Her Story: Known

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
Psalm 139:1-6 (NLT)

Growing up, I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents. Being lucky enough to have both sets of them living at the beach led to summers that, I can see now, were very spoiled. I was equally close to both sets.

Though I didn’t have much of a relationship with my father, I was very close to his parents. My grandmother taught me how to make the Christmas candies that I still make each year. She encouraged my love of crafting and would always—always—take me to the local craft store to buy a project that would last however long I was going to be at her house. She and I crocheted together and cross-stitched together, and she even tried (and sadly, failed) to teach me how to use a sewing machine.

My grandfather would tell me inappropriate jokes that not only went way over my head but ones that my grandmother would fuss at him for non-stop. He taught me how to fish from a pier, clean a fish, and then prep and fry it for dinner. When “spots” would run in the fall, he’d spend hours on the pier catching as many as possible so that I could eat my weight in them the next time I was there.

I loved them dearly.

As the only granddaughter, I looked forward to my wedding day with them in it. I imagined my grey-haired grandmother sitting in blue (her favorite color) on a pew behind my parents. I wondered if my grandfather would go around and tell inappropriate jokes to the crowd at the reception while I was busy being the bride.

My relationship with my father was quite different. No relationship at all, in fact, unless you consider that we did live in the same home for the first 13 years of my life. He was a difficult man. An angry man. And someone I literally prayed God would remove from my life, until the day my parent’s divorced.

So, when my wedding approached, and I asked both my stepfather (whom I was very close to) and my father to walk me down the aisle as a way to respect both of them.I didn’t see what would come next: I was completely disowned by my father's side of the family. Click To Tweet

Not one of them showed up on my wedding day­­. Not my grandmother in her blue dress. Not my grandfather with his list of jokes. Not my aunt, who was like a second mother to me.

Not one.

It was shocking to me that you could love someone your entire life, share every moment that mattered with them, allow them to know you better than anyone—and then have them walk away as if you meant nothing.

As if they didn’t know your heart or your intentions at all.

For a couple of years, I spiraled. Unsure of who I was. Of whether or not there was anything good in me that anyone would want in their life. Of who would walk out next.

Until my daughter was born.

For the first time in my life, I began to understand what the relationship between a parent and a child could be and should be—not the one I had been given in my own life. My love for her was so overwhelming, so powerful, so unchanging that I couldn’t fathom a parent who chose to ignore, or emotionally harm, or simply not care about the child they’d brought into this world. I realized that it wasn’t me who had done something wrong, it was my father. And I began to look at my situation in a new light.

After twenty-eight years of not understanding why anyone would want another “father” in their life to hold them down, I began wondering if maybe—just maybe—God felt just a little of what I felt for my daughter, towards me.

It turns out, there was even more than that.

More than me beginning to know and understand Him was the realization that He had always—always—known and understood me.

“Deeper than knowing God is being known by God. What defines us as Christians is not most profoundly that we have come to know him but that he took note of us and made us his own.” – John Piper

Beyond His deep and abiding love for me, He had been there with me throughout my entire life. Now that I know Him better, I can recognize the moments He was with me in my past. The moments He stood by me when I thought I was alone. The moments He comforted me. The moments He leaned in to whisper something kind to a daughter who didn’t know the kindness of a father.

Though I didn’t know Him or even understand who He was, He stayed with me still. Before I ever accepted Him, He’d already had a place for me in His heart. A heart that loved me so dearly, and loves you the same, that He couldn’t fathom not doing everything possible to make sure that we would have a relationship with one another. Though I may not have noticed Him earlier, He witnessed every day, every heartache, every joy, every single moment of my life. He knew me at my best. And He knew me at my worst.

And like a loving Father does for the daughter He cherishes, He chooses a front-row seat through it all.

Reflection Questions

Who in your life has made you feel most known and understood? What was it about that relationship that made you feel that way?

How often do you spend time in prayer, simply sharing your thoughts and feelings with God rather than requests? Spend five minutes today sharing your day with your Father.

Prayer

Father God, thank You. Thank you for the way You love us beyond the limits we may place on You. That You choose us before we choose You. That You cherish us before we may cherish You. I’m so thankful for Your faithfulness, Your abiding love, and Your never ending quest to get to know us more intimately. May those Sisters reading this be made even more aware of Your outrageous love for them and how deeply, fully, completely known they are by their Father. In the loving name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

6 thoughts on “Her Story: Known

Nancy Silvers

Thank you for sharing your precious memories and later heartache with your grandparents. I lost my last grandparent while in my in my teens and many things, mainly my earthly dad who had lots of issues, made it impossible for us to spend extended time with my grandparents. What a blessed time you had with them! I love your heart wanting to honor both you dad and step dad in your wedding.
I know, even through some very difficult times growing up, that my mom loved and still loves me unconditionally. I know that she stayed with my dad because of her unconditional love and faith that my dad would change. He didn’t and that made for some blocks in trusting my now Abba daddy. Earthly dad failure can created blocks in believing there is a Heavenly Father that loved me no matter what. Thank God that He had patience with me as I worked through earthly dad failure to heavenly Abba daddy love. It is in being His that I met you and that has been such a blessing!

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Those relationships certainly can cause blocks when it comes to getting to know God. Thankful he was patient with both of us, and I’m super thankful I met you, Nancy. <3

    Reply

Robin

Thanks for sharing Laura.
You will always have those special memories you made with your grandparents! Despite your relationship with your earthly father, your Heavenly Father was always there to love you, guide you and protect you!
Hugs and prayers!

Reply

    Laura Adams

    You are absolutely right, Robin! I do have wonderful memories and this was something that actually helped me to see just how close my Heavenly Father was to me. <3

    Reply

Cindy Wilkins

I too, have a father who walked out of my life. Oh my, the issues that I’ve had since then! Those same earthly father blocks that Nancy mentioned have definitely hemmed me in. I just never felt God could love me if dad didn’t. Thankfully, I’ve had wonderful, Godly people teach me differently, including my Sisterhood gals! Your words have touched a tender place in my heart in a good way, Laura! Thank you!

Reply

    Laura Adams

    I’m so glad it touched you, Cindy. It’s not my favorite thing to talk about, but I know there are others like you that have walked similar paths and need to see they aren’t the only ones and aren’t alone in it. <3

    Reply

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