I lost my earthly father 17 years ago, my beloved father-in-law 3 years ago, and my husband’s capacity as a father was greatly reduced ten years ago. On earth, there is no one left I can look to as a father.
In a Father's Day sermon, Cameron Walker made the point, "When did I become a parent? Was it when my child became aware of me as their parent?"
No! It was at the moment that child came into being. It didn’t matter if they knew they were my child. They WERE my child! Just as God, my Heavenly Father, has always been my Father even before I was aware of it.
Listening to talk radio, my husband’s choice-not mine, I heard a radio host discussing (his opinion on) how one political party was actively taking on the role of a father in children’s lives where there was no father present.
This caused me to reflect on what God's Word tells us as a warning, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NIV) Also, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ." (John 10:10 NIV)
If my Heavenly Father is not the One filling my needs, there are others who are seeking to fill this role in my life, in order to have influence over my life.
Kelly means “warrior”, Harvie means “battle-worthy”. I am a fighter, and I can do hard things.
This is a true statement of who I am even though I can see places in my life where I have been neither a fighter or able to do the hard thing. For example, in my own parenting, I have lost to fear so often. It has kept me from grabbing my kids in a hug or challenging them on a belief or behavior because I didn’t want to deal with rejection or the uncomfortableness of pushing someone to grow!
But You, as my Heavenly Father, continue to push me even when I get angry at You because my anger doesn’t change who You are or what You know will be best for me. Your ways are not my ways & Your thoughts are not my thoughts! You are able to do and exist far outside the boundaries of my imagination! My childishness does NOT change the Truth You are my Father!
My earthly father was a large man, 6’4” and solid. He made me feel safe and my favorite place to sit was wrapped up on his lap. I felt small and protected, feminine and not too much. I didn’t have to fight anything while I was safely ensconced on his lap. It was a place of peace for me.
Not too long ago I was praying through some difficult memories in my life that were holding me back. As my mentor and I were praying I suddenly saw a cinderblock wall very close in front of me. I was so close to the wall that it extended up as far as I could see and as far to each side as could be seen. I had reached the point where I was unwilling to go any further with the Lord on the journey we were on and I ended up stuck there for quite a while.
Through further prayer with my mentor, I eventually was willing to let the Lord take my wall down, but I wasn’t moving from that spot. I could now see out across a beautiful field of grass. But I was still unwilling to move.
My mentor finally asked me to ask my Heavenly Father, "Where are You?" He says He will never leave me or forsake me, so, where was He? It was then the Lord showed me myself, sitting on the ground with my Heavenly Father surrounding me from behind, His arms wrapped gently around me. He was in no hurry. He wasn’t agitated by my unwillingness to move. He was surrounding me with His love and protection just as a Father would.
Strengthened by His love and support I was able to get up and move forward on my journey, no longer paralyzed by the fear keeping me stuck there. Feeling loved and supported by my Father I experienced a new place of freedom that I had not yet experienced.
I once read that becoming a parent is like agreeing to let your heart walk around outside your body forever. My Heavenly Father has done that for me!
Even though I continue to do and say things that pummel Your heart, You still remain! You have not left me! You have not turned Your back on me! You would not live without Your heart, You sent Your Firstborn Son so that You would not have to live without me!
Earthly fathers and all they are able to offer are only a shadow of the relationship I can experience with my Heavenly Father. I can’t get stuck on what I am missing here on earth and miss out on what I can have now and forever with my Heavenly Father!
~ Meet Kelly Harvie ~
Kelly Harvie has been married to her husband Matt for 28 years. They have five grown children with only one left in college. Kelly spends her time caregiving for her husband, connecting with her children, working at Artios and as much time reading as she can find!