Growing up for me had its challenges, as my mother raised my little sister and I without either of our fathers being physically present. Now, don't mistake me, this is not a blog post to speak negatively about either of our fathers, I simply have the intention of taking you down the road that I traveled while growing up in a "fatherless home."
During the first five years of my life, my mother and I lived with my grandmother, aunts, and uncles. However, at the the age of five, my mother moved out on her own, and my life began to change. Once my mother moved out, she no longer had the physical and financial support she needed to provide for both of us. I watched her work hard, day in and day out, to provide us with the necessities needed to survive. Sometimes, before school, I would have to stay in the home alone just until it was time for me to head out to the bus stop, because my mother did not and could not afford to provide me with a sitter. I use to think to myself, "If my father was here to help and assist, things would be better." My father would help out financially when he could, as he would make sure I had the latest sneakers and clothing, but no material goods could replace the absence of him being physically in the home.
When I graduated from 5th Grade, there was absolutely no one in the audience to support me because my mother had to work in order to continue providing and supporting the home on her own. I can't quite remember why my father was not there, but all I remember is walking across the stage and hearing absolutely no one to cheer me on as I achieved one of my elementary school goals. In addition, all of my other peers and friends were heading home early, celebrating over lunch their wonderful achievements, but I was left at school to walk the lonely halls until it was time for dismissal. I was saddened by this for the longest time and for the life of me I didn't understand why this had to happen to me. "Why was I chosen to undergo so many challenges during my childhood and even into some of my adult life?"
Furthermore, as I matured and became interested in young boys, as crazy as it may sound, I wanted my father around to question and size up the young men that were interested in me. Instead, I learned through trial and error because I did not have the discernment that only a man could have to see through another male. At times, I would blame the heartache and pain I experienced through dating on my father because I felt that if he was physically around enough, half of the guys I dated wouldn't have stood a chance. Living without my father in the home caused me to feel a sense of rejection, abandonment, and loneliness. I started to feel as if he did not want me, and if he did, why would he continue to be absent in my life? There were also times when I cried to my mother asking her, "Why don't my father want me?" My mother would always say something positive and never anything negative or derrogatory towards my father.
However, there was one man that I knew I could count on when I called him, and that was my paternal grandfather, as he would do anything in his power for me. In addition, when my mother received Christ in her life, He started to send Godly men to father me and care for me as only a father could. I then started getting counseling to walk free of the rejection, pain, and loneliness I felt in growing up without a father in the home. I began to get the breakthrough in some areas as my late Pastor walked me through the process of receiving victory in those areas of my life. I remember him distinctly saying to me, "I can be a father to you." Though those words may not sound like much, at that time, for me, it said so much. I had longed to hear those words from my biological father; however, finally it had come from my spiritual father.
As God used my late Pastor, my paternal grandfather, my paternal and maternal uncles, and other men of the church to father me, I began to walk in complete healing and victory. Today, I am able to love my father without reservations or ill thoughts towards him. I have nothing but respect and love for him because the bible reads in Ephesians 6:1-3, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"-which is the first commandment with a promise-"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." In addition, I stood on the scripture in Psalms 68:5 that states that God promises to be a father to the fatherless. God did absolutely that for me, as he placed men in my life that began to protect and love me as their own. So even though you may be in a similar situation or have a child or children that could relate to my story, hold on to God's unchanging hand as He promised to be a father to the fatherless.