For weeks, I had held back the tears, determined not to cry.
My fear was that if I started crying, I would never be able to stop.
That morning, there it was in my devotional reading: the word Abba…which means “Daddy” or “Papa.”
Our blazingly glorious and holy God invites us…mere men, frail as grass, vapors…to call Him this!
I could hear Him tenderly calling my name from the pages of Scripture…whispering…inviting me come…just as I am…no pretense, no posturing, no more trying to prove that I was strong in the face of this trial.
Still, I resisted, much like I had always done as a child. When someone hurt my feelings, I would rather die than let that person see that I was deeply wounded by their words or actions. Unshed tears would burn behind my eyes and lodge in my throat, but by sheer force of will, I would not permit them to be unleashed. While my voice and actions gave the appearance of strength or indifference, my scarred and wounded soul was silently shouting, “I will never let you know how much you have hurt me.”
Some habits die hard.
I softly closed my Bible, choosing to ignore His still, small Voice.
My eyes remained dry as I went about my day.
However…we can never truly run from the One who sees it all (Psalm 139:1-5) and who loves us far too much to leave us drowning in our pain.
At one point during that day, I picked up a book and read these words: “As we get older, we get less naive and more cynical. Disappointment…(is) the norm instead of hoping and dreaming. Our childhood faith dies a thousand little deaths.” A Praying Life by Paul Miller, p. 39
And that was it…the dam burst.
It was just as I feared…the tears simply would not stop. Instinctively, I began crying out to my God. Even in the midst of great pain, my heart is still captivated with Him. In the deepest part of me, I know that He is for me.
My mind replayed all the disappointments, dead-end roads, closed doors, dashed hopes, and unanswered questions of this season…and all of a sudden, I heard myself choking out these words, “You. have. hurt. my. feelings!”
Whoa. Where did that come from? I didn’t even realize that is how I felt.
“Why aren’t You fixing this??? You could…but You’re not!”
There it was. The truth was out…and it revealed an ugly, demanding spirit.
Yet…there were no lightning bolts from heaven. There was no condemnation. There was no anger.
There was one word, being offered like a sweet and soothing balm straight from the Throne of the universe: “Abba…Daddy…Papa.”
“The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him”–Psalm 103:13.
There are few things that move a parent’s heart like their child’s tears. We reach out to them, we hold them, we try to soothe them, and we lovingly wipe the tears away. We try to make it better and if we could absorb their pain as our own we gladly would.
God’s heart cannot remain unmoved where we are concerned.
One of the most liberating truths that I learned that day is that we don’t have to hide anything from God.
Not our worst thought, our greatest fear, our most heinous sin, our ugliest feeling, our harshest word.
And not our weakness…not ever.
It is only when we admit our total inadequacy that His infinite strength can come rushing in, filling up the empty spaces.
If we do not reveal our raw, true feelings to God, we only harm ourselves. By refusing to be honest with Him, we keep our wounded heart from receiving the full healing that He alone can offer.
He knows it all anyway and has already assured us in His Word that nothing we can ever do or say that will cause us to lose His unconditional love (Romans 8:38-39).
The freedom I felt after the tears finally stopped that afternoon was immense. He accepts me even at my worst. I am fully loved…and I can trust that love.
Today, if you are hurting, please spend some time reading Romans 8.
And run to your Abba. His arms are open wide.
God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. (Psalm 18:20, The Message)