I grew up a tomboy and never liked the notion of or even the term “daddy’s girl”. It sounded so… girly and sweet and prissy and… pink, whereas I was a ball of scars, too much energy, clumsiness and boyish tendencies.
On top of that, my relationship with my dad hit a couple craters (not potholes because potholes pass by relatively quickly. I call mine craters because we were stuck in suckiness for years). Simply put, I hated his guts. I told my mom I wouldn’t have minded if she had married someone else- I wouldn’t mind not existing if such was the case. Anything to get away from him, to disassociate (is that even a word) myself from him. Like, please, do not consider yourself my father in any other way than in the biological sense.
Are you getting the gist of my high school/early college years regarding my dad? If the bitterness is too much for you, multiply it by four and you’re getting close.
Naturally and circumstantially, consciously and inadvertently, I put myself far far far far away from the term that is the title of this entry.
Over time, by the holymolycrazyamazing grace of God Almighty and only by this holymolycrazyamazing grace, I found myself healed. The past three years have been a time of growth and mending and restoration, internally and relationally. I realized my worth as a daughter of the Most High and through that I was set free in my relationship with my earth dad. Which meant I could breathe the same air, be in the same room as him and not want to roll my eyes or curse or… yeah. And that was a HUGE step. The more I walked with Jesus, the more my heart opened to and embraced him, my earth dad. Like all things Jesus does, it only got better.
Fast forward to today: Sunday, May 6, 2012. Today’s message was on the father heart of God. Truthfully, I don’t really remember what the meat of the sermon was about. Just that it was about God. And how he’s a father. There’s more and it was good, I just can’t reach into the recesses of my horrible memory far enough to dig it out.
Near the end, during the response time, all I could see was a scene at my future wedding reception, specifically the father-bride dance. Yup, me and this man, my earth dad. On the dance floor. Just me and him. Sharing the beginning of something new, something good. So close to him for the last time. At that moment, I couldn’t wait to get married just for that dance.
Something changed in me.
Then the scene went backward into a flashback of us at Jack in the Box after shopping at the Brea mall. He’d bought me a buncha stuff and really it was a silent apology and request for forgiveness and understanding, all of which I rejected at the time. We sat there (I don’t even remember if we ordered anything) and he talked. In his terse Korean way, he beat his way around an apology. For the first time his eyes teared up and for the first time looking back, I realized, he knew. He knew how hurt, broken and angry I was. He wasn’t stupid. He knew I hated him, that he had nothing to say to me, nothing to expect from me. I would take my new clothes and gifts home and use them well, no problem, but there was no way he’d find his way back into my heart, at least then. At that time, I was kinda sorta moved, or rather, intrigued, just because I’d never seen him cry.
Today, it moved me to tears, remembering one of the most broken times of my life. More than finding out about myself, I realized he loved me. He really did, beyond his being a jerk and selfish selfish human being. And I received it, in full. When I did, I realized I freaking love him too.
Service ended and I wanted to go home and hug him. I ended up eating with everyone and hanging out afterward. I eventually got home around 7. I still haven’t given him a hug and talked to him and I’m okay with it. Things like this take time, deliberation, at least for me.
I guess I’ve been healed and made whole way more than I ever thought possible. Either that or I’m getting soft.
I’m my daddy’s girl.