Goodnight Baby Painting by Colin Bootman; Goodnight Baby Art Print for saleI never had a daddy…

I had a father; a cold, distant, strict, father. I do not have a memory of ever sitting on my father’s knee; or of him hugging me (although I’ve seen pictures of my father and I when I was an infant). I was never comfortable around him. So much so, that I couldn’t be alone with him in the same room. I always had to have other people with us in order for me to be able to stay in the same room with him. There was just a tense, uneasy atmosphere around him. He was never abusive. I do not have a memory of my father ever giving me a hiding. He was not verbally abusive either; in fact, he rarely talked to me. The only times he did talk to me was to give instructions or to scold me. He was a quiet, cold man and I was afraid of him.

Yet in social settings, he was this charming, entertaining and warm person. I would observe him around his friends and I would see a totally different side of him. This led me to believe that maybe I was doing something wrong to make him be the kind of person he was around me. But had I been objective enough (of which I believe no child can be expected to be) my father was the same way with my other siblings, since I was the third-born of five children, (although he did kind of to ‘mellow out with my younger sister and brother.)

The above narrative is not to lambast my late father in any way. It’s just to show the kind of concept I had of what a father is and is not. After his death, when I was 19 years old, I started getting the picture of why he was the way he was. His family background, his unrealised goals and ambitions moulded him into the kind of father he was. He, in and of himself, was a great man; just not a great family man. So I made peace with who he was. Now, imagine me having had that kind of concept of a father and then at the age of 29, committing my life to the Lord and being told that I now have a Heavenly Father and this one will never die! So I braced myself to a lifelong relationship with yet another cold, distant, fearsome, father.

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear (of God’s judgement), but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons (the Spirit producing sonship) by which we (joyfully) cry, Äbba! Father!”; Romans 8:15 (AMP). It was upon re-reading this verse a couple of days ago that I was reminded of the mammoth work God did in me. There is nothing as hard (I believe), in all of creation, as changing a person’s belief and mind-set (which is a mind that is set on a certain perspective, view or ideology). Yet, because nothing is too hard for God, He was able to not only turn my perspective around, but He let me experience what true fatherhood is. Whereas I feared my earthly father, when my Heavenly Father came on the scene, He adopted me into a life of constantly rejoicing in Him! Glory to Jesus!

It is so hard for me now to address God as Father or God. I am most comfortable when I call him Daddy; for that is what He is to me. He is the daddy that I never had. And we talk about absolutely EVERYTHING!           Even the things daughters might be hesitant to talk about with their fathers. I talk to him about my crushes J, my body, my love life (or lack of) my anticipation of marriage and yes… sex, my ministry, my family, my work… We talk about everything there is to talk about under the sun! And I love His presence. I love being in his house (church) and when I have been too distracted to keep my mind stayed on him… I miss him. And at the earliest opportunity I run and jump on his lap! (Now that would make a neat picture, wouldn’t it; a 35 year old woman on her father’s lap!)

When I observe how non-believers (and some believers alike) are fearful of my Daddy and anticipate His judgement and disapproval, I am painfully reminded of how I used to be. Having a father whom I was not sure loved me, wanted me, approved of me or was even proud of me. Not so with this Father. No wonder the apostle Paul taught that we need to have our minds renewed. Because, we will never fully experience the goodness of our Daddy while still holding on to wrong concepts about fatherhood.

Whatever kind of father you had, just know that Abba Father is unlike any father you have ever had. If you had a great dad, get ready to have a super, duper great dad! If you had a not so good dad, prepare for the opposite; a fantastic experience, and if you never had a father or daddy, well get ready for the greatest adventure of your life because God is going to blow you mind; loving on you, caring for you in ways that you never thought possible and making up for lost time!

He is our Daddy!

I have a Daddy…

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