I AM HIS DAUGHTER
I AM HIS DAUGHTER
By Tanya Hart
God lives. I have always known that He knows me intimately. I have always known that He will not abandon me. I have always known that I can turn to Him for complete peace and hope. How could He not care? After all, He created me. I am His daughter.
Here is the tricky, maybe even confusing, truth about faith. Does having faith exclude me from heartache, hardships, pain and suffering from this life? Absolutely not.
At age 19, I found myself married to who I thought was my forever companion only to discover that a pornography addiction had such a hold on my spouse that it left me divorced, broken, and completely shattered at again, age 19. We didn’t even make it a year together.
This was not part of my plan! This is completely unfair! How could I have not known? I thought it felt right? Do I not know how to recognize the Spirit in my life? I’ve lived a decent life! The injustice of it all sent me into a downward spiral of doubt and questions.
Going back to school and living in an apartment with roommates was probably just as painful as the doubts and questions and added to the whirlwind of it all. My therapist suggested I go back to school and immerse myself in what I excelled at to help with healing. But man, did I feel so out of place and alone. I couldn’t relate to anyone my age. While girls were giggling with boys and consumed with frivolous things like their outfits for the day, I had to fake a smile of interest while my insides were bleeding with despair. Don’t you guys get it? There are bigger problems. Pornography ruined my life. I have seen ugly things. Things like complete emptiness and darkness in the eyes of my spouse as Satan himself shackled him and dragged him down to the point of no recognition.
I have felt abandonment. I have felt betrayal. I have felt loss. No one here knows what I am going through. My faith was for sure tested.
Yet, that firm foundation of faith, the divine light of what is innately a part of me, gently came to the forefront of my mind while in my deepest despair.
“You have always known.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11: 28-30, NIV).
Turn to my Lord. I needed to turn to what I have always known. I cried myself to sleep most nights at that time in my life, but I vividly remember one night fervently praying and desperately pleading and whispering,
“Just hold my hand. I won’t let go.”
Oh, how I needed Him! I couldn’t do it alone. Nor did I want to. The thought of continuing my everyday, and continuing alone, was unbearable. I had reached the point of complete physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual exhaustion.
“…and when he saw HIM, he fell at his feet” (Mark 5:22, KJV). Just like Jarius, once I acknowledged my God and His loving, far-reaching abilities, I was hopefully compelled to surrender all that I was and had to Him. Visualizing His divine help, my hand in His, is the only way I survived. Even years later looking back, that is my only explanation on how I overcame that trial.
I was just like the woman who touched Jesus’ robe in Capernaum. I knew that “if I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole“ (Matthew 9:21, KJV). A simple yet firm gesture of faith to just reach out. How often we may each feel like her– another number in a large crowd, another burden in this world filled with worse troubles than our own– that we question why He would even care about us individually. Does He even care about ME? But He does! Jesus turned about to personally respond to her.
“‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you’” (Matthew 9:22, NIV).
Even though I wasn’t immediately healed like that women, little by little, day by day, even hour by hour, I felt God’s strong love for me as He held my hand. He was always next to me, not ahead of me beckoning me to catch up, not behind me telling me I’ll be fine by myself, but next to me, every single step of the way. Because of His strong love and firm hold on my hand, He allowed my heart to heal and brought moments of clarity, rejuvenation, and assurance to my soul. Because of His strong love, He helped me to eventually allow my heart to trust again, to open up to a new love, and to find someone who passed no judgement on me, who loved me for me and all my flaws.
I’m still not sure why I went through something so difficult, but I know He loved me through it all. After all, I am His daughter, why wouldn’t He love me and help me?
Fast forward to two years ago, when I unexpectedly lost my dad. The biggest hardship to date. I was always daddy’s little girl. My name on his cell phone was titled “Princess,” if that gives a single clue of what our relationship was like. I have never felt such physical pain in my body and soul as I did when I lost my dad. I never got to say good-bye one last time. I never got to say I love you one last time. He never got to tell me anything one last time.
I was crushed to the core.
On top of all that, I had four young kids of my own, a husband with a busy work schedule, activities and volunteering of my own, and am the oldest in my family and with that and the particular dynamics and personalities of my family, a LOT more suddenly ended up on my shoulders– things that I knew only I could carry.
Little did I know, that the immense emotional, spiritual, and physical pain of losing my dad at a particularly demanding time in my life was the very thing I needed to be just one step closer to knowing my Savior and being deeply converted to His gospel.
Being stripped from all things that are comfortable and safe throws us into a state of vulnerability, perhaps humility, and thus beautifully begins a deep and personal relationship with God. Of course, we would rather not have to go through all the heartache, but I have come to learn and appreciate that only then, in that state of vulnerability, do our hearts allow true change. Only then, can we be shaped by the Lord’s hands to be greater than we could ever envision for ourselves. Only then can we become more Christ-like, love and understand others better, and love God that much more.
Once again, my faith was tested.
Go to what you know; what “you have always known.”
Time has repeatedly proven that Jesus is just a reach away. Yes, it is that simple. Just my hand in His, the touch of His hem, can heal me and carry me through it all.
As I read the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ robe, I weep, seeing myself in her. I feel her. I feel her heart. I too still feel horrible, unworthy, lonely, beaten, and tired. But I know that with just one reach, no matter where in life we are, the greatest gift of all, the most valuable treasure in the universe, is available to Each. One. Of. Us.
I am worth it to the Lord. The Bible says that His grace is sufficient for me. As an individual. He cares about me personally and I matter enough to Him. He paid the ultimate price for me so I can not only be saved from sin, but so that He can also feel my pain, feel my confusion, feel my sorrow in addition to providing the power of healing, comfort, and peace (Ephesians 2:5-9).
There is power, there is beauty, there is strength when we turn to our Master and our Creator in whatever way. Heaven is so close. I feel as though I have felt heaven itself, particularly when losing my dad. It was so tangible. It was as though I could just reach out and touch it. Our Savior and His love are literally within reach and available to us all. We can experience the love our Savior daily in our lives with an exciting opportunity to change our hearts and get to know Him better and allow Him to show us our potential. May we allow Him to enter into our lives and make it grand! May we always reach to touch His hand.