My Daddy’s Heartposted on November 8th, 2012 / by Kristi Davis / 11 Comments
Tick… Tick… Tick…
The clock ticked off the time with each swing of the pendulum. One A.M. but I did not care. I smiled. There was another sound in the room that spoke louder. Louder than words. My Daddy’s heartbeat kept perfect rhythm in my ear as my head lay on his chest. With each beat, I recounted in my mind the last two hours, and the last thirty-three years.
“If you could change anything in your life, to make things better, what would it be?”
Daddy asked the question.
“I would spend more time with you!” and that was all it took.
I had cried before, and spilled more tears over this subject than anything else in my life, but this time was different. Thirty-three years of near absence had taken its toll on this Daughter’s heart, and I let it all go. All the pain, letting go. All the hurt, letting go. All the regret, letting go. All the seconds on the clock that I could never get back… going… going with every tear that flooded through my eyes. It’s tough to be a little girl when you can’t remember being one. It’s hard to let Daddy hold you in his arms when that place feels so foreign, yet so right. It’s difficult to know what “Daughter” should feel like, when you’ve held the title all your life, but never the position. I sobbed. And I let Daddy be Daddy for the first time.
As he held me, and my tears poured out, my life-long defenses finally came down. I don’t need to be afraid of this place any more. I don’t need to hold back. This is mine, and it’s ok. Three decades of regret and sorrow came pouring out of him, too, “I am so sorry. I am so sorry… Oh, God…” I had heard these words a few times before, but this time they came without excuses. No strings attached. Just sorrow. It happened so fast, and yet took a lifetime.
For thirty-three years, the Enemy had been building walls between Daddy and me. The Enemy worked both sides of the wall, too. “He doesn’t love you,” he would say to me, while whispering in Daddy’s ear, “You can’t do anything about it now, it’s been too long.”
And again, to me, “He has forgotten you.”
To Daddy, “Forget about her, it’s too painful to face it.”
“It’s not safe, don’t open your heart to Daddy.”
“Look in your heart, you failed.”
My Daddy’s heart beats for me, but I didn’t know it. My heart beats for him too, but he didn’t know it either.
Maybe what the Enemy had not anticipated was that these two hearts know a Heavenly Father who called us by name, who speaks the language of love, who IS love. For years, He was speaking. And this is what He said:
Forgive him again.
Forgive him again.
It was a process. It really began when I stood two days away from making my own vows. Can I really do this marriage thing? Is this going to work for me? I don’t want to go through a failed relationship. I don’t want to see the brokenness ever again. Wouldn’t it just be safer… to run? I don’t want to end up like Mom and Dad. But I didn’t run. I took my Daddy’s arm as he walked me down the aisle to my groom. I took those vows. And I have stayed, and kept them, every time I felt like running.
Tick… Tick… Tick…
For thirty-three years I had waited. While we had talked and forgiven each other, he still was not a regular part of my life, and he had never apologized or admitted that leaving our family was wrong. Just as the verse says, I had waited on the Lord and He had renewed my strength all that time. For thirty-three years I had listened, and waited to hear. Everything I had ever wanted my Daddy to say, he said in one night. It had happened so fast … but not really.
“Has anyone told you lately how beautiful you are?”
“You haven’t lost anything. You are absolutely radiant.”
“You’ve made the right choice. Being at home with your family suits you so well.”
“Be the best mom and wife you can be!”
“You are so different. You are so calm. I can tell this really changed you…”
“I love you so very much! I always have, and I always will!”
“I’m here. I’m here…”
Has your Daddy wounded you? Can I encourage you to forgive him? Do it again and again until you are truly free. Wait on the Lord, and He will renew your strength. Daddy may return one day with a repentant heart, as mine did, and he may not. Either way, release him. And if you have held him in judgment, I encourage you to ask God to forgive you, too.
While I was growing up, being the child of divorced parents was rare. Now, I see nearly an entire generation of fatherless children. The wounds from an absent father are an easy target for the enemy who would try to deceive us into thinking our Heavenly Father is the same: Absent. He is NOT. His heart beats for you, know it! One heartbeat says so much. Everything you’ve ever wanted to hear Him say, He is saying. Listen!
Has anyone told you lately how beautiful you are?
You are absolutely radiant with my love!
I hear your prayers
It’s not your fault
I love you so very much! I always have, and I always will
I am here, I am here… for YOU.
Even when it’s tough, and you feel like running, stay in His arms and listen to His heart.