At the age of 6 and 7, I get a little blur. I don’t remember so much about my childhood around that time and it almost feels like it didn’t exist.
Society names the 21st Century the “missing father” decade. 9 out of 10 millennials weren’t raised with dad at home, have divorced parents, or never met their dad. There’s a lot of people who actually did have their dad at home physically, but they weren’t there emotionally for them or their home which concluded in similar results as a child with no father figure. In my youth group once we had this topic and there were about 20+ of us sitting at a big table and we all had a story to tell whether it was a good one or a bad one, but they all marked us. Humanity suffers and lacks in this part of the household and the United States itself has become more used to a family with no father, just look around you. But enough with statistics, here’s my story:
At the age of 6 or 7 my family and I came to Georgia to stay with some family members, It wasn’t supposed to be permanent. We had our house in Texas and moving across the states was one of the biggest changes in my life. Everything was different, the weather, the people, the school, the houses, the trees.. It was in October, so I actually got to know what the word “cold” meant. McAllen, Texas only knew hard cold grass in the winter, and most of the time we could still wear shorts in December. It wasn’t too long until my parents divorced just months later and my younger sister and I were left with no father at home. My dad visited us for some time but there was a big gap where we knew nothing of him anymore. My sister and I had many fatherless Father’s Day, birthdays, and school activities. I felt like my hero abandoned me… I had many cold nights where his strong heavy arm wasn’t there to hold me anymore when I was scared at night. I had tears when I would fall and scrape my knee but he was nowhere to be found to tell me he would protect me. I had to ask other family members to help me tie my shoes growing up because I couldn’t do it tight enough with the small thin arms I had beside me. I didn’t have a daddy daughter dance, I didn’t have the daddy talk about boys, and I could never run to the man who I thought would be with me forever.
I was growing up in my teens and I totally lost faith in all marriages. I got to a point where I told my own mother I didn’t want to get married when I was older, while she was holding back tears. She didn’t mean to hurt us, she didn’t mean to leave us many nights while she worked long hours to raise us, she didn’t want to see her own children cry, or fore more know that she was being blamed for.
Later on, I had the honor to meet a wonderful man who took the roles of my father, my stepdad, who in my world, is my dad that I’m so thankful for. Still, he could not fill in every single part of emptiness I had from a man I already had memories with. In high school, I started to realize I was looking for replacements. I needed someone to tell me they loved me, someone to make me feel like I was protected at all times. I also knew that if I ever thought of being married to someone, I would only hurt them with all of the insecurities I had. I couldn’t take it anymore. There were many situations I was put in where I felt like I only had sorrow from other family members since my family was the only one that was broken. I needed help. Why should my past, my parents marriage, and my brokenness be the ones to determine what kind of destiny I would have?
One day, I went to a service at church to see if I could find God, feel something, or get an answer. I had heard of him before and how he could make miracles happen, how his son Jesus came to earth to show us the way. He was the last one I turned to. I was so desperate to be healed. I called for his name, I asked him to give me a new heart that wasn’t broken, I asked him to help me forgive my father on earth so I can move on, and I asked him to help me overcome this stage that happened years ago. I honestly had no idea what I was doing or saying. Romans 10:13 says: For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” I was literally provoking God’s presence to come to me, a regular teenage girl, not the president, not a famous artist, not someone who is known for something, just little me. I started to feel something warm inside, I didn’t even know my eyes were closed so I opened them and I noticed I was crying, so I looked around me, I felt like I was releasing the pain and emotions I was holding back for so long, I felt like someone was listening to my prayer and I felt like my heart was removed and was being replaced with something soft and peaceful… I was being healed.
After that time, I had no doubt about who my God was and I knew what he had done in me. I realized that he wasn’t a religion but that he was freedom. My actions and expressions started to change and I felt like a big weight was off of my shoulders. I finally felt relief but I knew there was more to be done and that was the part I was so scared of and I knew I had to do it.
I asked God to give me the words and the courage to be able to reach my dad after years of no communication. I remember it was in the winter, I was visiting my family and it was late at night, I was with my cousins catching up and they asked me if I had seen my dad recently. I told them I hadn’t but that I wanted to. One of them started to cry because it had been months since they had seen their dad. He was working out of the country and it had been some time since he came back home. They told me that it was really hard for them so I told them that it would be fine because he was planning to come see them soon and that it should be enough for them to know that he’s actually coming back home to them. After I told them that I understood them and that I hadn’t seen my dad for more than 6 years, they felt embarrassed for crying and they wiped their tears away. The next day we woke up and started talking about how they were so excited their dad was coming home soon…then we heard a knock on the front door.
My Curly Mess,