Smoothing her skirt for the hundredth time, the little girl with straight black hair and big brown eyes sat primly on the front porch, dangling her feet over the edge. Her hair was neatly combed and held in place with a bow that matched her new ruffled party dress. It was her tenth birthday, and everything had to be perfect.
“This is the day my daddy’s gonna call,” Bianca thought to herself. “I know it. He’s going to call me and he’s going to wish me happy birthday and tell me that he loves me.”
Since the day her father had walked out of her life, Bianca had struggled with feelings of abandonment and being unwanted. For years she kept hoping and praying he would come back.
“This is the year,” she had decided on the day of her tenth birthday. “This is his last chance. If he doesn’t call me today, I’ll never expect him to call again.”
So she sat on the porch and waited. And waited. And waited.
He never called.
A Fresh Start
More than twenty years later, as Bianca was recounting the story to our Fresh Start team, her emotions were still raw.
“I decided then that my father didn’t love me,” she told us. “And I felt that maybe even God didn’t love me.”
But over the course of the week-long Fresh Start seminar, Bianca’s heart was touched by the message of forgiveness, and though it was difficult, she decided to fully forgive her father for the pain of rejection and abandonment. The burden of all that hurt and pain was lifted off her shoulders, and she actually felt love towards her father, even though he had never apologized or changed.
No Longer Abandoned
“It’s amazing!” She beamed through tears. “I feel such peace now. And God has shown me that HE was there all those years that my father wasn’t there! God was the Father that I needed as a little girl. He never left me. He fills that hole in my heart.”
Have you ever felt rejected or abandoned? Have people in your life let you down? Our Heavenly Father wants to fill those empty places in your heart. Take your pain to Him. Forgive those who have hurt or disappointed you. And let God reveal to you how He’s always been there, even in those lonely and painful times. He will never disappoint you. He is a father to the fatherless.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
Psalm 68:5 (NIV)