Before I realized that June is designated as “pride” month, I decided to humble myself. Now I’m not here to fight about the LGBTQ+ community; I’m primarily speaking about the spirit of pride. Fascinatingly, the world has dedicated June to the spirit of pride, and we all know how God feels about pride. Of course, I have many thoughts about why the halftime month, also the sixth (number of man) month, is dedicated to something that God hates, but something tells me that within the next six months, the world will mess around and find out who they are playing with.
Back to humility.
This month, I decided to fast and be more intentional about certain things. While I’m no stranger to fasting, my focus has always been on the defense. What I mean is that I have regularly used fasting as a tool to fight the enemy. It has always been a battle strategy, and I’ve always focused on fighting.
Yes, fasting is important. Yes, you should view it as such because it is a way to get your prayers answered quickly.
However, there comes a point when you realize that in all that fighting and all the resisting, you forgot to be God’s child. A child whose knowledge is limited. A child who has to depend on God because He is all-knowing and quite literally our caregiver. I guess I’m trying to say that I’ve been so accustomed to warring in the past that I’ve never really understood what it feels like to crawl into my father’s arms and feel safe.
I’ll be the first to admit that my relationship with my natural father has much to do with this, and while I hope that one day we can improve, my mind has been wired incorrectly due to having an absent father. I don’t regularly talk about this because it’s a soft spot for me, but I must give you context for what I will say next.
Today while praying, I had to admit two things: (1) Sometimes, I don’t know what to say to God in prayer. I know what I’ve heard people pray and what they say I should pray, but I don’t really know how to allow my heart to pray. (2) I don’t know how to be a daughter who can depend on her father.
Take a deep breath.
When I hear people talk about being a daddy’s girl, it’s so foreign to me. It’s like I can’t even find a way to connect with them because, if I’m honest, that has never been an option for me. So when I hear people say that God is our “father” or “daddy,” and while I know this to be true, I have no reference point. It’s like it doesn’t compute. It’s like they speak a foreign language, and I am sitting there left out because I don’t understand.
So when those words left my lips today, it was an opportunity and an invitation to ask God to prove Himself to me as a father because I want to be in on the “daddy’s girl” conversations, too. I want to participate, but I don’t know how.
I’m at a disadvantage here.
I had to be honest about this and ask God for the courage to allow Him to be a “daddy” to me. Yes, I have the courage to work for God. Yes, I have the courage to obey Him. Yet, fascinatingly, I’ve noticed I don’t have the courage to allow Him to father me.
As soon as I recognized the truth of my position, I felt the hot tears slowly run down my face because I didn’t know this was an option for me. (Like I knew, but I really didn’t know). I didn’t know that He was willing to father me. Granted, my intellectual mind knew, but my heart didn’t (doesn’t) know.
Perhaps the years I’ve spent hating my humanity did this. Maybe, it’s the long periods of striving that I endured. Or, it could be the expectations never met as a child that carried over into adulthood. Deep down, I just figured that God would use me because I’m obedient, but I’ve been operating as a stepchild. Essentially, I’ve been operating as Cinderella who does the work that no one else wants to do. Working for the approval of God but never obeying my father simply because I understand He loves and cares for me.
It’s so weird to externalize this moment in time because I thought I had overcome it already, but how do you overcome years of fatherlessness and the subsequent defeat without proper rehabilitation? Time with God does this.
It is with humility that I write this post admitting that somehow, I’ve allowed God to use me and my gifts without adequately understanding what true love feels like. 1 John 4:18 tells us that,
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. (AMP)
And I admit I’ve been more afraid of God’s judgment than resting in the sacred comfort and protection, knowing that He is my dad.
It’s terrifying for me if I think about it. My fearful mind tells me not to trust this leg of the process, but I know better than to trust those thoughts. So this month, I’m using fasting and my time with God as an offensive strategy. I’m not on the front lines right now. I’m in the house eating.
I’m truly learning what it means and what it feels like to be a daughter and heir. I’m realizing I don’t have to work to earn His approval. I’m learning that a father’s love cements identity. I’ve mentioned before that I’m in transition--like so many others--but this time, I don’t have to work through it.
I just have to allow Him to love me through the shift.
I hope this post encourages you to assess your position with God.
Are you operating from a place of a child whom He loves, or are you always outside fighting on the frontlines?