Definition, in case of confusion: (F)ather = heavenly. (f) = earthly.
[this blog post is only a small fraction of my past and of what God has taught me/is teaching me]
Growing up I knew two fathers within one. The one who loved me, who was sensitive and adored my heart. Then their was the "other," who was abusive to my mother, and who brilliantly masked himself in drugs and alcohol. Who played tug-o-war with my feelings. Whose love was shaky, whose pain could be felt a mile away, whose strength was crippling, and whose hands were unsteady.
"Don't be like me. Please Melanie, don't be like me." Those are the words I've carried in my heart for a very long time. Those are the words my (f)ather passed along to me. Backwards right? I'd say so. As a child, these words were confusing, and as an adult, these words I have grieved. They are not natural. (f)athers should want their children to be like them. Aren't they to be the ones who set the standard of living? Aren't they called to be the model their children can reflect? Instead my model was requesting I not be like him. Who then am I suppose to be like? No idea. I wasn't given an alternative.
Growing up I wanted to make my (f)ather proud. I didn't want to go down the path he had traveled so far down. I wanted to be different, just like he was requesting I be. It's easy to want that, but it's hard to achieve it when you haven't got a clue or the tools instilled in you on how to go about making this happen. My "natural" tendencies were just like his. All the wishing, all the hoping, and all his begging weren't enough to keep me from following his path. Whether he wanted to be or not, he was my leader.
Without going into ALL the details, you can start to see that my view of a healthy (f)ather was quite tainted with the worlds layer's wrapped around it (more like smothered).
The heavenly (F)ather: When I was 16 or 17 (after the passing of my earthly (f)ather), I came to know a different one. One that I SO desperately wanted to grasp. One that I could feel my soul longing for. I met my Savior. I met my new (F)ather.
I wish I could say it all came so easy, but unfortunately undressing a lifetime of deception doesn't happen overnight. I have struggled. [Struggle] for me embodies a multitude of things that I won't get into right now, but one I have struggled the most with is understanding, grasping, and genuinely feeling my new (F)ather's love.
[since being saved] I've always understood Jesus (the Son) and his gift to me, but when it comes to the (F)ather I've always felt lost, confused, hurt, abandoned, angry, distant, frustrated, lonely, hopeless, and forgotten.
So, all that brings me to this: As I have been journeying through the Word this year, God has really begun to open my eyes & heart to the (F)athers love for ME. I feel my heart starting to really GET IT. Get it in ways I've never gotten it before. For so long I've understood Jesus and what He did for me, but all this time I was missing the fact that everything Jesus did and said was because of the (F)ather. THE FATHER has lavished His love upon me [as I type I still feel myself craving to understand this love more, do we ever arrive?]. Without HIM Jesus would not be. I would not be saved.
After reading the Old and New Testament [I'm up to 2 Sam. & John], I'm beginning to really grasp His LOVE. It's amazing how long, how hard, and how much the (F)ather has been fighting for us (me). HE is the reason. HE is the one who GAVE. HE is the one who has been patiently waiting. HE is the one who has NEVER abandoned. HE is the (F)ather I've been longing to follow.
[Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. John 6:32]
His desire is that I allow Him to take the lead. That I model after His heart. That I be just like Him. Something my (f)ather never desired for me within my relationship with him. Now I'm beginning to see that as a good thing. I'm glad he wanted better for me. I'm glad he knew I could be something greater than himself. Thankfully I've found it. I've found the one I'm suppose to model.
I may be an adult, but in my heart I'm still a child figuring this all out. I now long to make my earthly (f)ather proud by following hard after my heavenly (F)ather.
[For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ...And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:38-40]