Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Healing Power of an Ugly Cry

A few months ago my Pastor was closing out the service and as he began to pray he started by saying, "We love you Daddy" while looking up toward Heaven.  Now I know he has said this at least 100 times before, but on this day something shook me at the core.  I opened my eyes and looked around wondering if anyone else had felt that powerful jolt.  However I was all alone in my personal, gut-wrenching moment with God.  After the altar call I made my way out of church with my girls.  I do not know if I spoke with anyone on the way out or not, I just had to get out of there.  I do not know how I managed to drive home without falling apart. 

I got the girls lunch and then went into my master bathroom and began to sob.  The tears seemed like they had been pent up for years, I mean I had sat through years of father's day services, sappy daddy-daughter movies, and even watched my own husband with my girls, but nothing compared to Pastor Brett standing there talking to God and calling Him Daddy on that day.  I realized that I had accepted God as my Savior, my Lord, my Provider, but not my Daddy.  So the tears kept flowing as memories flashed through my mind like a Lifetime movie:
  1. Living with a wonderful caregiver until the age of 5 but always feeling like something wasn't quite right
  2. Going to live with my mother and her husband after my sister was born and always feeling like I didn't belong there
  3. The ten-year old me wondering why I didn't look like anyone in my family
  4. The twelve-year old me asking God how my dad could just live his life without ever even wondering about me at all
  5. Me, at 13 meeting him and it was such a let-down.  I wanted a hero but he was a troubled man suffering from liver disease due to years of drinking
  6. Then me at 16, attending his funeral feeling nothing as he was laid to rest; I did not shed a tear
And here I am, 39 years old crying my eyes out; crying the ugly cry.  Crying for my daddy, wishing I had had a real relationship with any kind of father figure, sobbing, wailing and praying.  I cried thinking about how unlovable and inadequate I have felt most of my life.  I cried and prayed for forgiveness for all of the envy I had had over the years of other girls' relationships with their fathers.  I think I cried all of the tears from all of the times that I buried my feelings.  There had been times in my past that I thought I would go insane if I began to think about these things I am writing today.  But something happened that day.  In the midst of the tears a healing power came over me.  It was as if the Lord Himself reached down from Heaven and comforted me that day.  I started out crying about my natural dad and I ended up having a supernatural encounter with my heavenly Daddy. 

I had a divine moment that day and the word of the Lord in Psalm 27:10 became clear to me: when my mother and father forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.  I thought about how He must have taken me "up" above those circumstances throughout my life so I would not be consumed by them.  In other words, I don't look like what I've been through.  So many people have difficult family relationships but I am so glad that my Daddy specializes in healing the brokenhearted.  Psalm 34:17-18 gives us hope: the righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  I thank my Daddy for His healing power and the power of His love that overtakes me.  I am the apple of His eye and He is making my latter years SO much better than my former years.  So when you see all my blessings just remember: I am a Daddy's girl!  And if you're in need of some healing don't underestimate the healing power of an ugly cry.