Tuesday, June 10, 2014

God: The Perfect Parent and my Father

Beth Moore strikes again. This post isn’t going to be ED/recovery related per se, but is related to parental loss/gaps. If there is a place in your life where you are missing a parent or where your parent just wasn’t capable of fulfilling. I hope this is as encouraging for you as it was for me. Here we go.

First off..sorry the focus won’t be on the maternal side, but I just don’t have the longing for those areas God is supposed to fulfill. I am not sure why. I don’t know if it is because I’ve never had those areas filled or what it is about them…I just don’t understand them. BUT God is your mother and father. He fulfills both areas. Just as Paul writes in 1 Thess 2: 7-12 of the maternal and paternal sides of the Spirit the disciples act out of. The three more maternal areas Beth spoke about were being nurtured, affectionately desired, and accepting Parent’s very self.

Being nutured I have never understood. I mean I know it means to be taken care of, I just honestly don’t like the feeling of being taken care of. It makes me feel needy or something. I LOVE taking care of others though and get so filled by that. I mean, I know not wanting to be nurtured probably isn’t good, but I just don’t. But as Beth put it…there are 6 pieces of whole parenting. Of being parented wholely by God that we need to be healthy children of God. Any missing piece is missing peace…so I guess I need to work on healing from my lack of desire to be cared for.

Affectionately desired I kind of understand and definitely struggle with. This is feeling like you are wanted not just tolerated. Of understanding and believing God is there ever morning (actually throughout whole day) just longing for you to wake up so He can hear from you. I definitely don’t feel this and my own insecurities and self-hate make me feel God is more burdened by me. That when I go to Him He thinks…again..really Jess. I know that isn’t His nature, and again I need healing here. I mean the Lord gave up His one and only Son for me. He gave me eternal life so I could be with Him forever…if I got on His nerves..He wouldn’t do that.
The accepting Parent’s very self has to do with the Lord pouring into us. That His very Spirit lives inside of us. I definitely get excited and accept this part of being parented by God. Woohoo…at least I got one out of six lol!

Now where this message hit home to me. Especially right now around Father’s Day….and it being the 1st one without my dad and with my grief hitting pretty hard right now. God is my Father. Yes…He used my dad as a fleshing out of these roles He fills, but that doesn’t mean because my dad is gone I have to have open holes for these aspects of me and my dad’s relationship. God is there…He is there to be my Father. Not to replace my father or take the place my dad had in my life, but to take the place He was always supposed to have. Both He and my father filled these roles in my life, but somehow when I lost my dad, I pushed God out of these roles too. Yet He is the perfect Father. He is the perfect “person” to fill these roles. I have lost the fleshing out of these roles, and I know I will never replace them with another flesh and blood person, because I don’t ever want to replace my dad. But I don’t have to. The Lord may use people to flesh out these parental roles, but that isn’t required. God is wholly Holy and capable of them all. And it doesn’t require me to replace my dad. In fact, it only requires me to honor and praise him for fulfilling these roles in our last few years together (because there was a time my dad wasn’t a father to me), and to honor and praise Him for the gift of my father. Now onto the roles: exhorted, encouraged, and chaged to walk worthy.

Encouraged and Exhorted are similar and both roles my dad filled for me. To be exhorted comes from Greek work parakaleo (to call to the side of). It comes from the father’s role in biblical times of being the teacher. The son would literally be by his father’s side learning his father’s craft. My dad definitely was this for me. I turned to him and always told myself he would be there to teach me how to buy a car, rent an apartment, pay bills, balance budget, etc. I mean if I ever had car or computer needs, I called him to teach me how to do them. He edited my papers. He was definitely a teacher to me.

Encouragement I also got from my dad in those final years. It was the part of our healed relationship I treasured most. Whenever I was feeling overwhelmed, defeated, discouraged….a simple phone call to my dad was all it took. In fact, my support a lot of the time would ask me if I had called my dad when I would text them upset. This encouragement is why he was so crucial to my recovery. And this work comes from Greek paramutheomai which means to the side of but also to tell/relate to. Because the difference between encouragement and exhortation is to be exhorted is instructional and to be encouraged is inspirational.

Lastly, the role the Lord actually is still fleshing out for me even after the loss of my Father is being Charged to Walk Worthy. This is when there is someone there who may also encourage you, but who sometimes lifts your head from you crying on their shoulder and tells you it’s time to brush yourself off, get up, and walk on. That the time to grieve and sulk is over and it is time to get a move on. To stop standing in your mess and walk on. It’s that stern kick in the pants we all need sometimes when we just keep wallowing in our muck. My dad definitely did this for me. My stepmom tried to but I kind of booted her from the role. And the Lord uses my two dear friends Olgueyne and Mel to do this now….though I get mad at them when they do.

I had a good cry over this after the lesson. I realized these three aspects are what I miss most about my dad. Those things I am still longing and searching for. I miss his hugs. Those embraces when I just knew everything would be alright. I miss having his voice of reassurance, and his big broad shoulders to cry on. 

When my computer or car act up, I miss being able to call him. When life acts up, I miss those phone calls too. And I miss the kick in the pants he would give me in even his most poetic, sincere way. The times he would tell me it was clear ED was talking and I had to be the one to do what I knew was right. And it’s okay I  miss those. It’s not wrong that he filled those roles for me. It was God’s intention so I could see I deserved and needed those things, but now it is time to grieve the fleshing out of those things, and turn to God for them….realizing He filled them the whole time…or at least desired to.

In fact, maybe the loss of my father will strengthen my relationship with the Father. Before my dad filled these roles I looked to teachers and (for a brief time) to unhealthy relationships with boyfriends for these roles. Now I am seeing I need only to look to God. To pray when I have a question I need answered…or turn to other people he has given me who have advice in those areas. Yes…this may require patience because it’s not an instant feedback….but it will always be the right answer.

The Lord is there to encourage me and I know from the times I have let Him that it is the most whole, most fulfilling encouragement. That He can wrap you up in His huge arms and hold you with the warmth of the sun and the rays of joy shining down. And He loves to do it.

And being charged to walk worthy…the Lord does this for me I just sometimes don’t listen/act in it because I let ED question it. It’s a lot easier to question someOne who isn’t physically there. Luckily, the Lord has given me people who do this for me to. Again, I just need to learn to listen.

So what about you? Which of the 6 roles are you struggling to let God fill or relying completely on others to fill? Being nurtured, affectionately desired, accepting Parent’s very self, being exhorted, encouraged, or charged to walk worthy? 

I praise God I had a father who gave me those last 3, and praise Him now that without my father here He is more than capable to be my Father. To fill those roles that were always His and to fill them completely if I let Him. Thank you Father for being my Father this Father’s day week and for all the Father’s Day’s to come. Give my papa a hug for me. And tell him thank you too. For allowing you to take him from a dad to a father. Love you Daddy. My Abba Father

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