In recovery from my disordered eating and image issues over the years, one thing I had to face was the complicated, unresolved father/daughter factor in my life. No, I did not get the loving father/daughter relationship I so craved. It’s taken me years to connect the dots concerning my disordered mindset. Unfortunately, yes, the family environment I experienced played a role. Families of people with Anorexia Nervosa:
•• Enmeshed, overprotective, conflict-avoiding
•• Unresponsive to patient’s self-expressions Families of People with Bulimia Nervosa:
•• Parents are critical and detached
•• Characterized by hostile enmeshment
•• Emotionally unresponsive
Ohio State University FactSheet. Used with permission
Still, within that reality, I’ve had to look at a much bigger factor: the spiritual one. And a large part of my healing has come from seeing how God, as Father, intentionally chose, wanted, desired and loved me, regardless of what my human father did or did not do. “Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…” Isaiah 43:4
“I have chosen you and have not cast you away.” Isaiah 41:9
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’” Jeremiah 31:3
“The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
And, although I cannot change what was concerning my imperfect reality with my dad, I can choose to embrace the real and eternal truth of my father/daughter relationship with God, the ultimate Father. In the popular television series, “Mad Men,” an episode entitled, “The Fog,” captured a beautiful exchange between the protagonist Don Draper and his daughter, Sally. In the scene, father and daughter discuss the birth of the family’s second son. Everyone thought it would be a girl, to which Draper responds… “I thought you were going to be a boy. Not all surprises are bad.” This heartwarming bit of dialogue again reminds me of how God views each of us through His Fatherly, loving lens.
We are specifically loved and chosen. “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:3
There was no regret or second thought about us, about who He created us to be.
Perhaps, you’ve not had the unconditional love experience with your parents. Maybe disorder and addiction have left their marks, fracturing family relationships and healthy self-perceptions.
Don’t believe the lie you were a mistake, an accident, unplanned. Nothing could be further from the truth as far as God is concerned! You may have been a “surprise” to someone, but you have been intentionally, spiritually created, with purpose, by God, from the start.
Again… “Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…” Isaiah 43:4 “
I have chosen you and have not cast you away.” Isaiah 41:9
It’s not too late.
Right now, God loves each of us, is thinking about us and desires a wonderful future, filled with restorative love, healing and blessings.
Right now. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Therefore, choose to embrace a loving Father Who knew exactly what He was doing when He created you. “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:14
And yes, you will be surprised at just how much, how completely and how uniquely, He will love and connect with you!
Indeed, not all surprises are bad!