Story Saturday Post #3: I Don’t Have a Dad

Good Morning Gorgeous,

It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start.

All things are new and becoming NEW!!

This is post 3 of my story. Telling it in bits and pieces as Holy Spirit leads.

This morning, I spent a few hours working/volunteering at the store that hosts my little Faith Gifts shop. If you are local to Fort Myers and need a gift, check out Sweet Pickins!

Now we are off on a road trip to Busch Gardens with our kiddos and I am writing my weekly Story Saturday Post. 🙂

Here goes… September 1988

I’m the new kid at school. I’m sure I look different and talk different than everyone else. School started a few weeks ago here, so everyone is already settled. Back home in California it was still summer break.

We arrived here in Florida about a week ago. The only clothes I had when we arrived here are the ones given to me at the shelter for abused women and children.

We are staying with my grandma’s brother and he is kind enough. Not overly nice, but kind enough to open his home to us. I’m leery very very leery of men, so even if he is being kind, the walls are up super high around my heart.

I’m seven and I am starting 2nd grade. This will be my 3rd school in 3 years in 3 different states. Kindergarten was in Pennsylvania. 1st grade in California. And now 2nd grade in Florida. From one side of the coast to the other and back!

Thank goodness my new classmates are kind. Welcoming. My teacher is also gentle and kind, and the principal calls me the “California Kid.” He is so nice to me and continued to call me that all the through the 5th grade. He sees me. No many people really “see” me, but he does and always makes a point to talk to me. He probably knows my history from my enrollment file, but at seven I don’t know about that. I just know he notices me and makes me feel special each time he sees me in the halls.

As I settle into my new school and get to know the other kids, they have questions. Why did you move? Who do you live with? Where are you from? Where’s your dad?

That was a common question. Where’s your dad? Who is your dad? What happened to your dad?

And I gave the same answer everytime.

I don’t have one.

This was usually met with a million more questions. To which I answered with the same 4 words.

I don’t have one.

Why did I answer that way? The pain was deep and I only really knew him for a few months and he wasn’t anything like I pictured a dad would be. He didn’t play with me. No trips to the park. No fun walks. No taking me for a bike ride. No nice words or loving embraces. Nothing like the dads on TV. And remember I had lived in Pennsylvania alone with my mom prior to the quick return to California. So for most of my life I hadn’t had a dad. Then I met him and nope that’s not what I imagined a dad would be at all. 

So instead of telling my full story and explaining how I had a dad for a few months and it was a nightmare equivalent to a lifetime movie where you are on the edge of your seats the whole time wondering of the characters will make it out alive. Instead of all that, I just replied. I don’t have one. Time and time again.

Recollecting how I used to reply to people about my dad when I was seven, has me thinking about people who deny the Lord as their Heavenly Father.

I started thinking about atheists and those who have left the faith. People who haven’t yet met Jesus or who are unsure about Him.

They say, “I don’t believe in God.” Or “I am not religious.” Or “I’m not sure what I believe.” Or “I gave that God thing a chance once, but I don’t believe anymore.”

I think I may know why some people deny God as their Father.

I told people I didn’t have a dad for more than a decade. Maybe longer.

Why? The pain was so deep..the  shame was suffocating. And the disappointment about who he ended up being after I imagined something else.

And I think the same can be true for why people deny or run from Jesus.

The pain of life has been great. The disappointment deep. The losses hard to bear. The cycles of our own mess leave us covered in shame. How could this be the life God has for us?

It’s NOT!

But here’s the thing, we don’t start to REALLY live until we get spiritually born again when we confess Jesus Christ and surrender our life to His.

Suddenly, real living begins.

Healing starts. Identity is found. Patterns of dysfunction break. And our spiritual eyes open up and the WHOLE world looks different!

If you are reading this and you’ve been denying Your Creator. Your Savior. Your Father in heaven. I promise you that you can TRUST in Him. Your heart is stirring. You’re wondering if this could really be true. Could there be more to life than what you’ve experienced so far?


And He’s been waiting for you to turn to Him! He’s one prayer away. You can simply say, “Jesus, I’m ready. I believe. I want to meet You and know You as my Father. I don’t want to say I don’t have a Dad anymore. I want to know You as the One who chose me. Designed me. Died for me and took my sins upon Yourself because You love me that much! This world has hurt me. Show me who You are. I’m here desiring You Lord. I’m sorry. Forgive me for running. For doing things mybway. I’m here. I’m scared. But I’m ready to know You.

He will show up! He will forgive you for a lifetime of denying Him as daddy and it will be washed away like it never happened. He’s a goooood Daddy. He won’t bring it back up. He won’t remind you again and again of your past failures. He will begin to provide you with a way out of your old life and into a brand new way of living with Him as a Dad you can count on all the rest of your life!

I don’t tell people that I don’t have a dad anymore. I’ve learned to own my story and share my beautiful testimony from death to life.

I’m not sad as I share any of this! I’m healed and whole and set free from rejection, pain of abandonment, deep wounds have been healed, and the Lord has literally made beauty from the ashes!

I am beginning to share my story because I’m sharing from a place wholeness. I’m on the other side of the pain, and the Lord has made things work together for good. Even the painful parts have not been wasted. They have made me soft and empathetic toward others. I know what it’s like to live in survival mode and every day be met with uncertainty. I know what it’s like to not quite fit in again and again. I know what it’s like to have a part of your past so deeply traumatic that you deny it exists.

And I also know what it’s like to meet the Lord in the darkest of nights and have Him so lovingly put me back together, breathe new life into my lungs, and restore what was stolen. This is the Lord I introduce to you today!

I pray that as you read my story, you see Jesus! You see hope. You see how gooooood God is and that He can meet you exactly where you are today and give you a brand new start!

Blessings and the hope of a new beginning in Christ!

Vanessa Lynn

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7 thoughts on “Story Saturday Post #3: I Don’t Have a Dad

  1. I was going through my blog feed and wondering if you’d posted yet and I simply hit refresh and there it was freshly at the top of the feed!!

    I’m so thankful for your strong faith and the strength and courage through Him to tell your story. So many others are out there dealing with this same scenario but yet not knowing there’s a perfect Father in Heaven who loves richly and cares deeply. Praying your post might be used to touch others in a way that glorifies God.
    Love how it points to Him. ❤️

    1. Thank you Alicia for your encouraging words and for reading my story. I partner with you in the prayer that it will touch others and glorify God. May people receive hope that there is healing and also may others be filled with new boldness to share their stories too! 🙂

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