One of the shadows I lived in as a child and one that attached itself to me and hovered over me well into my adult years; is what I have dubbed,”the shadow of rejection.” I don’t recall from my childhood sitting around obsessing over the fact that I had no real Daddy. I was a kid for pete’s sake! I was doing what kids do, playing with friends, going to school living life.
I was just doing it without anyone to call Daddy.
So, I don’t remember thinking as a child, “my daddy abandoned me” or “I was rejected by my daddy”. In fact, I didn’t understand until many years later how living in the shadow of rejection had affected every area my life. How this shadow followed me into each and every relationship. Overtime, I began to get it!
Growing up, I began to understand that the Father who should have loved, protected and provided for me instead rejected & neglected me. He made a conscious choice not to be involved in my life! I mean, it wasn’t like he had no choice in the matter. He still had breath in his lungs. He didn’t die. He wasn’t hindered by poor health or by circumstances that made the choice for him. He simply chose not to be my Daddy. He chose not to be part of my life. He and my grand parents chose to pretend that I didn’t exist. I was a mistake, one I suppose they all wanted to forget about!
Growing up in the shadow of rejection can have lasting effects on a girl’s heart. Little did I know then that my earthly father’s choice to reject me was actually a protection that my heavenly father would choose to reveal decades later!
So, I lived in this shadow for years, although I didn’t realize it. I always, wondered what was wrong with me. Why wasn’t I good enough? I silently struggled with self worth and value for what seemed like a lifetime. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why someone who should have been there chose to be absent. I spent years trying to grasp why my father would abandon me.
The only thing I knew about him was that he was a great dancer. He was known as the “Shag King” and apparently he was a party boy. I was told I looked just like him and he lived in a city not too far from where I was raised. I was told he was allowed to see me but saw me one last time when I was 3 and that was it. I walked around for years with a gaping, bleeding wound in my heart. To top that off insensitive adults would say things to me about seeing “my father” at this place or that place, like I was supposed to know who he was? I would just feel so sad and confused about that. Treating children like adults and talking about things in such a callous way does hurt a child’s heart. We should be careful what we say in the ear shot of a child. But, never the less, it was what it was.
During my teen years one of his sisters who I didn’t know called once and it was awkward, I didn’t know her and she talked to me like I did! I remember getting angry and wanting to cuss her out! As I got older married and had children of my own. It began to really hurt! I often wondered about him; where he lived, knowing he had a family and other kids, I wondered what they looked like, but mostly I wondered why he couldn’t love me but could love them. His lack of care, concern or love for me was confirmed years later when I heard from one of his sisters who pretty much told me as far as he is concerned in regards to me, “you are in the past.” Oh! ok I said outloud, “like I am dead or something!” When I grew up and got married I remember that same sister contacted me and my Mom out of the blue, wanting to meet with us and talk. So, we set up a time to meet. She eventually cancelled, we never did meet and I never heard from her again.
Years go by, life moves on my walk in Christ is moving forward. At 50 years old I attended what seemed like a random bible study and meet a woman who was God’s agent of truth in my life.
God is The revealer of all truth! His timing is also perfect. He truly does know what is best for each of His children. Two summers ago I was involved in a local bible study in my community. During that study I met a woman and we talked a bit on facebook. It was through what appeared to be a very random circumstance with this casual acquaintance that I found out I was not rejected but instead I was protected! What seemed random was orchestrated by My Abba! He knew I needed closure on my past, to move completely forward into my future. He knew I had a broken heart. He knew I dealt with feeling rejected my entire life. God is the mender of broken things and the heart is His expertise! What I learned that summer was not random at all. It was time for me to understand I was rejected by my earthly father, but what was so much better; I was protected by my heavenly Father!