I lost my father before I was even born. That’s ironic because he lived until I was 8 years old and paid my sister and I periodic visits each year. Whenever he visited, I pulled a lot of antics to get him to stay, but he never did. I loved him and he loved me but never enough to stay.
When he died it broke my heart. Retrospectively, I realized that my heart got broken long before that. It got smashed by my father, the first guy who was meant to love me and show me what it meant to be loved wholesomely by the opposite sex. With that obvious failure, compounded by the pain of his death, I decided that I would never again give anyone that power over me.
This resolution was strengthened by the fact that we moved around a lot, when I was a child. At 7 years, we packed up our house and moved to St. Catherine. That move, my first major one, resulted in me leaving behind my first and best friend, a girl I had affectionately nicknamed “Kizzy Azzy Wizzy” (don’t ask, because I don’t remember why 🙂 ). Losing her and the reality of our constant moves reduced my desire to make deep friendships because I knew sooner or later I would soon need to leave them behind.
And thus, my abandonment issues were born and I chose to favor the steady companionship of books over human relationships. I read everywhere (my poor eyesight is a testament of this) and always felt pride in my love for books. In primary and high schools, my favorite place was the library. I spent so much time there that the librarians knew me by name. However, the truth is, I used my love for books to escape investing deeply in my relationships.
Dealing with a struggle I didn’t know I had…
Growing up, I guarded my heart and space closely. No one truly got beyond the barriers that I had erected. I held everyone at bay, fearing that if they got too close, they would eventually leave, like my dad, or I would have to leave them behind, like my childhood best friend. Looking back, I acknowledge that I felt proud of my ability to get people to feel like they knew me when the fact was that few did.
When it came to dating and my boyfriends, I had two simple rules that I followed religiously: Rule #1 – “Leave them before they leave you.” and Rule #2 – “Never let them get too close.” The first guy I broke rule #2 for proved how right I had been for all those years. He left me and it left me devastated for years. Once recovered, I crawled back into the cocoon of safety offered by my rules, resolute in my decision to enforce them with any guy I dated. By then, I had a few persons I felt privileged to call friends.
A few years later, when I least expected it, I met an incredible guy. Still hung up on my rules and despite the feelings I had, I subconsciously hunted for a reason to leave him. I eventually found it and whilst I convinced myself that my motives for leaving were altruistic, the ugly truth was that my fear of relational abandonment had won, once again. When we parted ways, he gave me some advice: “You are an amazing woman. You take risks in everything but relationships. You need to stop running and let a guy who chooses you love you.”
Handle the issue before it handles you…
Those words haunted me until I found myself on a dating sabbatical. During that period I worked on many things but never dived beneath the surface of my abandonment issues. I refused to acknowledge their existence.
Also two years passed and then something happened…. At a time when I least expected or wanted it, I found (it is debatable about who found whom) an amazing guy who made me want more. Strangely enough, every time I spoke to God (hoping He would say “no”), I felt certain this was the path He wanted me on. In moments when I least expected it, I found myself thinking about a future that included him (yes, I said future).
Within the first few conversations this guy shocked me when he accurately pegged my habit of using my bubbly personality to avoid divulging details about myself. In essence, he called me out on my bull. I realized that he wouldn’t let me operate at the same level I always had.
Despite all of this, I struggled with feelings from the issues I had failed to deal with or even accept as existing. When things got deeper (and much to my amazement I wanted it), my natural instinct was to run, push him away or hide behind my barriers. In hindsight, I recognized that I hurt him deeply and incited/inflamed any doubts he may have had about our relationship. When we were good, we were amazing yet still the instincts rode me. And when we fought, I often felt certain that that would be the moment when he decided enough was enough and walked away. The truth was, no matter what, I expected it of him.
These were the feelings that surfaced often but I pushed them aside as nothing.
A change has to come…
A few days ago, feeling incredibly battered, emotionally, the Lord sent me through my journal. On April 9, 2020, I wrote down several “truths” I knew about myself. These included:
- I am broken.
- I don’t trust easily.
On that same page I noticed that I had written the following:
God: “That’s how you see you. However, I see you and call you to be who I see you.”
For each of my version of the “truth” I had written down God’s version of the truth.
- You are healed (whole) physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- You trust.
I clearly recollected the night I had made that entry and how afterwards I had repeatedly vocalized God’s version of the truth, desperately wishing them to be true.
I felt like crying when I heard God say to me:
“That’s still how I see you. However, to get there you have to acknowledge where you are today. You have to stop running and face it.”
He then reminded me of the vow my 8-year old self had made and showed me key behaviors that that vow had birthed. The words then came to me:
“Your father may have failed and abandoned you but I, Your Heavenly Father, never will. It is time to leave your abandonment issues behind and become a full reflection of your relationship with Me.”
The Point? I assure you there is one… 🙂
The truth is, I battled with indecision about whether or not to release this post. It was wayyyy too open. Earlier this evening, I received a call from one of my friends. At some point, my friend shifted the conversation to the topic of “daddy issues”. I sat stunned as I listened. There were a lot of hurting people in this world who couldn’t wholesomely live the lives God had called them to because they battles struggles that were rooted in “daddy issues”. I recognized that this was one discovery by design that I was meant share.
Your daddy issues doesn’t have to be the final defining factor of your life. Your earthly father may have disappointed or abandoned you but you have a Heavenly Father who never will. Your earthly father may have hurt you and left you thinking you are scarred for life, however your Heavenly Father longs to heal you and show you unconditional love. He longs for you and your life to become a reflection of your relationship/experiences with Him. He sees you and calls you to be who He sees you. Will you stop running? Will you stop hiding behind your barriers and self-erected safe places? Will you give Him the broken pieces? Will you let His love find and heal you?
Thank you for stopping by. I would love to hear from you. What daddy issue have defined you and your life? Have you made the decision to make God your defining factor? Please share in the comments section, below. 🙂
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favour and give you peace” – Numbers 6: 23-26
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I am a dynamic young lady who loves the Lord and seek to have a joy that no one can take away. My all-time favourite thing to do is gaining discoveries by design from My Father during our time each day. Reading, learning and trying new things falls behind in a close second place. My dream is to use my God-given talents to positively impact as many people as possible. As a proud Wolmerian, with a zest for life, I adhere to the “Age Quod Agis” motto in that whatsoever I do, I always do it to the best of my ability.