Finding the Father

08.26.10 | Terese Main | Comments[9]

Finding the Father

A few weeks ago, I was having trouble sleeping.  I often find that nighttime restlessness is a call to action – a call to pray, and sometimes, a call to do.  This time, the Holy Spirit couldn’t have been clearer:  “Write your Dad,” He said.  “Oh, I can’t do that,” I thought, trying even harder to sleep.  Then the next day, another 3am wake-up call.  “Come on,” I bargained with God, “Anything but that!”  But the reply was clear.  “Do it and you will be blessed.”

My parents divorced when I was in pre-school.  I grew up with my mom.  My father remarried and had a son with his new wife.  As time went on, I found it harder and harder to find my footing in the new family, so I disappeared from it all together.  There was not a moment of disconnect, just a slowing of communication between family members.  Then things faded out all together.  My father was no longer a part of my life.

But life has a funny way of moving forward despite pain and loss.  I started a career, got married, built a home, and had children. I used the excuse of not having a father figure in my life to explain the separation I felt from God.  After all, how could I relate to an unconditionally loving Heavenly Father if I didn’t know or understand my earthy father?  It was a very convenient excuse.  Then the early morning wake-up calls began. 

Ironically, around the same time, I was teaching a Ladies’ Sunday School Class.  God has a great sense of humor and, needless to say, a perfect understanding of timing.  That morning my discussion topic was “Obedience.”  I knew I could never stand in front of sixty women and explain how to fully devote their lives to the Lord without caring for this piece of family business.

I cried out in prayer:  “Lord, I don’t know what to say.  It’s been so long.”  The reply, again, loud and clear was, “Don’t write about you.  Write about Me!”  I thought rattling off a note about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the work He’s done in me and my family, would certainly make dad think I’m some sort of religious nut.  In that moment, I made the choice to trust God’s wisdom, not my own.

So off I went.  “Dear Dad:  God has woken me very early the past three mornings.  I believe he wants me to reach out to you.  There are so many years to catch up on.  Scott and I have been married since 1998.  He’s an incredible man and serves as a deacon in our church.  We’re bringing up our daughters as believers in Jesus and they’ve both come to know Him as their personal Savior.  Emily and Ashley are both amazing girls; I can’t imagine life without them.  I’m not sure what will come out of this letter, but I hope it’s well received.  If you don’t know Jesus personally, I’ve enclosed “The Master’s Plan.”  I even took the note to the post office to ensure a speedy delivery!

Just a few days later, I received a reply with “Your Dad” in the return address block.  My hands shook opening the letter.  I was scared and expected to see years of seething emotions and bitterness on each page.  But there it was.  Hope.  My dad expressed a desire to have his daughter and her family, in his life.  There have been some awkward talks and some challenging discussions over the past week.  Our relationship isn’t perfect and I fear the pain that will be exposed as we try to move forward.  But I also have the most amazing brother, who I can’t wait to get to know, and the freedom that comes from obedience.

Best of all, I have a reaffirmed relationship with God.  This experience removed a big intimacy block between me and my Lord.  I’m no longer using my earthy father as an excuse not to draw near to my Heavenly Father.  The truth is, God is the same, whether we have a healthy or dysfunctional relationship with our family here on earth.  He love and justice supersedes all human relationships.

What a joy to take a step in faith and obedience!  Looking back, my beauty sleep wouldn’t have suffered as much if I had only done what God was asking… right way.  I wonder if Peter had a similar feeling about his “walking on water” experience when Jesus asked, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”  (Matthew 14:31b)

Is God stirring you to do something in obedience?  Have you been dragging your feet?  Do you feel like you just can’t do it?  You’re probably right.  Mark 10:27 tells us “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”  Lean on Him.  If you’re not sure how to do what He’s asking, pray for clarification.  Then rest, knowing he will tell you.   And as the Lord speaks – this is important now! - step out on what you hear.  Obedience to God will bless your path.


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 06.10.10 Pastor Fran commented

I am your Dad's pastor. Your Dad shared a couple of weeks ago in the service the joy of having you and your family in their lives. We are praising the Lord for your step of obedience and the blessing that will come of it. We're also praying for you both as you move forward in the renewed relationship.
Your family is a continued blessing to us here in the church and we are so glad for the healing taking place. god bless, and thank-you for your courage and obedience.

on 06.10.10 Sharren commented

I'm very proud of you for being an obedient daughter of your Heavenly Father..... I pray the path with your earthly father will find peace and healing for all. You not only have much to teach others about God, but to learn of His desires for his precious child, Terese. You are blessed..

on 06.10.10 Anonymous commented

Just wanted to tell you that I am NOT at all a "bloggy" person. I don't really like them and very rarely read them but......I wanted to tell you that I have read yours the last couple days and have been VERY blessed!!!!! Keep up the blessings!!!!!

on 06.10.10 Sarah commented

In college, I made the wonderful realization that, while my earthly father's alcolholism prevented him from "being there" for me, I had an Abba Father who always was.

My dad did become sober and, through faith, a lot of forgiveness and counseling, we reconciled those past hurts. I'm was so grateful because it allowed me to spend our last visit totally awash in just "being there" with him.

God's forgiveness, through us, can work miracles.

on 06.10.10 anonymous commented

Yes, you are a special person, and I'm know you have been special all your life. You have to enjoy life and let the LORD DO HIS WORK. Sometimes it might not happen now, tomorrow or the next day...but it will come someday. There's no one more pleased that myself that you obeyed the Lord. I'm very proud of what you have done...God bless you!
Love, your Dad

on 06.10.10 Anonymous commented

What an awesome testimony. You gave God your "yes." The Lord changes everything when that one simple word becomes action. You heard, said okay, and did something about it. Imagine if all believers said yes to the Holy Spirit and then went off to employ His strategy? That's how Christians change the world and help bring heaven to earth. You go world-changer!

on 06.17.10 Sandy commented

My husband found out 2 years ago on his 60th birthday that the man he knew as father was not his biological father; a secret his mother made his step father keep before she died when her son was only 20. His step father was becoming ill and said he didn't want to go to his grave with that secret. By the time he did some research, his bio father had already passed away.

Glad you were able to reunite while you still have a life to share!

on 09.08.10 Judy commented

HI Terese... thanks for the sharing the awesome Love of God in your life... that is awesome. I admire you for working through the awkwardness as you wrote the letter and then to communicate with your Dad....

on 06.19.12 Renee commented

Thanks so much for this refreshing reminder about paying closer attention to those early morning wake-ups and what ourLord may be asking of us. I've had a few this past week. I'm thinking maybe the Lord is asking something of me, & I'm not certain I like where His ideas may take me to. Not certain I like where He is taking me to on this part of the journey, but I believe I must've found your blog for some reason. Keep up the great work. Many Blessings!!