Thursday, August 23, 2012

Worth Something to Him

It seems to be written in our DNA. From the moment we are born, we begin a lifelong quest to satisfy a desire that we can barely even identify. It is this longing deep in our hearts; a great thirst desperate to be quenched. There are many of us who find what we are looking for quickly and easily in life. But for some of us, the quest proves to be deadly.

It was 12:04A.M. and I was pulling into my driveway. I was living-up every day of my 18 years. Even though I think my parents would label me as a rebel, I wasn't a bad kid. I just wanted to taste life and test the waters a little bit. I needed to test the waters. Strange, I know. I wanted to feel the boundaries. As I skipped up the back steps and pulled open the screen door, there was my father; pulling open the main door and shaking the portable phone at me.

"I've been trying to call your cell phone," he said.
"Curfew is midnight and you know it.
I worry about you. I love you too much.
You're grounded. Good night."

I can see it so vividly in my head as if this just happened last night.
I took off my shoes, hung up my purse, and crashed in my bed... one, very happily grounded, young woman.
Seriously. Daddy loved me.

This happened more than once in my career as a "daughter of the curfew police." I would TEST my dad ON PURPOSE sometimes. I needed to know that I was WORTH something to him. I was in high school when I tried to get out the door in a short skirt and tank top without my parents seeing. My mom saw me... my siblings saw me... and THEN my dad saw me.

"Brittany... you're not going out dressed like that."

I am SURE I argued with him. My nature is to challenge authority. "WHY?!" Oh I needed to hear him tell me why.

"You are a beautiful woman
and there are men out there who will NOT respect you
for the treasure you are if you are wearing this outfit."

I remember that I could not argue with him.
His covering was what I was CRAVING.
I changed my clothes that day... and my heart was forever changed.
I was worth something to him.

We were all sitting in the living room at my grandma's house this past Easter, getting ready to leave for vigil mass, when my little sister came bounding down the stairs in her new dress. She twirled around in the living room for all to see. My mom saw... my siblings saw... but the ONLY person she addressed was...

"DAD, what do you think?!"

"You look BEAUTIFUL!" he replied.

... and then she walked out of the room! WHAAAAAT?!?!
I was a little put-off that she didn't want my "big sister opinion."
She got what she NEEDED. She needed to know she was worth something to him.

I know that I am blessed in the father that God chose for me. The woman I am today would be a completely different story had my femininity not be covered so well by my dad. I am sure I would have tried anything and everything - from lowering my shirt, hiking-up my skirt, giving away pieces of my heart and body to any boy who would look at me - to find the AFFIRMATION and COVERING I think we all crave as women.

I'd be lying if I said that mine and my father's relationship was perfect. We're both human and we've had our ups and downs throughout the years. But he is HUMAN. I take the good... and let God cover the rest! It is CRAZY how so many people apply the image of their earthly father to their HEAVENLY FATHER. What daddy does on earth... "daddy" does in heaven? Yea, I've bought that lie too.

I have full confidence that my heavenly Father loves me for who I am, and so diligently seeks to uplift me as the woman He has created me to be, because my dad has done this throughout the years. I am worth something to HIM - my God.

I fear that there are many broken hearts out there; bleeding for lack of affirmation. It is sad that so many fathers don't rise to the occasion to lead and cover their children. I believe this is what leads so many of us, as daughters AND sons, to begin searching for that fatherly covering in other ways.

"Words were said, painful worlds. Things were done, awful things. And they shaped us. Something inside of us shifted. We embraced the messages of our wounds. We accepted a twisted view of ourselves... We also developed ways of trying to get something of the love our hearts cried out for. The ache is there. Our desperate need for love and affirmation, our thirst for some taste of romance and adventure and beauty is there. So we turned to boys or to food or romance novels; we lost ourselves in our work or at church or in some sort of service. All this adds up to the women we are today."
- Stasi Eldridge: Captivating

Some of us will embark on a quest
that leads to spiritual, possibly even physical, death
as we try filling the gaping VOID in our life with
drugs, sex, alcohol, immodesty, food, violence, you-name-it, etc.

Some of us will see through Satan's lie,
and know that our heavenly Father loves us SO MUCH MORE than our earthly fathers.
We will find our covering and peace in HIM - who is in heaven.

Who will you be?

We are all chosen, cherished, and covered by THE greatest Father - our awesome God!

He is there to pick up where daddy left off.

He is there to fill the gaping voids and save us
from our perilous quests for love and affirmation.
He is SHOUTING OUT for you to know that...

"Like a lily among thorns, so is my darling among maidens."
- Song of Songs 2:2

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