“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God…” (1 John 3:1)
Caitlynn Grace is our youngest daughter…I think we may have actually figured this whole parenting thing out, well maybe not…but we are a lot less hard on ourselves with this one. We’re a lot less hard on her too. We were so uptight as younger parents and now we laugh and love a lot more and do our best to NOT major in the minors.
A couple of years ago I received an email from Caitlynn’s 2nd grade teacher…she’d been crying on the playground. Inconsolable. The “one duty” teacher pulled her aside to quiet her sobs and as she peeled away the layers of the broken heart of a little girl, she heard the unthinkable….Caitlynn’s father had died the night before. The teacher immediately took her to the office and called in the home room teacher. They were all furious with me and couldn’t believe I would send my little girl to school after suffering such a huge loss only the night before….they had no idea he was healthy and working in is John Brown University office!! That girl! (think southern mama here people)
I took some time to pray, think through and calm down before asking her what it was all about. She read the email from her teacher….begged me not to tell Daddy as his feelings would be so hurt. I pulled her close and told her Daddy knows, I asked her to walk me through what happened leading up to her making up this story. Through tears she talked about playing with her friends at recess, then playing tag….then hitting her head and not being able to catch up with the rest of her friends.
Through sobs, this is what she shared: “Nobody seemed to notice that I was hurt, nobody cared that I wasn’t playing anymore….so I cried, then I cried harder. The playground teacher saw me crying and ran to me (finally someone noticed)…she wanted to know what was wrong and where I was hurt. I couldn’t tell her it was my heart, so I cried more…she began to ask questions and I shook my head yes or no…the teacher asked if everything was ok at home…I shook my head no. She asked more questions about you, then daddy and she asked …if he was sick, finally she said it…’Did your father die?’ …I shook my head yes, knowing she would understand why I was crying and leave me alone…but she didn’t! She took me to the office and my teacher came in…and Mommy, everyone was very upset with you because you sent me to school the day after daddy died! They were mad Mommy! It just got worse and worse! Ms. G said to call you and have you pick me up….then she figured out that I wasn’t telling the truth and she was very upset with me. I begged her not to tell you, but she did.”
I held her for a long time as she cried. She was broken and embarrassed. Dinner was about finished and Kent would be home any minute. Suddenly Cait jumped up from the couch and went to her room, I hadn’t even heard the garage door open. Kent walked in happy to be home after a long day. He kissed me, we shared a few things about our day….then he asked where Caitlynn was. I pointed to her room and followed him back. The light was out, it was dark in the room…we called out her name…nothing. I thought maybe she was outside. We checked other rooms, then returned to her’s, turned on the light on….over in the corner, hidden on the side of her bed, making herself as small as possible….she wept. Kent walked over and with his tender daddy voice said, “Come on boog, let’s go eat dinner”. He picked her up and she melted into him…wrapping her little arms tight around his neck…safe, loved, forgiven.
Father’s day was a week ago today. I, like many of you, have no earthly father…never really have. I didn’t have a picture to post of me and my daddy on facebook. (I did love looking at all that were posted, praising God for each girl and her daddy!!)
Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity to wrap my arms around my daddy’s neck and feel safe and loved. The men who were meant to love me in this way, took from me, broke my little girl heart and nothing about their love and affection was unconditional. It was warped and self serving…
I often try to hide in dark places when I feel I’ve disappointed my Father. Psalm 139 reminds us that we can’t flee from His spirit…we can’t hide out, He’s everywhere! He’s waiting to redeem….God has taken my wounded heart and redeemed it, helped me to forgive. They are forgiven, I am forgiven. I remember the first time I realized that Jesus not only died for my sins, but for the sins done unto me….sometimes I even use that as an excuse to “hide in the dark”.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
f I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
When I was very small I began to trust in Him, my Abba Father, my Daddy. I believed with all my heart He would never leave me or forsake me. I am His girl, He is my Abba. I daily wrap my arms around His big ol’ neck and melt into Him as He continues to love, redeem and heal the deepest places of my heart….counting each tear as He wipes them away.
See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children, and we really are!… I John 3:1