubting from the Word? 

Of course I have.

Am I really even honest with myself about what I'm doubting?

Does the lack of the physical really inhibit the spiritual that much?? and it’s not like I lacked it all and I'm sure there were other factors….but, I had a wonderful, loving mother and grandparents who helped raise me and even a loving, Godly step father for many years until he passed away. and especially a grandfather who was my buddy and father figure for all of my years growing up.

Have I only tasted the Father’s love these past 15 years though since beginning the healing process? only tasted what the True love of a perfect Heavenly Father is?  and not fully received what all it entails and what else is there waiting for me???

These are all of the questions pounding in my head.

….and the word "doubt" begins to haunt my thoughts.  There's so much that I easily believe and have faith in.  Then there's so much truth I easily shy away from and barely attempt to believe….without even realizing it.  I'm just numb to it. The walls are up there.  And some of it, maybe I read it, and don't really know what it looks like, so I don't even realize I brush it off.


and then…as I try to make sense of it all…..I am thankful…remembering that in God's great mercy, and I mean, true mercy….He rescued me out of the pit those many years ago as I left high school….He changed my path and brought me into a life I could never even pretend that I deserve.  Then a few years later, He gave me Matt, who had to prayerfully pursue my stubborn self so that I could see an unrelenting love….and then God let me have children with this wonderful man who had become my husband….and when he became a father…I was allowed the opportunity to begin seeing a father's love so good and pure and committed….and since then, I continue to see a good love…..present, pursuing, unconditional and caring.  

So I can glimpse, firsthand what it's supposed to be like.

Ooooh, it is only His grace that He has given me this man to be this example to me.

...and now I'm left affirmed that I'm right, because even as I had just been wondering if I had fabricated in my mind that the same good things from a physical father should exist from the spiritual father….I realize….that if this verse is true….

"If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him." {Matthew 7: 11}

and if we are made in His image {Genesis 2:27}, 

and if all good things and perfect gifts come from Him {James 1:17}….

then, yes I must believe that anything good that comes from an earthly father is only a picture of what is even better from the spiritual Heavenly Father.

Why have I neglected that simple truth?

So yes, I want to specifically replace my misconceptions with the Truth of Who He is.  

and so begins this journey of truly knowing the Father.

saying farewell to the lies and welcoming the Truth like never before.

and in the process, I want to share the rest of my story with you....whatever that may be...however He leads me.  

and I would love to hear your story, too.  It is not only the absence of a father that can breed these misconceptions, lies and life struggles. I know it's different for everyone. Whatever your past, the Father wants you to know HIM, intimately and genuinely.  I would love to hear more and walk through this healing together. Please feel welcome to comment, or email me. :)


and I need to say again…..what has always baffled me, is that I have had wonderful family to love me my whole life, a grandfather I saw as a "dad," people to love me in the absence of my father.  And the times I have spent with my father, he is loving and kind.  He has been great with our children now. Yet, absence obviously can have a really strong effect on a child.  And although my stepdad was even there, my desire for my father helped me keep a distance from my stepdad and a lack of contentment….and that, among other details, I'm sure, grew me into a hurting young girl who sought love, security and fulfillment in the wrong places.
and a side note….
Only a few years after I had worked through my stubbornness at accepting my step dad, he suddenly passed away.  I was so thankful I had at least mended that relationship with him,  I only wished I would have had longer to keep building it.  From that experience, however I learned that the regrets are the hardest thing about someone dying and it has proven to be a blessing to me in encouraging me to live with no regrets in my relationships since then....which means lots of confession and forgiveness!  Not that I have done it perfectly by any means, but it's a lingering realization that stays with me from that relationship. 


Start at the beginning here...
"A new series..."


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