I’ll never forget what it felt like to experience true, painful, confusing, gut-wrenching heartbreak for the first time in my life.
My parents got divorced when I was a baby, re-married, and then divorced again when I was just a couple years
old. Speaking from my own experience, I don’t believe that a child can truly wrap their head around the
concept of divorce. All you know is that one day, your entire family was together, and the next, your world
has been forever changed.
After my parents got divorced for the second time, we worked out an agreement to do visitation with my
biological father every other weekend. This arrangement didn’t seem strange to me as a kid, because we had already been living in dysfunction. The “abnormal” became normal for us.
Their divorce didn’t change the way I viewed my father, and I know that my lack of information helped. As a small, wide-eyed child, I raced into my father’s apartment with excitement to see what would be my temporary-sometimes-every other weekend-home. Brown cardboard boxes filled the floors, and it didn’t phase me one bit. I loved this man, and felt safe with him, and perhaps my love for him was just naïve…but as I look back on those memories, I do believe that I developed an unconditional love for him at a very young age.
As he and my brother would unpack boxes, I would hop inside them (as my contribution—I was always trying to entertain my family). To this day, I can remember the song that was playing as we spent that first evening in the apartment. I rocked back in forth in a cardboard box while singing “We Will Rock You!” by Queen.
Finally, the unpacking was finished, and my biological father made his signature dish that I always craved: pasta and corn. It may sound simple, but I swear, there was nothing tastier to me in the world than pasta and corn with plenty of butter and salt on top. As my father tucked me into our new bunk-bed that night, I looked up at him and said:
“You are so handsome-like a prince. I want to marry you someday.”
A grin came across his face, and he explained to me that while I could not marry him, he was honored that I wanted to marry someone like him someday. They say that a girl’s first love is her father. What I didn’t always know was that a girl’s first heartbreak could also be her father.
We were all designed to love and be loved. And we were made to believe that our fathers were safe. In a science experiment, much like life, you have your variables. These variables are factors that can be changed. (My parents would be so proud that this creative minded girl paid attention just a little bit in school). But you also have your constant. It is ingrained in us to think that our fathers will be the constant, not the changing variable.
My reason for opening up and sharing this story with you today is for you to understand that there is a constant. God’s love transformed my life. He took a broken girl with daddy issues who felt abandoned and made me feel at home. God became my constant in the messy, broken, variable-filled science experiment of my life.
When I first began my true relationship with God, it was uncomfortable for me to view Him as a father figure. But the closer I grew to His love and character, it wasn’t something I had to force…He chose me. I don’t know what your relationship with your father looks like, but I want you to know that your heavenly Father sees you as loved, valued, beautiful, amazing, marvelous. You are His favorite…His best. I don’t know what obstacles or variables you have going on right now in your life, but I encourage you to rest in the one thing that is constant…God’s unfailing love.