What does it mean when someone says they have “Daddy Issues”?
I asked my magic box, aka Google, via my iPhone (this is my magic box) what exactly “Daddy Issues” are. I have heard the term in the past and thought maybe it was something I struggled with but never really knew the true meaning. Google says a woman has “daddy issues” when her behavior or mindset indicates that her father was either absent in her life completely, or physically present but emotionally unavailable. So yeah, I guess that explains a lot.
The past couple months, even this week, has made me think of my dad in an eerie kind of way. My father died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the age of 47, about 22 years ago. His birthday was on the 28th and my birthday was last Friday. I am now 47. At first, I was freaked out that I would die at this age and was worried about my health, so a couple months ago I made sure to get myself checked out and all is good. But that’s not why I am writing this.
It wasn’t until I was in college, studying Psychology, hoping to one day be a Marriage and Family Therapist, when a particular class, Group Therapy Techniques (or something like that) really sparked some curiosity, raising some questions to my mind and my heart. I was kinda bothered. I learned about termination of relationships; this can include the ending of a therapist/client relationship, a break-up, or any time you would really need to cut ties with someone. My mind went immediately to my parents’ divorce for some reason.
You see, when someone breaks up with you, they usually tell you right? Or when a therapist or counselor needs to end a relationship with a client, they would tell them. I thought about my parents’ separation and eventual divorce and had no memory of any type of conversation about what was going on. I immediately texted my sisters and asked them if they remembered any such conversation and they didn’t remember anything at all.
This is most likely what caused the “Daddy Issues” in my life. Having a non-existent father at such a young age and then having him die before any relationship could have ever begin, definitely lead to some behavior issues and brokenness in my younger years. Question after question came to mind, “Why didn’t he want to see us (my sisters and I)?” “Why didn’t he try harder?” “Why didn’t he and mom tell us what was going on and that it wasn’t our fault and that he loved us very much?”
Friend, has this been your journey? I am not writing this post to bring all the brokenness to the surface or to make your heart hurt all over again if you’ve been on a path of healing. I am writing to tell you there is something better. There is SOMEONE better that can fill that void, that hole in your heart, that longing you’ve had for an earthly father.
It wasn’t until I got to know Jesus and to really know myself, that I could see the reasons behind some things that happened the way they did in my childhood. I can look back and see that I was searching for that love. I got to learn what love from a true Father finally looked like. God, the maker of the universe, the creator of everything, including you and me, loves us so much. So much, that he gave his one and only son to die on a cross for us and all of our bad choices, or our bad behaviors that could have very well stemmed from having an absent earthly father. Or the father that was there physically but not emotionally. God redeems us from all that pain, brokenness, longing, and makes us his most precious daughters. Daughters of the king. A child of God. We are his children. God loves us so much more than any earthly father or human.
God has been here since before time began. He was there with you during those tough years as a child, even the years of wondering as an adult. Please know that it is never God’s intention to break up families or to cause fathers to split. We can thank Adam and Eve for that. God saw you then and he sees you now. God knew everything you were going through and still does today. I can look back and see how God protected me, just like a father would, better even. God’s love is never-ending, unconditional, and abundant. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is always present.
I realized what a gift this was an adult and I’d like to remind you now. God sits by your side, holds you in his arms, and listens. He’s patient, he’s faithful, he’s your protector, your provider, your comfort, and your support. Looks like a Father to me, how about you?
I pray that you know you are not alone. You have many sisters that are right by your side, holding you up by the arm when your heart hurts so badly. I pray you see what a wonderful Father in Heaven you have. I pray you run into his arms or lay your head on his lap as he strokes your hair telling you, “It’s all gonna be alright, I’ve got you.” I pray that you know God has been with you, and will be with you from everlasting to everlasting.
Your life, your childhood, your past, is all part of your beautiful story. The story that God is still writing. He will never skip out. He never erases it or tries to edit it. He uses you and every detail of your life to help others, for his glory. He will never waste any of your hurts. He can turn your mess into an encouraging message for other women you come across, especially if they are battling these same kind of hurts and struggles.
So, how about we grasp onto God’s hand and walk alongside him as he leads us into a new life, a new adventure as Father and Daughter. We have a lifetime, we have eternity with our wonderful Heavenly Father. And with this, and each other, we can kick those “Daddy Issues” to the curb. There is no longer an issue, because we are turning over a new page. We have a new and forever Father.
Wanna talk some more? Send me an email. I’d love to chat.
Hugging you so tight,