Discovering my daddy’s delight in me
It was a crisp, sunny, spring afternoon in the tiny, dusty town where I lived. This wasn’t just any spring afternoon; this was the 3 September 1991 at about 1 o’ clock. This very specific spring morning I was flat on my back on the hospital bed insisting that the baby was on its way. I pleaded most urgently with anyone nearby that they should get the doctor! The nurse walked into the hospital room and again I insisted that the baby was on its way. She took one look at me and said;
“No it’s not; you still have several hours to go.”
She promptly turned around and walked out of the room completely dismissing my plea. She wasn’t mean or anything, it was just that she assumed that I knew nothing about labour or child birth as I was only seventeen years old, a child in her eyes.
Again I pleaded and insisted that the baby was coming, so for the sake of peace and quiet the nurse came and took a look. Her countenance dropped and she sent for the doctor immediately and promptly told me to stop pushing and to hold the baby in until the doctor arrived. Within a few minutes I was holding the most precious gift in the whole world, my beautiful baby girl, Lorah! Never had I experienced such joy and peace and complete fulfilment. I cried from sheer joy, she was so beautiful. In my arms was my very own pure and innocent child. Love consumed me and my life changed forever. All my fears about being a mommy at such a young and tender age subsided, this was completely natural and felt totally right. The days that followed were filled with flowers, gifts, cards and complete and utter delight! How is it possible to feel such strong feelings for such a tiny thing, how can you love so intensely and so completely? I had never felt this sort of love in my life, it was incredible.
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into years. Time flew by but the love I felt only grew stronger. My heart ached for more of this and along came Jordan. Now I was blessed with two precious baby girls and the love in my heart continued to grow. I could spend an hour simply sitting at their bedside watching them sleep. Each new step and each new word they spoke brought even more joy into my life. I loved being a mommy!
Being a mommy saved me, I was so busy and so consumed with these precious little ones that I lost all interest in my past life. I walked close to Jesus so that I could learn how to be more like Him so my girls would have a great life.
I prayed my heart out that He would help me be a better person so that my girls wouldn’t have to have the childhood that I had known. I cried out to God for my little girls covering every area that I had suffered in my life making sure they were fully protected from the evils of this world.
Of course there were bad days too! Children are children and they did naughty things, said naughty words and at times even hurt my heart. That didn’t change my love for them one bit though! My love was set to maximum all the time. How could it not be, they were my very own children?
It dawned on me from time to time that I am God’s child and His love for me was even more than my love for my girls. His love was perfect too.
Because you are mine
One of the things I decided that I would do was to teach my girls that I loved them simply because they were mine. I wanted them to grow up totally secure in my love not feeling that they could earn it in any way. I remember that feeling as I was growing up, the feeling of never quite being good enough. The only time I felt really loved was when I did something good or something clever. I was determined that my girls were going to be showered with unconditional love! So I developed a routine bedtime habit for them, this is how it went;
“How much does mommy love you?”
They would stretch out their arms to either side and try and put it behind their backs and say;
Then I would say; “And why do I love you?”
They would reply with; “Because I am yours.”
It was simple to them, I love them because they were mine! That’s it, no strings attached. When they were naughty I disciplined them with a smack on the bottom but only after explaining that this didn’t mean that my love has changed. I still loved them very much and it was because of that love that I disciplined them.
If I love my daughters this much how much more does my Father in heaven love me?
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
I know this verse is speaking primarily of giving gifts, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to apply it to love. If I, being evil, know how to love my daughters, how much more does my Daddy in heaven love me?
watch my girls closely to look out for the things they get right and then very supportively encourage and point out the things that they get right. On occasion I have to mention their mistakes too to keep them on the right path, but my motivation is always love.
Most of the time I can see my daughter’s potential even more than I can see who they already are. I nudge them forward; sometimes even give them a firm push to help them reach their potential. On occasion they don’t like the feeling of being pushed but I still do it because I know that they will thank me later when they realise what the push did for them.
In the same way, I know that God sees my potential and sometimes has to give me a push. I don’t always like that feeling of being “out in open water” but I know why I do it to my daughters so I know why He does it to me.
Looking back, I can see how being a mommy helped me understand how much my Daddy in heaven loves me. I have learned that He takes delight when I “play in the garden”. He can spend hours sitting in heaven with His chin resting on His folded hands watching me sleep at night. I know that just as I peep through the kitchen window taking delight in watching my babies play, so He peeps through heavens window and watches me enjoy my life. I have learned that loving life and enjoying the life He has given me is the best gift I can give God. He takes great pleasure in me being happy. He smiles when I smile and when I cry He cries. I thank God so often for giving me the gift of children; it has taught me many things about Him and has also brought tremendous healing to my life.
I remember specifically on one occasion, how what I thought Jesus was thinking and what I realise He was actually thinking were two completely opposite things.
A friend of mine had heard of this thing called inner healing where you go back to traumatic times in the past, relive the memory and then ask Jesus what He has to say about it. I thought this was a great idea and wanted to give it a try. What happened next completely set me free! I sat in my living room reluctantly digging up the past and placing it at the forefront of my mind. I placed myself back in my bedroom on the day that my father was touching me. I felt a bit ill thinking about it and started crying as the memory became strong and real. I was reliving that awful day.
Fully expecting a scolding from Jesus I reluctantly asked Him what He had to say about this situation. I expected Him to be upset with me for allowing my dad to touch me, I expected Him to scold me for being weak and afraid and not saying no. I feared Jesus was ashamed of me for being so dirty and impure. I held back at first in fear of the disapproving look on Jesus’ face.
The scene was as if I was I was actually reliving the whole thing. In my mind’s eye I could see my father sitting on one side of me and I could sense Jesus on the other side of me. I hesitantly turned to look at Him and although I couldn’t see His face, I could clearly tell that He was sobbing uncontrollably. I took a closer look and wondered why He was so upset, was He angry with me? Did I disappoint Him that much? Suddenly I felt a strange power come over me and I burst out crying too as Jesus said sorry to me. He said;
This is a snippet of the third chapter from my new book ‘Secure on the Rock’ which will be released in paperback on 1 March 2011. Chapter 4 of Secure on the Rock will follow soon, more info available here.