When we found out that we were having a girl, my husband and I were both a little shocked but delighted. “What do you do with one of those?” I thought, since I had spent the last couple of years exploring the wonderful world of baby boys. I was so convinced that I was having another boy, so I had to adjust to the thought of sugar and spice. It didn’t take me long, though. Within a couple of weeks, it looked like a huge pink bomb exploded in our house!
On a snowy afternoon, just over ten years ago, we met our beautiful baby girl at the Royal Preston Hospital. She was the teeny tiny epitome of perfection. It was love at first sight, as my husband held her and showed her to me. Reluctant to let go of her, he allowed me to have a little cuddle before he snapped her up again to show her off to the world.
My husband fell fast and hard for his little princess. There was only one little problem. This pink little bundle of joy, only had eyes for me. She would not go to anyone else. At first it was quite endearing, but after a few days it wasn’t so cute anymore. For the first ten months’ of her life, she wouldn’t settle, unless she was physically attached to me.
Gradually, it started to get easier as she became a little bit more independent. She wanted to do things for herself, pretty much from the minute she could say: “I do it!” But she still wanted her mum, more than the air she breathed. I could see that this was very difficult for my husband. It was so hard when she kept him at a distance, when all he wanted to do was love on her. He just wanted to hold her, cuddle her and enjoy his baby girl. But baby girl wanted Mummy.
As Zoë grew, she discovered that she has a lot more in common with her dad, than her mum. They both have the same, wild sense of adventure. They love to talk for hours about things that interest them. They are both creatures of the open sea, loving to swim so far towards the horizon that it often sends me into a frenzy. They have the same (sometimes sarcastic) sense of humour. They definitely emerged from the same gene pool. There is no arguing there.
Discovering how awesome her daddy is, has made me have to share my no.1 spot in Zoë’s heart. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about it. It has been wonderful to see her become Daddy’s girl. My husband leaves home very early in the mornings, and he is not allowed to go before he wakes her up to say good morning. She absolutely adores her dad. She has discovered that he is good. (And actually, quite frankly, much better than me in some ways. Ha!)
Zoë makes sure that both Mum and Dad gets an equal share of the love, now. She is very careful to share her affections, because she doesn’t want either of us to think we’re not the best parent in the world. She is truly amazing. Just like her daddy.
When I think about my relationship with the Father, I see a similar story unfold. A lifetime of keeping him at a distance, when all he wanted to do was love me. How heart-breaking it must have been for him, to want to be close, but always be kept at arms length? I am thankful for that day, when I looked up and saw that tear rolling down his cheek. I saw that he was good.
He wasn’t angry. He wasn’t tight-fisted. He wasn’t mean, cruel or uninterested. I was wrong. I only approached him when I needed something. Throwing a quick prayer up to heaven, in the hope that he might notice and have pity on me. Maybe he would answer my cry for help, albeit reluctantly. Because I believed, from the depth of my heart, that I didn’t deserve his help. I wasn’t good enough.
I was wrong.
How sad would it be if my daughter only sought her dad when she needed something from him? How many adventures she would have missed if she stayed clinging to me? Now, she gets to enjoy all the blessings of a dad who loves her, enjoys her and how he loves to spoil her! And when she makes a mistake, she’s not afraid. Even though she know she is about to undergo some unpleasant moments of discipline. She knows her daddy loves her, and cares for her total wellbeing. She trusts him. He is going to say no to things that may seem nice, but isn’t beneficial for her. She knows when she has behaved poorly, and she’s quick to correct her course.
Romans 2:4 is often quoted in Christian circles: “…it is the goodness of God, that leads to repentance.” The apostle Paul is teaching us here that it is not good to judge others, because it is only by the grace and the goodness of God that we are forgive for our own shortcomings. And he is absolutely right. We don’t have the right to judge anyone, when we look back at the mess that God has delivered us from.
But I want to offer slightly different perspective here. One that I learned as I discovered the heart of the Father. A good Father, who loves me. It is his incredible kindness that has empowered me to turn from my brokenness, and walk into freedom. Experiencing his love for me, has given me the ability to turn from my path of self-distruction.
“Do the riches of his extraordinary kindness make you take him for granted and despise him? Haven’t you experienced how kind and understanding he has been to you? Don’t mistake his tolerance for acceptance. Do you realize that all the wealth of his extravagant kindness is meant to melt your heart and lead you into repentance?”
Romans 2:4 TPT
I have to admit, I am a little bit sad when I think about the adventures I have missed with him. There are days when I wished I had run to him. To discover how much we are alike. To enjoy each other’s company. I wish that I had trusted him from the very beginning. But I do now. I know my Father is good. And he loves me.
And he loves you too.
May you discover the incredible love of the Father, towards you. May you too, become a Daddy’s Girl.
Today, I hear the Father’s loving voice: “Precious Child. You have stolen my heart from the very moment I set eyes on you. How I long to be good to you. To show you who I am, and how much you are like me. We share the same DNA. The same personality. The same image. The same power. My heart is excited about all the adventures we are going to experience together. I have made such amazing plans for us to do together; even before you were born, I was dreaming about it. Now, grab hold of my hand little one. I’ve got you. And we’re about to have some fun!” ❤