Today’s breakthrough story comes from a woman I turn to for wisdom and Godly counsel. She has gone before me in many of the paths which I am now walking through, and the love, strength, and confidence I see in her make me hungry for what she possesses. In truth, she is a model of womanhood which rests in the care of Christ. It is my honor to share her testimony with you today, and I pray that it will impact you at gut level…that it will lead you into a greater knowledge of and hunger for all that God is and longs to be for you right now. Be blessed as you read!
My name is Ronda, and this is my resurrection story…
I am 62 years old and have been walking with the Lord since I was 22. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I own a business and I work in ministry in a variety of ways including Women’s Ministry. I find tremendous joy in ministering to God’s daughters.
“Resurrection Story!” I love the sound of that. When I think of “resurrection” I think of the power of God to bring forth life out of death, healing from brokenness and hope out of despair. “Resurrection” describes what only God can do. As I look back at my life I see so many times that God moved in miraculous and amazing ways to bring about His perfect purposes within me. Today I want to share a story from early in my Christian walk.
I was raised in a very dysfunctional home. My Father was an alcoholic but when he was not drinking it was an absolute joy to be with him. He was charismatic, vibrant and the life of every party. But when he was drinking it was a very different story. After a few drinks he became angry, contentious and, at times, physically violent. How does a little girl come to grips with the fact that the one who should be her greatest defender is actually the one that hurts her?
My father was also a repeat criminal offender. Most of the memories I have of my father involve visiting him in one prison or another. So many times my mother and I traveled to visit him in whichever jail he happened to be in. Sometimes my two brothers and sister would join us. We would go armed with plenty of change for the vending machines and tremendous joy that we would get to spend some time with him. We became very familiar with prison visiting rooms arriving as early as we could and staying as late as possible. Each time he was released from prison we would celebrate, “Yeah! Daddy’s coming home!” We genuinely loved him.
Once when I was 12 years old, my father took me and a friend out to dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I will always remember that night. I felt so grown up and special as I basked in my father’s attention. Little did I know that the very next day he would leave and never come back. I never saw him again after that.
I’m not sure that I can find the words to explain how very devastating it was to learn that my father had abandoned us. The father/daughter role is so very important and impacts a woman in numerous ways.
My father’s actions unleashed a tremendous since of inadequacy and insecurity in me. How bad must I be if my father didn’t even want me?
A tremendous fear of rejection was birthed in me. At a time when I should have been learning how a man should treat a woman, I learned instead that men are not dependable.
At a formative time in my life I experienced a devastating wound at the very core of my being. It impacted me in many different ways and led to unhealthy and inappropriate relationships with men as I grew older.
Sometime after my father left we learned that his mother, my grandmother, knew where he was. For years I would write to him telling him how much I missed and loved him and pleading with him to get in contact with me. I would send the letters to his mother asking her to forward them to my father. I would wait hoping and hoping. But he never responded.
When I turned 18 I made a decision. I was going to write to him one more time. If he did not respond I would never write to him again. In the letter I sent I once again expressed my love and my deep desire to be in contact with him. I also shared that if I did not hear from him I would not write again. I sent the
letter to his mother for her to forward on to him. I waited and waited, but, once again, he never responded.
I was 22 when I met Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Lord. I knew from that moment on I would never, ever be the same again. He changed me from the inside out. He utterly transformed my life. I began to learn what it meant to be accepted and valued. I began to understand what it meant to be loved and cherished. I fell in love with Him and with His Word. My greatest desire was to know Him ever more fully.
One evening I was at a prayer meeting at my church. As we were kneeling on the floor in our fellowship hall I remember, with tears in my eyes, praying, “Lord, please bring my father back into my life.” Suddenly I felt the presence of the Lord in a way I never had before. It was as though everyone else in the room disappeared, and I was alone in intimate fellowship with the Lord. He spoke to me so clearly and His voice was filled with such love. Gently He said, “Ronda, I am your Father now.”
In that moment something powerful happened in me. The pain and the loneliness all evaporated away. I was completely saturated with the knowledge that my Heavenly Father never had and never would abandon me. It was as though He poured healing medicine over the wound in my soul. I finally really knew my Father! He was with me every day! He was watching over me and leading me! I could rest safe and secure in His unfailing, unchanging love.
I came to see how completely the Lord had healed me when a couple of years later my phone rang. My father called me and we spoke for the first time in 12-13 years. The odd thing was that I didn’t feel any anger or pain. In fact our conversation was quite pleasant. I caught him up to date with my life and when the call ended I hung up. I was certainly amazed that all I felt was mild surprise by the call. God had truly healed me.
My father and I spoke a couple more times before he moved leaving no forwarding address or phone number. Then when I was in my middle thirties I learned that he passed away. I cried that day. I wish things could have been different. But I know that my true Father is faithful and true. He never abandons His children. I can count on Him for He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8).
I know that many of us struggle with deep wounds inflicted by dysfunctional relationships with our fathers. My prayer is that you will hear my story and look with eyes of faith to the Lord God Almighty who loves you unconditionally and without constraint. Ephesians 1:4-8 assures us that our God has loved us and chosen us from the very foundation of the world!
As He healed me, He can and will heal you. I pray that you will call out to Him in your pain and hear Him whisper back, “My precious daughter, I love you with an everlasting love. I am your all in all. Come, rest in my love and experience my healing. I am all you need.”