My dad was sitting on the couch holding my book. He had only been visiting for two days and was already halfway through it. I was only planning to break his attention long enough to say goodnight, but I could tell as he looked up at me that it would be worth it to take a seat next to him on the couch.
I didn’t know what I would say; a typical response when we visited together, but I always wanted more, so I put forth the effort.
I wish I had recorded our conversation. I wish I could go back and re-listen. I wish I could transcribe it and share it with you now, simply because I know it would bless you as a daughter.
Have you ever had a conversation like that…where you don’t remember all that was said, rather you remember bits and pieces and mostly just the feeling you had walking away? It was one of those. It was a good conversation.
He was reading my book The Unveiled Wife, an early copy I had received. And he is one of the first set of eyes to see it other than endorsers and my publisher. Knowing that made him feel honored.
He said as he read it he was getting to know me, his daughter, more than ever. He never knew the types of struggles I faced, especially how I felt about my relationship with him. Yes that’s in there. My dad said he literally got to know me line by line and that he could hear my voice in his mind reading and guiding him through the book. That was precious to me.
He quoted me saying,
I know you wanted to be a “daddy’s girl” and I wasn’t able to provide that for you like you needed. But you are a daddy’s girl and you always have been…you are God’s girl.
We both smiled.
As we sat there and shared our perspectives from the past and how we had grown all those years in between until now, we grew a little closer. And the most amazing part was that as I explain throughout the book how I drew closer to God as I offered Him my whole heart and then learned and gathered the courage to let my husband get to know me…my dad got to know me too. Just like all those moments of resting in God’s presence and pouring my heart out…I sat on the couch, in my dad’s presence, and we experienced an intimate moment in our relationship.
I shared with my dad that the reason I shared about him and our relationship in the book, is because I know there are many many many women who are in desperate need of reconciling with their dad’s. I told him my hope is that this book inspires them to forgive and reconnect with their dad’s in a precious and intimate way. Why? Because so often our relationship with our dad affects and influences our relationship with God and our husbands.
Issues like trust, withholding affection, and other circumstances in your relationships that trigger negative responses because of what you experienced as a child all come to the surface of the heart in the matter of seconds in marriage. If those things are not acknowledged, addressed, and worked out they will cripple intimacy in your most significant relationships. If you struggle to trust your dad, you most likely will struggle to trust your husband and even God. If you withhold affection until your dad initiates and shows his love for you, chances are you also withhold in marriage until your husband initiates and the same with God.
Our hearts are so sensitive. They have been trained from an early age to feel, to respond, to believe certain things. It is so vital that we are aware that our relationship or the lack there of with our fathers play a huge role in how we operate in our relationships with God and our husbands. We need our sensitive hearts to be in the hands of a dad who truly cares, unconditionally! We need to give our hearts fully to God and allow Him to transform us!
I told my dad I desire to see restoration and healing, cherished moments of breaking free from the emotional entanglement that builds up from childhood, from unmet expectations, and from insecurities, daughters and fathers truly loving.
My dad thought that was honorable. And he hopes too that more father-daughter relationships are transformed by the grace of God.
Please know this very important truth…
You are a daddy’s girl! You are God’s girl, His daughter, His joy! And He loves you more than anyone ever could!
If you have ever struggled in your relationship with your dad this prayer is for you:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for being my daddy. Thank You for loving me unconditionally even when I doubt Your love or lack understanding, even when I am angry toward You or neglect spending time with You. Thank You for never giving up on me. I pray that I can offer You my whole heart and let You get to know me. I also pray I can know You more. Lord, I lift up my relationship with my dad. Help me to truly forgive him and love him as You love him. I pray for restoration in our relationship and that we can grow to know each other more. I ask that You would divinely inspire both of us to be honest with each other and that You would provide the opportunity and courage for us to talk. I pray for my dad’s heart in Jesus’ name AMEN!
If you have never got to reconcile your relationship with your dad because you don’t know him, don’t know where he is, have not been received by him at all, or if he has passed away this prayer is for you:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for being my daddy. Thank You for loving me unconditionally even when I doubt Your love or lack understanding, even when I am angry toward You or neglect spending time with You. Thank You for never giving up on me. I pray that I can offer You my whole heart and let You get to know me. I also pray I can know You more. Lord, I lift up my heart to you and how I feel about my dad. I pray for peace, comfort, and the strength to carry on without my earthly father. I pray he knew You or knows You deeply. I pray I can move on and mature in my relationship with You and with others regardless of my childhood. Please Lord help me process my grief and every emotion I have bottled up about my dad. I love you God and I pray I always do in Jesus’ name AMEN!
A wife from the UW Community added a very true and valuable piece of wisdom to consider:
Just one piece of advice to all of us who hurt over our relationships with our dads, think about your dad and his childhood if you know anything about it and you may find that he is just a product of his own environment. Sometimes you cannot give what you never got. Remember they were once kids to and some of them were hurt, unfortunately the kids are the ones who pay, their cycle becomes ours and it continues until its broken. – Adelle McKnight