Abba, Father

Do you really know your Father?

Our beliefs about God are colored by abusive relationships with our earthly fathers. If we apply these distorted perceptions to God, we miss a vital relationship with One who loves us more than any earthly person.

Words spoken by our fathers affect our lives long past the event. The memory of these words haunt our self-perception and influence decisions about our future.

When I was seven, my father came into my bedroom late at night, knelt by my bed and said, “You are so stupid, dumb, and ugly, no man will ever want to marry you.  I’m going to teach you to put out so you can at least get a man.”

Those hurtful words tore deep into my soul. I believed what he said and made them a self-fulfilling prophesy. They were dredged up at every intersection of my life and influenced my unhealthy decisions.

I grew to hate the words, “I love you.” When my parents told me they loved me it meant they wanted something from me and it would hurt. I became a people-pleaser, believing, only if I did what people wanted, would they like me. My self-image was distorted by that one statement.

When Christians approached me and said, “God loves you.” I wondered what God wanted and if it would hurt me. I didn’t want a father’s love, nor did I believe that God wanted anything to do with me.  In order to form the relationship I now have with God, I had to realize God was not like my earthly father.

It took time to trust God’s love for me.  He knows the number of hairs on my head, has my name written in the palm of his hand and loves me passionately. I’ve learned to trust Him, but that trust did not come easy. God is patient with us as we begin our shaky relationship with Him.

I wondered why God didn’t approach me and make me realize His love. I wanted Him to be proactive.  In retrospect, I realize He treated me like a cornered animal.  He sat patiently, held out His hand to me, and waited until I gained courage to approach Him.

Photo by Richard GartenPhoto by Richard Garten

He always received my approaches to Him, but never pushed beyond my boundaries. God did not force Himself on me the way my earthly father forced me. God just loved me and let me slowly respond to Him, never forcing me beyond my comfort level.

In my next post I’m going to talk about different kinds of love mentioned in the Bible so we can see what God’s love entails.  His love is so awesome. He loves us before we even know Him and His love is not contingent on what we do or don’t do.  He loves us in spite of ourselves. He loves us with our flaws and our strengths. Nothing we do or don’t do can shake His love for us.

That doesn’t mean He doesn’t correct our behavior or desire that we grow and change. God’s correction is for our good, not to tear us down. He wants us to have a joyful, fulfilled, and satisfying life. God only wants the best for us.

What images of the Father did you have to unlearn?

If possible, share with us how you unlearned false facts about God or how you overcame negative words spoken over your life. The tools you used to overcome them could be an encouragement for others.

Have a blessed day.


About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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3 Responses to Abba, Father

  1. Deborah says:

    Thank you Heather.
    Your transparency is refreshing.
    Your story and mine sound very similar.
    Would you mind me linking to this post on my blog?
    Sort of like a guest post?

  2. Pingback: Significant Encounters Friday #9 « Significant Encounters

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