Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'll Always be Daddy's Little Girl

“Daddy’s Little Girl” is a title for which most little girls yearn. I know I certainly did. As a young child, I often climbed up into my daddy’s lap in search of his love. It was a privilege to ride tall above the others on his shoulders. Whether at the dinner table or in the church pew, I claimed the seat directly next to him. When the cards I picked or the poems I wrote left him struggling with his emotions, I found myself pleased. I craved my daddy’s time, attention, love and even his tears.

The annual trips we took as a family to the zoo and amusement park gave me an opportunity to claim my daddy for myself. Completely secure in his love, I would go between my parents and separate their interlocked fingers until I stood between them. I wasn’t content until I was the one walking hand in hand with my dad. His rough hands, calloused from long hard hours of labor in construction, left me feeling valued and secure as they enveloped mine. Holding his hand was my declaration to the world that I belonged to him. I was always very proud to be “Daddy’s Little Girl” and wonder, at times, if he cherished our moments together even more.

There is a special bond between a little girl and her daddy. Moreover, I believe that a little girl’s view of God can be deeply rooted in her opinion of her earthly father. Thankfully, as I was seeking my daddy’s love and acceptance, he was seeking God. On Sunday mornings, my dad would sit at the dining room table with his coffee and his Bible. To this day, I can still hear his voice singing out his favorite hymns in praise to God. As I filter through my childhood memories, I value the way my dad exemplified a relationship with God. For all too soon, I would come to grasp the impact of his example in my life.

My world altered drastically the night the doctor called to confirm the diagnosis. While my dad accepted it a little too easily, I refused to believe it. Could I even imagine life without my dad? Over the next year, I watched as the body he prided himself in keeping so physically fit deteriorated. The last time I held my daddy’s hand, it was that of a man whose body was ridden with cancer. As I felt his strong calloused hands for the final moment, I was overcome by just how much it meant to be secure in his love. While “the strongest man in the world” was ripped from me because of a disease we never saw coming, there was still a comfort in knowing my identity stood secure.

I am no longer able to seek approval from the father who raised me. However, in my greatest loss, I have found my richest treasure: it was God’s unconditional love and approval I should have been seeking all along. The determination I had to win my dad’s heart was a pathway to a relationship much more important. No matter how old I get, where I go or what I do, I can be secure in my relationship with my Heavenly Father. All my desires, longings and cravings need to rest in God alone.

I firmly believe that my temporary relationship with my earthly father gave me just a glimpse of my eternal relationship with my Heavenly Father. Every time I seek God’s time, attention, love and approval, my heart is flooded with the knowledge that He cherishes our moments together even more. I want to declare to the world that I belong to Him! Being God’s child, I am forever secure in my identity as “Daddy’s Little Girl”.

“God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” [emphasis added] ~ Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful words that honor your earthly father well - he obvious has left an amazing legacy through you! It is a joy and a blessing to read your heart through this post...sister! Big Hug! Tracey