Julie’s adaptation of the 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my Father.
I’m proud to be His Daughter.
He is the Daddy I’ve always wanted.
He protects me from evil.
I am safe with him.
We talk all day and night.
We desire each other’s presence.
Even though my mother and father have abandoned me. He has adopted me.
I am His.
I am delighted in this new relationship.
He is a father who desires to give me good things.
He pursues me with His lavish love daily.
My cup overflows!
Surely His love is never ending and we will walk hand
In hand all the days of my life!
As I wrote this piece, I felt an incredible release in my heart, a shifting of who I belonged to. My heart and my life became totally his.
A journey of forgiveness
Not too long after I wrote this and had my adoption ceremony I had an incredible journey of forgiveness with my earthly father. I knew I couldn’t trust, but I knew I could forgive. I had to take the anger and bitterness out of my heart and give it to God. This trust process wasn’t easy, but as I did it, I felt so free of anger, hardness of heart, and everything that kept me bound to hardness of heart. I felt free to love, to feel joy, to experience the release of letting God’s love come in as my true Father.
After that encounter of love and forgiveness, I didn’t see my parents for years. A few years later I found out that my earthly father was dead.
When I found out he was dead, I didn’t feel anything. Now I’m a feeler — I experience emotions deeply and profoundly, but I just felt nothing, dead inside.
I allowed myself to just feel the way I did, not as others were directing me to feel.
I realize that I had “let go” years ago of any type of expectation or hope for restoration or for him to change from an abusive father to a loving father. I get that now from My Abba Father, no one could ever give me what He is giving me!
So now my heart is set free!
I pray for so many of us who never really had a true father. We often feel like an orphan. Please know that if we open our hearts and lives to “adopted father figures” God will bring them to love us and give us incredible love and wisdom. I’m so rich with love from these incredible men.
Even this many years later, it’s till painful when I think of my earthly father, but it gives me an opportunity to know others broken hearts today and gives me great joy to know the love of my Heavenly Father and share it with the world! I’m a blessed daughter!
It appears many of us have been so wounded and hurt by fathers and men that could have loved us well. Instead they abused and stole from us. Let’s not give into bitterness and anger and close off love for others that deserve our love. When we feel our anger and hurt, let’s invite God into that pain and then whoa! He pours in a raging fire of love! No one can steal our joy faith and love. Love on!
Julie Woodley, MA, is founder and director of Restoring the Heart Ministries as well as a Gateway Counseling Center Therapist. For information visit Rthm.CC or call 1-866-780-7846.