Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.
Can a child fully understand the love of God if he has not felt the love of an earthly father? In my experience, it is very difficult. I had four fathers. My birth father divorced my mother when she was pregnant with me. I felt his rejection deeply. My mother’s second husband was an alcoholic and very abusive—he even attempted to kill her. My next stepfather was kind but greedy. He, along with two friends, robbed three banks. He ended up in prison, and my mother divorced him.
My childhood years were anything but glamorous. I was insecure, had low self-esteem, and felt very unloved. It was difficult for me to make friends in school. As a teenager, I longed for acceptance from my peers, but my search for love only left me feeling empty and alone. I didn’t know that my Father in heaven was working behind the scenes to fill that void. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. . . . I have called you by your name; you are Mine” (Jer. 1:5; Isa. 43:1). “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18). “When my father . . . forsake[s] me, then the Lord will take care of me” (Ps. 27:10).
When I was 19, a friend invited me to attend a Christian concert at her local church. One of the music group leaders gave this invitation: “If your life is empty and you feel alone, won’t you give Jesus a chance?” His words and the music touched my heart, and I responded to the call to come forward and receive Jesus.
I was reading the Gospel of John when I came across this phrase: “the Father Himself loves you” (John 16:27, first part). It struck me! I had heard that Jesus loved me, but the Father? Could I really believe that? All I knew of God the Father was that He seemed far away from me—somewhere in heaven—and that He could see everything I was doing. I was afraid of Him. As I read the Scriptures, I fell in love with Jesus. Jesus came, however, to show us the love of His Father. When Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father,” Jesus answered, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father ” (John 14: 8, 9).
I had to accept that God the Father truly loved me through His Son, Jesus Christ. “The very first step in approaching God is to know and believe the love He has to us; for it is through the drawing of His love that we are led to come to Him” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 104, 105). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Also, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them . . .” (2 Cor. 5:19).
Once I understood that God loved me unconditionally, I found strength to forgive my earthly fathers for rejecting me. God gave me grace to move on. I know now that I have a heavenly Father and that I am a daughter of the Most-High God, the King of kings. Our heavenly Father understands the human need for love and acceptance. He didn’t forget about me.
So what about my fourth father? I was 11 when my mother remarried. Because all the other men left us, I wondered if he would stay. He did. I adopted him as my dad and love him as if he were my biological father. He has provided the security and love that any father should. My mother is gone now, but my dad remains a vital part of my life. A father is more than blood.
How about you? Have you been abandoned by a parent or family member? Do you long to be accepted and secure? Do you ache to be loved unconditionally? “Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 119). “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov. 18:10).