The Dad You Never Had

Dear God…

Where should I begin my story? Or rather, where does my story begin? I remember that my dad started beating me when I was little, but I guess I was too little to run away or hide. Then there were the drugs. My dad had all kinds of strange people come and go at all hours of the night. I guess I wouldn’t have noticed how much my mom was crying if they hadn’t kept me awake with loud talking and cussing.

The picture gets clearer as I remember growing older. One day that really stands out was the time the cops came and took my dad away. For a while it was nice not having to walk on eggshells because of his bad temper, but when you don’t see your dad for over five years, you actually start to miss even the occasional smile or pat on the head.

Sometimes I wonder what a real childhood would have been like. Oh my world was real enough – too real sometimes. But I didn’t have a childhood because I had to be an adult at such a young age. I had to be grown up enough to explain my bruises to my younger sister, and mature enough to comfort my mom when my dad had another one of his “episodes.” Most of all, I had to be grown up enough to realize that even though my dad is now out of prison and long gone, my memories of him have locked me in a prison of loneliness, mistrust, and complete worthlessness. Over the years, I assumed that time would have healed the wounds, but it seems the older I get, the more I look in the mirror, the more I see him looking back at me.

So that’s my story, but last week my story took a new turn. I went to church for the first time with a co-worker who just kept inviting me and inviting me, so I finally gave in. The preacher guy made a speech called a “message,” and normally I would tune those things out. But something caught my attention and held my interest. He started talking about You, God – and for the very first time in my life I felt like an escape from my prison was possible. He talked about You being a true and perfect Father to anyone who put their trust in Christ for salvation.

So I did. No big fanfare or production. I simply believed what You said in the Bible, that whoever believes in You has eternal life. I believed not only because I don’t want to go to hell, but also because I do want what I never had before…a relationship with a dad that is loving and permanent.

Is that possible God? Are you truly my Father? Can I trust you to always be there and always care?

Can you even hear me?

Your Child

My Child-

Not only can I hear you, but I know everything about you. (Psalm139:1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2) I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm 139:3) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31) For you were made in My image. (Genesis 1:27) In Me, you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:27-28) For you are My offspring. (Acts 17:28) I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5) I chose you, when I planned creation. (Ephesians 1:11-12)

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in My Book. (Psalm 139:15-16) I determined the exact time of your birth, and where you would live. (Acts 17:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I knit you together in your mother's womb. (Psalm 13:13) And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6) I have been misrepresented by those who don't know Me. (John 8:41, 42, 44) I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16) And it is My desire to lavish My love on you. (1John 3:1) Simply because you are My child, and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:48)

Every good gift that you receive, comes from My hand. (James 1:17) For I am your Provider, and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40) For you are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) I desire to establish you with all My heart, and all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:41)

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me. (Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) For it is I, who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20-21) For I am your greatest Encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) And nothing will ever separate you from My love again. (Romans 8:39-39) I have always been your Father, and will always be your Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15)1


Your Heavenly Daddy

Adapted from used by permission


Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit Send feedback to