People tried to present God as a Heavenly Father; every time they did, it just pushed me further away.

It’s not that I wasn’t looking for a father.  I had been a daddy’s girl since before I can remember, and there’s just something about a daughter being loved by her father.  There is just something about that relationship that cannot be put into words.  When I lost that relationship, I lost a part of me.  It’s a part I have still yet to recover completely, and probably never will.  I will go through life with a bit of a limp, with nearly two decades of that love gone forever. 

But people tried.  Bless their hearts, they tried!  They tried to help me understand that God could fill that void.  While their intentions, in hindsight, were pure, their methodology was flawed immensely.

Fathers are a bit of a dying breed, unfortunately.  Good, quality, Godly fathers are hard to come by.  Divorce is on the rise, abuse is on the rise, everything that cracks the foundation of a young girl’s heart is growing stronger.  More and more daddy’s girls are left being simply girls, with parts of them gone forever.

Enter: God as a Father.

“Jessica, it’s ok, you have a Father in Heaven who loves you.  You don’t need an earthly father.”  Wrong on so many counts– half truths that burned more than healed. 

If I can offer a little glimpse into my head and heart (and maybe I am unique– maybe the rest of the daddy’s girls in the world aren’t this way, though I highly doubt that), I hated this line with a seething, fiery passion. 

First off, it was not OK.  Second, I did not want a “Heavenly Father” I wanted my daddy.  Third, if my daddy could single-handedly flip my world upside down, why on earth would I want an all-mighty God to do the same thing??

See, no one ever bothered to explain to me that my father had gotten it wrong.

When I thought of a “father’s love” (or love in general, for that matter) I thought of something that had to be earned and merited, and then when you earned it, all it was was a right to be acknowledged.  But that is not love.  My dad had not shown me real love and I was viewing God through the lens of my father.  I did not need that kind of grief again.

Here’s the whole truth about God as a father.  He is not just our ‘Heavenly Father,’ He is the perfect father.  He is not a replacement father; He is a different father.

Look at Luke 11:11-12

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

Now, admittedly, some of us have fathers who just might give us snakes instead of eggs.  The whole point of this passage, though, is that God is not like that.  That passage comes in the context of Jesus encouraging us to ask, seek, and knock.  He is dispelling fear and encouraging hope in the listeners that even they have the common sense to take care of their own children, of course God will be able to do much more.  God is going to be a lot better at this loving father thing than any man on the face of this earth.

It took me about ten years to overcome my fear of God as Father and understand that God as Father is actually a good thing– a really really good thing.

That same fear will cripple many young women.  How do we help combat that?  We tell the whole story.  God is not simply a Heavenly copy of your Earthly father, He is the exact copy of what our hearts are longing for.  He is the love that we are convinced no longer exists.  To a daddy’s girl, that makes all the difference in the world.