Note from Jerry and Denise:
Recently, a new friend of ours shared this story with us and we felt like it needed to be shared with others. Though your own story may be different than Irene's, invite the Father to share where her story resonates with you. And let Him come and bring His "Father Love" to your heart.
Irene Romero, LMSW, is the founder and president of Divinely Adopted Daughters (DAD). Irene’s vision is to help women heal the wounds of father absence with the Father’s presence. Irene is a licensed minister and served as a pastor in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York for 25 years. Irene holds a Masters Degree from the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University and presently works as a social worker in a New York City public school. She can be reached at email@example.com. Her website is divinelyadopteddaughters.org.
Picture taken from a quote by Toni Kane
Ezekiel 16: 4-8 4 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised. 6 Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!” 7 I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew and developed and entered puberty. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, yet you were stark naked. 8 Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
The birth of a baby is a wondrous and joyous occasion. Expectant, wide-eyed parents snuggle and coo over their bundle of joy. Though life will never be the same, their love will conquer sleepless nights, incessant crying, and dirty diapers.
My arrival was different. For “on the day” I was born, the father entrusted with loving and caring for me moved to the farthest room of our 3-bedroom walk-up apartment in Brooklyn. He did not want to hear my cries, I am told. And I often wonder what he might have been thinking as he climbed each step? Did he look into my eyes and envision my future? Did he cry with joy? Did he promise to love and protect me? I long to know the answers, but what I do know shaped my identity and left deep wounds in my soul.
At age 2, I was already showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, a result of domestic violence I witnessed in my home. My pediatrician spoke with my mother and advised her to do something quickly because I was experiencing severe trauma. She confronted my father, but he was unwilling to change. She packed our belongings and went to live with my grandmother. It would be the last time I would ever live with my father.
Tears rolled down my face as I read the words of Ezekiel. That was my story. Through every stage of development, my father was missing. His absence at Christmas, birthdays, and graduations cemented feelings of self-doubt and suffocating unworthiness.
“What is wrong with ME?” “Am I welcomed here?” “What can I do to make them like me?” I asked myself those questions and learned to put others’ needs above my own because I never felt important.
Layers of negative words covered my heart like advertisements illegally plastered despite the “Post No Bills” sign. Unwanted. Unlovely. Unworthy. Burdensome. Never enough. Abandoned. Forsaken. Guilty. Ashamed. The words seeped into each other over time and fastened themselves to my heart. Overlapping and sometimes illegible, they remained indelible. Each one incurring a hefty fine I could never pay.
At age 21, I experienced the Father-loved life for the first time. The price for my pain and my sin HAS been paid. My father did not demonstrate his love, but at the cross, Jesus demonstrated God the Father’s love for me and for you.
I now understand the words of Ezekiel. I belong. I am desired. I am accepted. I am loved. I was Father-loved in my infancy, in my teen years, and now in my adulthood. And so are you, dear friend. We are not fatherless. We are Father-loved!
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BOOKS AND MEDIA: The Expanded Edition of "The Missing Commandment: Love Yourself" and our devotional/instructional book, "Loving God, Loving Myself," is available at jerryanddenisebasel.com and Amazon.com.
COUNSELING MINISTRY: If you or anyone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father's Heart Intensive Christian Counseling Ministry. Check out our web site at fathersheart.com or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-like setting and counsel individuals or couples for periods of two to five-days in length.