[Not for very young readers]
'Mommy, why don't I know my Daddy? Where's Daddy? Will he ever come and live with us? Can I see his picture?'
I was only 15 years old when I found out the terrible truth about my father: he never supported us and disappeared from our lives as soon as he found out my mother was nurturing a little life in her womb. But no, wait: he did something else before he left. He tried to convince my mother to have an abortion.
I wish I had the ability to describe the emotions that overthrew me when Mother told me about it. Anger. Bitterness. Feeling of insecurity, feeling unwanted. And all the while, a deep and sincere gratitude to my mother, admiration of her brave heart. She chose to give me life! Yes, despite all, she didn't want to give up on her tiny baby. She didn't give in to evil manipulations.
This continued to haunt me for years to come. Why didn't he want me? Did he hate me so much that he wanted me dead and gone, before I even had a chance to breathe fresh air? Was I so meaningless to him that he never bothered to find out if I'm alive or dead? It was then that my most rebellious period as a teenager started (no, I'm not justifying it, just telling my story). A girl who knows her father didn't feel obliged to protect her! The very thought is pure torture.
It took a great deal of growing, trials, pain, praying and seeking God to finally let go of the bitterness and forgive my father. Sometimes I still wonder what he would think if he saw me as the woman I am today: a grown-up daughter, on her journey with God, with dreams and thoughts and doubts and aspirations, preparing for marriage, longing to be a wife, mother and homemaker. Would he feel sorry for what he missed? Would he regret for being so selfish and short-sighted back then?
Does he ever think about what could have been? Walks hand in hand, his sweet baby daughter cuddling in his arms; talk and play and laughter; watching his little daughter blossom into a woman, protecting her. A glorious vision of the day when he gives her away in marriage, in God's perfect timing, to the right man.
Another thing I had to work through was the inferiority complex of an 'unwanted' child. I mean, I couldn't be worth much if my father rejected me, right? But I kept reminding myself, until it became ingrained in my head, that I was a loved child, a planned child, a wanted child – a child of God, a child like all the other children, and maybe even walking closer to Him, as I have no earthly father to watch over me in my years as an unmarried woman.
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up" (Psalm 27:10)