Saturday, December 22, 2012

The "Father" Button

Before I turned ten, I thought the sun rose and set on my earthly father.  It seems some memories never leave us.

I remember sweet stuff from childhood like running down the hall of our home and literally jumping into his arms each day when he came home from work.

He taught me how to ride a bike.  The scene of me pedaling confidently down the long dirt road leading out from our house (thinking he was holding on to the back of my bike) often cranks through my mind like an eight-millimeter movie, and I love the part best where I discover, amazed, that I left him standing in front of the house waving happily to me, knowing that I'd ridden to the end of the pathway all by myself.

Those are good memories to have, and I thank God for them.

I also remember, though, the first time it hit me that my earthly father wasn't who I thought he was; I can take you to the very place I was standing when I realized it.  I was ten.

When I began "Daddy's Girl" I said it's a blog about victory, and that's the truth. The Lord has asked me to share portions of the many trials and deliverances necessary to bring me to such places of triumph, wrought by the Godhead.  For me, facing and conquering family and earthly-father issues over the years has been the big kahuna of them all.  I've needed God's constant exposure, repair, and readjustments in every area due to my sinful humanity, certainly, but also due to the negative experiences I had growing up in a home where my mother was a prophet of God, and my earthly father embraced the black arts.

Yep, you heard me.  He was a practicing warlock.  What's worse, for five years he was also the pastor of our Baptist church.

Since the point of this post is to share how - after decades of gentle processing in His love - our Heavenly Father powerfully and painstakingly delivered my emotions from the horrific grip of those years, I won't go into specific detail here about that painful time. The point of this post is also to share hope with all who've had "shipwrecks of faith" decimate their family unit, by letting you know I've personally experienced Daddy's power to save in this place.

Flash forward to about age 38.  I had been married and divorced, and the Lord had joined me to a church fellowship.  I was drawing closer to God as "Abba" in my life, and it seemed things were going well.  That's when the Lord approached me.  I can still see myself sitting in my car at home when He said to me,
"Sharon, you must mourn the loss of relationship with your earthly father."
I'm not proud, folks... I remember getting totally defensive with God in pert reply, saying -
"What relationship?  What are You talking about, Lord?  I don't have a relationship with the man... I never had a relationship with him!"
The tone of my voice rose like a siren in just those few words, and I suddenly felt bulging heat and redness in my face.  The Lord had pushed the "father button" and, wooh!... I was mad.  Not just angry - mad - you know what I mean?  And I hadn't even realized I was carrying that around with me, so high in my throat, but Abba knew it.  He saw my subconscious choking it back every day, and He knew it was time to deal with it.  I continued squawking.
"How can You say I need to mourn the loss of a relationship I never had?"
God said, 
"That's just it, beloved.  You never experienced the joy of bonding with an earthly father and now - with the choices he's made - you can never be bonded with him.  So you must mourn the loss of that which can never be realized, so I can replace him in your heart and emotions, and you can bond with Me."
In a way, I still wasn't buying it... I mean, in a willing way.  I wanted to bond with Abba all right, but I didn't want to "mourn" for my earthly father because I didn't think he deserved it... I didn't want to honor him in that way; I still was so very angry and hurt about him, and Abba put His finger right on the infected wound.  Then it got worse.
"Three days you must grieve for him," Abba said, "and I will heal and deliver your soul in the process."
Honestly, I was appalled at the thought of my earthly father getting THREE DAYS of my tears and grief over a relationship that meant nothing to him from beginning to end, and those beliefs pricked the struggle in my emotions.  To top it off, when I spoke to a pastor friend about all this, she agreed with Abba - so, for a while, I was angry at her, too!

"You've experienced a death, hun," she said.  "Every 'end' of relationship is a death, and deaths must be mourned."  God forgive me, but I wanted to smack her through the phone. Wasn't anybody feeling me through this thing? You know, agreeing with my side of it? This wasn't Sharon at her best, y'all.  I was being exposed all over the place, and my flesh wasn't coming quietly.  But the Godhead knew They'd built trust in me to the point where I wouldn't abandon Their work at this critical juncture - so the hurting little girl in me had been removed from her "safe" place, and the thorns and thistles surrounding her were dismantled by Abba and thrust into His fire.  

The sad truth was that, although I'd been crying out for healing in that ruptured area of relationship, the very thing I was crying out for I'd been too angry to receive!  Although inside I felt myself breaking because of my love for God and true desire to obey Him, I launched one more offensive against the strength of His request.

I remember flailing through my house like a silly woman, declaring over and over to the Lord that I was "all right".
"I'm fine," I said to God, "I don't need any healing here - I'm doing fine!  I'm in a great ministry, I'm fellowshipping with You every day, I'm getting 'words' for people, I've got a good job... I'm fine, God... I'm fine!"
It was then that Abba opened my eyes to glimpse Holy Spirit's face.  Immediately, I perceived His deep sorrow for the pain coursing through me.  His eyes pierced my heart such that I couldn't withstand His reply of three simple words in answer to my tirade of, "I'm fine!"  At nearly a whisper, He tenderly said,
"No, you're not."
The warm truth of His words splashed over my pitiful state and thawed my frosty heart.  I didn't fight anymore.  I yielded to God's sincere and steadfast longing for my freedom; I knew that's what it was, and finally I saw that my anger only stood in the way of freedom ushering me into new levels of His Brightness.

So I cried.  I cried and mourned for three days as the Lord affixed His heart to mine.  He drained the anger and hurt I'd felt toward my earthly father and put me in a place of forgiveness and clearer thinking in that deliverance's first wave.  Through the years, many more waves have followed as I've been able to receive, and many spiritual "surgeries" have brought me to the place where good memories of my earthly father stay with me, and bad memories I give to God.  I let Him do the sorting, and I've chosen to forgive the man because God has cleansed me in this place, not just because I'll never see him again.

My friends, God alone is mighty to save in all your wounded places.  I know He can do it for you, because He did it for me. 

Let's pray...

[Merciful Father, by Your power, please appropriate the truth of every word of testimony gone forth here today to the hearts, minds, and emotions of all those desiring Your healing and cleansing of their deepest wounds so that they can put their trust in Your strength and ability to carry them through victoriously, in Jesus' Name.  Amen.]

With Loving Trust in Him,
Daddy's Girl

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)