30 Days of Stories: Day 7
To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’re telling 30 stories of God’s faithfulness in and through Fellowship North. You can read all the stories here.
When I was about 10 or 11 years old, my grandmother told me that my biological father was coming to see me. To see me, which was odd considering I’ve only met the man once when I was about 5 or so. What was the most odd was that I was excited to get to see this man that pretty much disowned me from the day that I was born. But there I was, sitting in between the thighs of my grandmother as she forced my hair to cooperate. I put on one of those dresses with the frills at the bottom and that cut off circulation around the arms pits, legs coca-buttered up, new dress socks and some fresh white KEDs that took a lot of scrubbing. I wanted to make the best impression I could on this stranger. I wanted him to love me and to take me away with him. I wanted to have what all the other kids at school had-a father to call my own. So, on an unknown Sunday afternoon after a gruelingly long Sunday school service, I sat on our porch as lady-like as I could, and waited for my father to arrive. As 2:00 rolled into 4:00, I started to get worried, but kept my hope alive. He said he was coming. And when 6:00 came, I knew he wasn’t. Soon after my realization, my granny walks outside while I was hugging the porch pole and my tears to confirm it. That day, my little heart hardened towards men and the knowledge that no man would love me. Why should they when my own father didn’t?
While I’ve always has an open dialogue and relationship with God, I’ve had a hard time trusting the motives of men, even His. I knew that there were good men out there-men who loved their kids, took care of their families. But due to my lack of experience, I just couldn’t trust their hearts. My brothers and I grew up without the true touch of a father’s love. We had a step-father whom we saw on occasion through the years, but he pretty much was on the outside of our lives. I didn’t trust that when a boy told me I was pretty that he meant it. I questioned why this person was talking to me and why this person wasn’t. I did not have the necessary tools of assurance and confidence as a young woman to see myself in a light of beauty. Everywhere I turned, I saw rejection and disappointment. So in that, I showed more skin than necessary; I spoke in certain ways that would make a sailor happy; and I degraded myself to the point of non-existence. Fortunately for me, God was so determined to show me that a father’s love didn’t necessarily have to come from a biological source. So, in my walk with and against Him, He set before me situations where I was in constant interaction with real fathers who love and the kids who love them. And it was through these interactions that, at 21 years old, I sought out my biological father to forgive him. To this day, our relationship has grown into a close friendship.
I’ve been a part of Fellowship North for 3 years now. And while this church is dedicated to the nourishment of children, it is also dedicated to the growing of men and fathers who love God and family and aren’t ashamed or afraid to be fathers and vulnerable with their children. I find it beautiful and inspiring to continue to see God work and build the men of this church into faith leaders. He’s even given me a few surrogate dads here that I love without question and who show me how cherished I am at 28 years old. It’s through these choice men that I have grown closer and more confident in God’s love and His assurance of and for me. Thanks Dad. Thanks Fellowship North.
All anyone needs to know about me is “Writing is how I live; Music is how I breathe; Silence is how I sleep; Prayer is how I heal; God is how I exist…”