The Father's Arms are Open Wide
You know when you’re listening to a worship song that you have heard hundreds of times, but this one specific time it just HITS you. Tears can’t help but flow and it’s resonating on your heart and stirring it in that moment. This line from ‘O Come to the Altar’ by Elevation Worship was one of those moments for me.
In this moment when I was crying, I was completely overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts. I didn’t know exactly where my head was at or what was getting me so upset and then I was still.
I had never fully admitted this to myself or possibly wanted to admit it as it made me feel weak, a ‘bad’ Christian and like I was offending God.. I struggle with accepting God as a Father figure, I struggle to even say the word. When I am with others praying, I would get jealous that they felt confident in calling God their Father.
When I was 4 years old, my own Dad passed away due to stomach cancer. He passed during my first week of primary school, hence, at this age I couldn’t fully comprehend the loss.
I grew up in my house with just my mum and I, we are so blessed to have the rest of our family as such rocks and strong supports at all times for us both.
I didn’t have that Father figure in my life, to teach me things Dads would. To make memories with, to love and learn from. Still to this day, when I’m with company and they are talking about their dads, saying how they did something funny, what they did with their dad at the weekend, the advice their dad has given to them.. anything.. I can’t help but be hit with the realisation that I don’t have this, in the fact I have such a huge chunk of my life missing.
When in church I remember someone speaking and they said ‘it’s just like going to your Father and receiving an embrace’. The thing that pains me most is what I can’t remember, I have little to no memories of him. All I have is photos and stories told by my mum and grandparents. I don’t know what it feels like to be hugged by my dad, be held when upset, share joy with and even be shouted at for silly mistakes.
I have spent 14 years with this gap in my life. When accepting Jesus into my life, I knew God was our Heavenly Father, but as I said, I hadn’t accepted that yet.
I think God put those words on my heart when I was singing them, not for me to wallow over the Father I don’t have but rejoice over the Heavenly Father that I do.
He, the Father has ALWAYS been standing there with His arms open wide.. just waiting.. He never resented me for not accepting Him as my Father, He never turned away, He never dropped His arms. I just knew I needed to run. I needed to run as fast into His arms as I could. I needed Him to fill this hole in my life. To know what a Fatherly embrace was, to not be afraid of this, to not run the other way hurting still but to just ACCEPT.
So yeah, let’s CELEBRATE our Heavenly Father and all that He is and all that He does for us. He is there with His arms open wide, run and embrace Him, feel His love in full whilst resting in His arms. He is constant, He is more than you could ever need or want in life.
I am thankful for this truth on a day like today, as it can be an extremely sad day for many of us. I am still getting to grips with the use of the term Father when praying but I am getting there and am in full acceptance of Him as my Heavenly Father.
For those who are hurting and broken on a day like today, know you are loved so unconditionally and as cliché as it sounds, you are not alone. x
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” – 1 John 3:1.