In the UK today there are approximately two million single mothers, that’s at least two million children growing up without a father figure in their home; I was one of those children.
Not so long ago I would’ve been called a ‘bastard’ child because my mother was not married and to throw a spanner in the works she was also,a teenager when I was born. I didn’t think it was strange that my mom and I lived with my grandparents and uncle, it was all I knew; this was my family. During those formative years I can count the number of times that I saw my father; the only men I really knew were my uncle and grandfather. I just need to say that these men are my heroes and the first examples of men that I saw; I honour them for their love, guidance and example.
It was in my teenage years that I started to become aware of the impact that my absent father had on me. Yes, my uncle and grandfather were around often, but it wasn’t the same. When I heard my friends talk about their dads and the things they did as a family, I started to realise that my family wasn’t that ‘normal’ after all. I can’t say that I missed him, because it’s hard to miss someone that was never in your life to begin with; what I missed was the idea of having a dad in my home. The idea of having a dad who would sit me on his knee and tell me how special and beautiful I was, who would take me to the park and pick me up from school. It was these experiences that my friends had and I saw on TV, that I never had the opportunity to experience. My mom was and still is my greatest example of a woman that is willing to sacrifice for others. She has the most generous, loving and hospitable heart. Only a strong woman can do that without resentment or bitterness, I honour her more than any other. However, she is not my father, she is my mother and that is what she is supposed to be.
I became a Christian when I was 14 years old even though I was at church every Sunday with my grandmother. It was at this time that I began to understand that I wasn’t a fatherless child and that God was a very real and present father that loved me unconditionally. However, although I was beginning to understand this, it was hard for me to experience and accept what it meant in reality. Let’s keep it real, I couldn’t see him with my physical eyes and He couldn’t exactly walk me down the aisle when I got married; it just wasn’t real enough for me.
I have always wanted to know what it would be like to have the protection of a father, to be able to say: “I’m going to get my Dad and he’ll beat up your dad” but I never could. I think that most little girls would say they want or wanted their dad to protect and look out for them. As I grew older the need for someone to protect and care for me slowly became unnecessary. My attitude was I have lived this long without a constant male figure in my life I don’t need one now, even though this was what I craved. For me personally the rejection I felt from my father’s absence influenced how I related to men in relationships; I would become very needy and any hint of rejection would literally devastate me, I just didn’t know how to relate to men in a positive and healthy way. I believed that it was my responsibility to make them happy and please them so that they would not leave.
It is only because of the grace and love of God that I can say that I am stronger, not needy and more secure in the love that my father God has for me. There are times when I still long for the hug from a father or simply a male friend. Men and fathers I ask and encourage you to protect and cover the women you know; if you are a Christian understand that we need our male friends to be examples of godly men that know how to honour, respect and protect us without a hidden agenda. I have learnt to accept the love of my heavenly father and ultimately realise that he can meet all my needs. I have started the process of forgiving my natural father and do not blame him for the decisions I’ve made in my life (I am not a victim).
My hope is that you too will know the unconditional, unwavering and lavishing love of father God because the truth is HE really does love YOU. I have been on a long journey to understand with my mind and embrace with my heart the truth that I was never a fatherless child and I am not fatherless woman.
That’s why He is my Lord 🙂 xx