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Abba, Father

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called Children of God.”                                                                                                                                                  (1 John 3:1  ESV)

Autumn days are just around the corner.  Truly, my favorite time of the year.  A break from the summer heat.  Excitement of football games.  Cool crisp mornings.  Pumpkin flavored everything!

And schools are back in session.

This fall marks the fifth year moving a daughter into her desired college living space.  Five years ago was the last college move for my oldest daughter and the first one made on “our own”.  No daddy to help.  This year marks the last college move for me as my second daughter begins her senior year.  It was particularly hard as I struggled once again with not only the physical efforts a move takes, but the emotional toll of watching another daughter achieve a big accomplishment without daddy here to cheer her on. It is so easy to hurt for the moments his absence is unequivocally felt.

As per custom, during move-in weekend, we take a drive through campus. There is always lots of hustle and bustle with incoming freshmen and returning students moving into dorms and apartments. Each excited to begin a new chapter in their lives. I share in their excitement, really, I do. But, a sadness creeps over me as I observe all the helping dads on site. I don’t mind saying, it still hurts to see daughters telling their dads where to take their items and watch them smiling and relishing this moment of independence. I can’t help but to let tears fall as I yearn for my girl’s dad to be present, not only for these moves, but for their lives. I yearn for them to have him here to share these exciting times, to hear his input from questions they have, provide protection from fears and comfort when things don’t go as planned.

Tears fall.  Heart aches.

And yet.  

In the midst of the hurt, I hear His still quiet whisper,

and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”  (2 Corinthians 6:18 ESV)

“I love them.  I am their Father.  My love will never leave, nor forsake.”  His whispers assure me of their Kinship to Him. In the years of college attendance, I know that our Father God has walked closely with my girls. He has been their protector and comforter. He has been faithful in their journey to move forward.

I am now more aware of moments that reach out to cause pain from what we no longer have. I call them “joy robbers”.  Much like a thief creeping into your home to rob you of your belongings, these fears, doubts and why me’s invade our thoughts and hearts to rob us of  joyous living.  What a comfort it is to truly know the love which God has for us.  Romans 8:15 says “and by Him we cry Abba, Father.”

Abba, Father. Don’t you just love that!  It just resonates love.

What a privilege it is to be called a son or daughter of God.  When we experience great pain, we must actively guard our hearts from negative invasions that cause us to question His love for us. Can you say even in the midst of a painful event that God is good? If so, you are living under the Abba love of God.  If you struggle to answer yes, I encourage you to search scripture for assurance of His love. There are many verses that speak of the Father’s love for us. My favorites include:  Deuteronomy 32:10, Psalm 68: 5-6, John 14:16, and 1 John 3:1.

My heart radiates joy as I watch my daughter’s seek the kinship of Abba, Father. I know they miss their earthly father every day, but trusting in their Heavenly Father is how they are choosing to live.

Heavenly Father, I thank You so much for the love You lavish on us so we can be Your child.  I pray You will protect our hearts from the negativities life can deliver us and  find the joyous life You desire for us.  Amen.

6 replies
  1. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    A beautiful reminder Pam that we are so loved and adored by our Father. These moments of loss you express are definatly the hardest for me. My oldest graduated grad school 2 months after my husband died last October and got her first job. My son, is a senior at college this year where he plays football. I’ve moved him twice in a week, once to FB camp and then to his housing for the year. I also have a sweet 9 year old, who loves fun and the beach, but Daddy is not there with her to build sand castles. My heart breaks for them all seeing all the other Dads with their children in these situations, it’s just a hard loss for us, but not a joy stealer! God is Good, He loves us and will never leave us, plus He is the perfect Father. Praying my children will grasp this more and more as their hearts heal.

    • Bonnie Vickers
      Bonnie Vickers says:

      Prayers for you, Vickie. Hard, yes. But as you say, not a joy stealer! It is hurtful to feel the absence of our husbands, especially for our children. As time has moved forward, I find it easier to tell stories about my husband and my girls like to hear these stories. I want the memories of my husband to live on through my girls, therefore, we share stories. Praying your children can feel the love of their earthly father through your stories and through the love of their Heavenly Father. Hugs and prayers, my friend. ~ bonnie

  2. Linda
    Linda says:

    Thanks for sharing! I will be rereading this as I take my oldest to college by myself as a freshman this year.

    • Bonnie Vickers
      Bonnie Vickers says:

      Prayers for you, Linda, as you take this journey. It is such an exciting time for them; I have always wanted my girls to move forward in their lives. I know their dad would be so very proud of them for all of their accomplishments, as I am also. Good luck to your daughter – may she have a fantastic year! bonnie

  3. Pam
    Pam says:

    My heart aches reading this because you so beautifully wrote how hard it is to not have the her father there to experience another life transition….It is another event that illustrates how profound it is to lose a father and a husband. The reality of not having their earthly father there to go through these steps with them and with you is a reminder of that great loss. But somehow you have again, dug deep into your faith, and found the words of wisdom through scripture, that comforts us all. Abba, Father. Yes, our earthly fathers may have left us, but we still have the heavenly Father to sustain us. I do know though, that your beloved husband and father was probably cheering you both on during this time and that God will bless you for your faithfulness. He already has in that you have given your children the foundation that will sustain them the rest of their lives through their belief in a Heavenly Father. Bless your daughter in her senior year and may it be a wonderful one.

    • Bonnie Vickers
      Bonnie Vickers says:

      As always, Pam, your encouragement is such a gift to me. I am inadequate, but through Him, I use my journey for His (and only His) glory. Thank you for being such a beautiful friend. <3 bonnie

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