Derwin Gray writes, “We roam through life lost, looking for a love and an identity that no human, no job, no amount of money can provide. Our Papa in heaven is the only one who can provide us with love and ultimately the identity we have been created for—a child of God.”
The label in this chapter is orphan. I am not an orphan, I was given earthly parents. My mother passed away in 1977. I am fortunate to still have my father, he is eighty-nine in July. I still call him Daddy and my sons call him Papa.
My first thoughts as I started to read, I wondered how this chapter would apply to me since I am not an orphan. With my journal, I began reading with expectation.
I love how the author continues with the theme of labels and how affected we are by the labels stitched on our hearts. Mr. Gray wrote, “I cannot and will not allow the pain of my past to murder the happiness I experience today from knowing God as my Papa.” This statement stopped me and tears came to my eyes. I am guilty of letting my past hurts interfere with my present and future. He continues, “When you and I focus on how we’ve been done wrong in our past we do not focus on how we’ve been done right by Jesus.” The word ‘murder’ haunts me, what happiness have I given up because of allowing my past hurts haunt me.
He says the word “Abba” or “Papa” is a term that paints a picture of the intimacy that God the Father desires with His children. Abba paints the picture of a tender-hearted, love filled father reaching down to pick up hug His child. Romans 8:15 says, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba! Father!” Another powerful verse in Galatians 4:6, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!”
When I was born my father’s profession was a minister. However, through some difficult circumstances when I was two my father’s world changed and for the next fifteen years he served an idol called ‘alcoholism.’ These years were painful for my mom, my brother and me. While my dad was in this desert away from the oasis of the Lord, there was not a day that we did not pray that he would face his demon and return to the Lord. My mother never lost hope. Through a health crisis in 1969, my dad re-dedicated his life and for all of my adult years he has faithfully served the Lord. The Lord knew where my father was, “He had his eye on the sparrow’ just like he did when Moses was in the desert and he saw the burning bush. God redeemed his life. My dad is still preaching today.
Mr. Gray writes, “When we are not connected to God our Father we do not know who we are we feel orphaned and lose the capacity to discover our uniqueness. To climb out of emotional quick sand are those who intentionally stop the cruel, destructive habit of revisiting in their mind the events or people who have hurt them. Instead by an act of faith they start the soul healing habit of replaying in their minds the message that Jesus loves them, cares for them, was wounded for them died to forgive them and now makes His home in their hearts to live His beautiful life through them.”
Mr. Gray reached out to his father and forgave him for abandoning him. He says, “People live out of either the hurt they feel or the healing Jesus provides. Your parents will never be perfect. You will never be a perfect parent. But there is a perfect God who over time will bring healing to hurtful circumstances.”
Because of this chapter I am going to bring to a close these years of my past. Mr. Gray writes of self-pity. I have had many moments when I remember that I have struggled being the adult daughter of an alcoholic. I have struggled with the loss of who I would have been had my dad not walked away from God when I was two. He walked away from God but today I am thankful he never abandoned me. Perhaps I am who I am today because of His struggles, I learned about Jesus from my God-fearing mother, I learned how to pray, I learned how to wait patiently for God to answer a prayer. When I forgave my father in 1995 through the Steps to Freedom, I renounce unrealistic expectations, and the sins of my ancestors. Today as a encourager for Freedom in Christ the following information is very helpful for women and men who have had ‘daddy issues.’ I learned that we learn to relate to God through our earthly father so if you have had a faulty father you may struggle in relating to Father God as Abba-Daddy.
Neil Anderson writes in “the Steps to Freedom,” acknowledging the truth about your Father God. When our earthly fathers have let us down, we sometimes have a hard time relating to God as Abba, Father. These statements are on page 13 of the above booklet.
Say these word aloud.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is distant and disinterested, I choose to believe the truth that my father God is Intimate and involved.” Psalm 139: 1-18.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is insensitive and uncaring. I choose to believe the truth that my father God is Kind and compassionate.” Psalms 103: 8-14.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is stern and demanding, I choose to believe the truth that my Father God is accepting and filled with joy and love.” Zephaniah 3:17, Romans 15:7.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is passive and cold. I choose to believe the truth that my Father God is warm and affectionate.” Isaiah 40:11 Hosea 11:3-4
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is absent or too busy for me. I choose to believe the truth that My Father God is always with me and eager to be with me.” Jeremiah 31:20, Ezekiel 34: 11-16, Hebrews 13:5.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is impatient, angry, and rejecting. I choose to believe that My Father God is patient and slow to anger.” Exodus 34:6; 2 Peter 3:9.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is mean, cruel or abusive. I choose to believe the truth that My Father God is loving, gentle and protective.” Jeremiah 31:3 Isaiah 42
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is trying to take all the fun out of life. I choose to believe the truth that My Father God is trustworthy and wants to give me a full life; His will is good, perfect and acceptable for me.” Lamentations 3:22-23, John 10:10, Romans 12:1-2.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is controlling or manipulative. I choose to believe the truth that My Father God is full of grace and mercy, and He gives me freedom to fail.” Luke 15:11-16 Hebrews 4:15-16.
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is condemning or unforgiving. I choose to believe the truth that my Father God is tender-hearted and forgiving; His heart and arms are always open to me.” Psalm 130:1-4, Luke 15:17-24
“I renounce the lie that my Father God is a nit-picking, demanding perfectionist. I choose to believe the truth that My Father God is committed to my growth and proud of me as His beloved child.” Romans 8:28-29, Hebrews 12:5-11, 2 Corinthians 7:4.
What part of your past is immobilizing you today and preventing you from experiencing God and His will for you?
Which of these words describe your earthly father, your mother, you? Will you forgive you father, your mom, and let God heal you of your damage emotions?
This is the prayer I prayed and sometimes have to say again, “Father God I choose to forgive my dad for walking away from ministry when I was little and it made me feel unloved, helpless and hopeless.” I release this anger to you because you are the only fair judge and you love my father more than I do.”
What lies are you believing about your Heavenly Father, that he is stern and demanding, impatient and demanding, distant and disinterested?
Father God, I praise you because you are kind and compassionate; you are love; you are warm and affectionate; you are always eager listening t0 me; you are gentle, loving and protective. Thank you Lord that you completely healed my earthly father of his demons. I ask that I let go of my difficult past. As Mr. Gray said, “Jesus paid too high a price for you (me), He sacrificed too much for you (me), and His victory is too great for you (me) to be anonymous.” For the man or woman who is struggling with feelings of being an orphan or abandoned, let them embrace the truth that God knows where they are, he knows if they are angry, what lies they need to renounce and what truth they need to embrace. Thank you Lord that I can climb up in to your safe lap, place my arms around your neck, lay my head on your shoulder and know in my heart, I am your princess. I ask for that hurting person that they let go and Let God heal their damaged emotions. Amen, Blessings Diana
To my earthly Daddy, I love you and Daddy if you ever read this, my heart breaks that Satan gripped your life and robbed you of your spiritual heritage. But God’s word says he redeems the locust. Satan meant to keep you from preaching ever again but God orchestrated the day when you returned to the pulpit and you have preached since 1969 faithfully. The amount of lives you have touched because of your faithfulness to bring God’s word to a hurting world. Satan meant to destroy our family. In my youth I did not appreciate what you went through, it was all about me. However as an adult I realize that God has blessed your ministry. Daddy the sermon you about the paralytic man who you preached in May, 2014 on Mark 2 changed me. We do need conviction, compassion, coöperation, and most of all we need to connect with Jesus. I love you, Daddy.