"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever." Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV)
My father was an alcoholic. Sadly, the disease consumed him and when he couldn't find a way out, he committed suicide. His death affected my life in so many ways, and I missed his presence regularly. But one of the hardest times was at my wedding.
My wedding day was not what I had dreamed of. I glanced over to where my father should have been and saw an empty chair. The beauty of the father-daughter dance and him giving me away was a moment I would have treasured and framed.
But there was no photograph of our dance or of him handing me to my husband. Those pictures and memories were stolen from me. My wedding dress hid my vulnerable heart and my flowing veil covered my sad eyes.
In my brokenness, it felt like my father, by his suicide, abandoned me. I thought I was different because of the shame and loss and never really had a sense of belonging. In many ways, I felt like an orphan. Thankfully, I still had my mother who encouraged me that our faithful God would send someone into my life at the times when I needed a father figure.
My mom was right. God did send a father to take my dad's place. He arranged for someone to care for my needs, to nurture my wounded heart and be the solid foundation that a girl needs in a father. He sweetly sent someone who would not abandon me.
God didn't hand-select a pastor, uncle, in-law or godly man whom He trusted to show me love the way I needed. No, God sent Himself as a Father to me and my crippled heart. He fulfilled what He promises in Psalm 68:5, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling" (NIV).
The Fatherhood of God has created a healthy, trustworthy relationship with me that would never have happened if He hadn't helped me overcome the sadness of the loss of my earthly father. He saved me from my doubts and insecurities.
God has been so very faithful to give to me what the years my childhood of insecurity and immaturity stole from me: wisdom and discernment. He's promised to restore back to me everything that's been stolen, even the memory of a father-daughter dance.
The Bible describes in vivid detail the beauty that is to come for those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus. Revelation 19:7 says, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready" (NIV).
There is a wedding where my Father will be. His presence will be known. His seat will be filled. His love will surround the place where there will be no tears or pain. At the wedding of the Lamb, I will finally have a dance with my Daddy.
I will take the hand that created me (Colossians 1:16). I will hold the palm that has my name written on it (Isaiah 49:16). He will lead me to all righteousness, just as He has taught me through life (Psalm 23:3). I will look into the eyes that are watching me now (Psalm 145:20). I will be held in the arms that I have run to so many times (Proverbs 18:10). I will be face-to-face with the One whose love has never failed me (Psalm 31:16). I will dance with my Father on that day.
Do you need a Father who never will leave you? Do you need security, love and devotion? Your Heavenly Father is the One who holds your heart safely in His capable hands. You are His most treasured possession. He wants to nurture you. Ask God today to heal your heart with His Fatherly love and set your hopes on eternity and a future dance.
Can He have this dance?
Father, You are trustworthy, true to Your Word and truly extravagant in Your love. You will never leave nor forsake me. Thank You for Your care for me. Amen.
The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzanne Eller
Reflect and Respond:
Write this on a note card and place it where you can see it:
You are MY daughter and I adore you. I watch your every move and direct your every step. I have a future planned and purposed for your good. Your heart is safe with Me. I promise. May I have this dance?
Ephesians 1:5, "He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will." (NIV)
© 2013 by Sheila Mangum. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105