Tag Archives: Leah

Is My Father to Blame for My Singleness?

28 Apr

 

'Jacob blessing his grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, in the presence Joseph and their mother Asenath'

by Mattia Preti, 'Jacob blessing his grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, in the presence Joseph and their mother Asenath'

 How do we measure the impact of a father’s love? 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of my father’s death.  This year, finally, my grieving has ended.  Perhaps that explains why I’m able to come to God and receive new answers about what it is that is holding me back from becoming a bride.

 

Recently, memories of my childhood, of growing up as the least favored of three children, began to come to mind.   My brother was the eldest, and was referred to by my father as his “#1 son.”  My sister was the second child.  My father nicknamed her “Dolly Dolly,” which suited her beautiful countenance, and her pleasant and mild tempered nature.  By the time that I was born, my parents’ turbulent marriage was ending, and my personhood did not register with father in the same way that my siblings’ did.  Daddy nicknamed me “Piggy.”   My father loved me.  But he did not love me best.  From my relationship with my Dad, I learned that getting a second-place kind of love from a man was normal. 

 

As I was growing up, my guy friends would call me, take me out, talk to me and share their love story dramas, sparing no details.  I would listen, admonish, encourage and advise.   It felt perfectly natural to me to be a girl who was liked, but not a girlfriend. 

Settling into my career, I entered the beautiful season of my life.  Men began to find me desirable.  I, however, seemed compelled to emotionally connect with men who were married.  The love of these men came without ulterior motive, it seemed.  They just thought I was beautiful and wanted to love me, help me, pray for me, be there for me.  I’d never experienced such an outpouring of attentiveness and unearned affection.  The love of my wise, married, established friends, felt like a first-place kind of love.  It felt like being favored. 

After a while, though, all this love and affection from married men made me susceptible to the idea of becoming a mistress–a concept that hitherto was as foreign to me as the concept of becoming a terrorist.   It was the timong of it all, I think.  Right at the time that I was transforming into a swan, when I began to have to navigate men, love, and sex issues as they related to my own life, my mind latched onto the idea of me being a woman who shares the love of a man with his wife.  I believed that I could be a mistress; it could happen.  I wondered if I could be a wife; could it happen?   Some part of my mind was (is?) stuck on believing that a second-place love, like the love my father showed me, is normal.  

When these things came to mind recently, the little girl inside of me cried to the Lord.  “I wanted to be loved.  Not as a consolation prize, but as valued and wonderful just for being me.”     I cried, “I wanted my father’s eyes to light up when he saw me too.”  I let the tears fall.  “How come he didn’t love me?  How come I had to be Piggy?”

Immediately the thought that ‘He sees me’ arose.  My crying self responded, “No, Lord, it’s not enough that you are El-roi, the God who sees me.  I don’t want to just be seen.  I don’t want to be Hagar.  She wasn’t loved either.“

And the Word of God answered me.   “When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, He opened her womb. “   Truth rushed at me.  All the while Leah lived in the shadow of her beautiful sister, while she sought after the love and favor of her husband, Leah overlooked  the obvious fact that she had the favor of the Lord.   Though she had weak eyes and was not loved, God provided a husband for her, six sons and a daughter.  Who in scripture bore more children than she?  Rachel, on the other hand, contended with barrenness.  Leah escaped famine and saw God’s rescue of her family into Egypt.  Rachel died on the journey while giving birth. It’s not clear that Rachel ever realized God’s faithfulness.  In the tomb of the patriarchs are buried Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah.  Rachel was buried in the desert.  Beyond her death, Leah is named in the lineage of Christ.   God saw Leah, and opened Leah’s womb because Leah was loved by God Himself!

And so am I.  God has given me so much, more than most, and most of all, Him.  I have birthed hope, and faith, and people into the kingdom.  It has yet to be seen what God will birth through me in seasons to come.

God saw me.  That I was unloved.  And He opened my womb.  Today I am like Leah.  Not because my earthly father didn’t love me, but because my heavenly Father did.

 

 

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