Psalm 10:14 (NIV)
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
This past Wednesday night at church, several people were invited on stage to briefly share what God has done in their lives and through our church. I was familiar with the story of one of the married couples who spoke about their journey in losing their little son, but then the woman said something that hit my heart like so many arrows.
She described herself as having had an issue of mediocrity in her life. Her parents divorced when she was young and she had always tried so hard and wanted for her father to think she was amazing. But it never happened and she just had this mentality that she was average and nothing special. She shared that during the women’s conference at our church last year God spoke to her heart during one of the worship songs and told her…You are not my stepdaughter! You are my daughter!
Now, if you don’t struggle with this kind of thing you may read that and be nonplussed. But if you have ever felt abandoned, neglected, discarded, passed-by or easy to do without, those words may pierce your heart as well. Like this woman, my parents divorced when I was in elementary school. And I could so completely relate to her words. As an adult I am learning that people, and parents, often do the best they can with what they know and with the foundation they were given in their own childhood. Nevertheless, troubles come in homes sometimes. Families are afflicted. God grieves with them and for shaken childhoods. But you know what I love? Why I write today? We have a rescue available…each of us. We can either commit ourselves to our broken past and gaping needs or we can commit ourselves to our Creator-Father.
Oh yes! He is the “helper of the fatherless.” Every little kid needs to know how amazingly special they are. They especially need to believe their dads think so. Maybe you didn’t have that. Maybe like the woman who shared and I am sharing, your heart yearned to know you were special and amazing but after a while you drew the conclusion you just weren’t. Perhaps there are dreams and purposes and talents deep inside of you planted there by your Creator…your destiny…and you are far from it because you never thought you could. Never believed you were special enough or have what it takes. Maybe you live with that mediocre mentality.
See, if we don’t know the treasure we are, if we don’t know what to believe about ourselves, then we will believe what others say. We’ll search and strive and hang our heads low. We’ll make choices that hurt our hearts, our minds and our bodies. We’ll make choices that hurt others. All because we are longing…
I have felt God stirring my heart lately to pray for people reading my blog, especially when someone I don’t know subscribes. If that’s you, know that I pray for you! I ask God to find ways to show and convince you of how much He loves you…that you will feel His presence, His nearness, in your life. And when I sit down before a blank screen I ask Him to use me. You know, sometimes you can take inventory of your childhood, your adult life and your hardships and wish it had been different or easier. But as I was feeding Leighton, my baby daughter, this morning I could hear Him whisper to my heart…what then would you have to write about? And I just smiled. Yes, my empty places are the blank pages He fills. My broken and less than perfect story is the script with the surprise ending. See, I am breaking up with the past.
Now I commit myself to Creator, Father, Helper. The verse above says He sees the trouble, the affliction. He considers our grief and takes it in hand when we commit ourselves to Him. Maybe that sounds too simple. Too “religious.” And if we are talking a dusty King James Bible that no one understands and trying to live up to a set of rules or trying really hard to be nice or a protester (smile!) then I agree. But what if you just sit still for a few minutes…on the porch, in your room or in your car…and talk to God? What if you express exactly what is on your mind and in your heart? This, my friend, is the very act of placing your grief and affliction in His hand. That’s it. Because I promise if you will just get still and talk to Him, give Him a chance, God will respond. I can’t say exactly how because He does so in a way that will fit you perfectly. A verse you find in a Bible you can understand. A song you come across. A thought unlike those you normally think that makes you wonder where did that come from? A desire, a conviction. The more time you spend just being yourself with Him the more you will recognize His response to you.
You are not fatherless. Not really. You don’t have to live abandoned, neglected, ignored or abused. You are amazing. You just need to hear it from the One who dreamed you, imagined you, designed you. You are not a mistake. Your life is not worthless. Your mistakes need not define you. The choice you made, the one that haunts you, it does not have to be the end of you. The heavy burden of finding love and acceptance can be lifted. God is not organized religion, not a merit badge for good deeds, and not so easily defined as we want Him to be in church-world. But He is everything the Bible says. And you are everything the Bible says…loved, helped, treasured, fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your Daddy says so.
**I have never done this before on my blog (yikes!) but if you are a person who reads my blog or happens across this post and you don’t have anyone to pray for you, please feel free to leave a comment with as much or little info as you would like. I would love to pray for you. I am not anyone special. Trust me if you could see my completely ordinary life and messy kitchen you would shake your head! Smile. But I know how Jesus can touch a life, heal a broken heart and give a new start…