Finally the day had arrived!
And, my nine year old body could no longer hold back the energy. At least a dozen times, I ran to the window, climbed the chair, peeled back the curtain, pressed my hands and cheek against the wintry glass and searched the snow covered streets for the first sight of his car. My nervous grandmother interrupted my wild anticipation to assure me that looking would not quicken his arrival. I’ve never been much good at waiting.
I could feel the magic in the air as we prepared for his arrival. My sister and I were dressed in our new matching polyester pantsuits. Hers was orange, mine yellow. Our hair carefully styled in half up and half downs tied with color coordinated yarn ribbons. The wonderful gifts under my grandparents tree had been unwrapped hours ago. A joy that now paled, replaced with a greater expectancy. My daddy was coming for Christmas!
My father had left our family 2 years before with only a few brief visits. Our little family had many deep and painful wounds. And that Christmas my dreams, my hopes went much further than the gifts under a tree. When I heard he would visit, it was my chance. I just knew if he could see how much we loved and missed him; my daddy would feel the same. He’d come back to us.
I longed for a family where my heart could be stable.
My body remembers like it was yesterday. We spent a glorious afternoon together. I recall the warmth of his hugs. How his voice resonated in the caverns of my heart. I memorized the joy of our laughter. And when my daddy spoke my name – I felt known and loved.
A nine year old dared to hope.
Then he and my mother had a private conversation. And with our goodbyes, I somehow knew…my father would never return. Yet my heart always hoped, even when it all seemed impossible.
Even today, I long for a father – one who knows me, sees me, delights in me and loves me.
And I wonder?
Is he ever curious about the woman I have become, what makes me laugh, the song that I sing, what now fills the caverns of my heart. And does he know what makes my heart dance? Yes, at fifty-three I still long to be known and cherished by my father.
Funny, how a little girl’s heart never really changes – even when she grows into a woman. The hope of a father’s love is a good and holy longing. Although, there was a time this hope all but died. And with it, parts of my heart. Honestly, I don’t know if this longing, this hope will be fulfilled, be given, in this lifetime. I do know in the past four years, my heart has experienced profound changes. Changes in which the risk to hope again, to dream again have risen exponentially. I feel it in my body and the energy is once again almost too much to contain.
Yes, I even find myself rushing to the window!
So, I hope, I prepare, I experience joy and I love. Yes, I even wait and I long for more. And I know that a baby…the extraordinary that broke into the ordinary – the Son of God born in a manger, who grew and lived among us, gave His life for me and you, miraculously resurrected from the dead and then ascended to the Father. And will one day come again for those who believe in Him…
Is the only HOPE that can bring my wounded heart to a stable condition.
*This post was originally published on December 2, 2014
Robyn Whitaker lives in Texas with her kind and generous husband of 39 years and has three beautiful daughters. She has an adventurous heart that has learned to breathe. Lover of truth, therapist, seeker of story, author and dreamer. Robyn is a woman unbecoming everything that isn’t her so she can be who she was meant to be in the first place. Robyn writes here. n
Robyn, your words invite me to hope for what hasn’t been in the waiting for the love of my earthly father, yet live in assurance it has come and will come for me in a baby, grown man, always Savior/Father. Your words set my heart on a path to Advent.
Robyn, I love the sweetness of the picture of Hope you painted with your story. Sweet, innocent, anticipating, waiting with a little girls open heart. I love even more that you have chosen to fight to keep that hope alive today.
Dear Robyn, your writing brings me to the window and I stand next t you and your sister with pantsuits and yarn ribbons (I had forgotten about those) in your hair. I love the work you have done with your story to bring back risking and dreaming alive in your heart. I think there is much healing done with telling (writing) in community and I am honored to be part of the listening and changing. Thank you, Robyn for spurring us all on to healing, love and hope. Our hearts know no age.
I felt your hope and excitement as you described waiting…and sadly, knew that disappointment would follow. I know well the ache of a little girl’s heart no matter what the age to be cherished and delighted in by her daddy. I am so glad you have allowed your heart to be open to hope again.
What a beautiful story. I run to the window to seek my Heavenly Father. Although my own Father is present; I still earnestly, at 50, still try to seek his approval. And yet the love of my Heavenly Father is always surrounding me. I’ve accepted that love as my one abs only assurance.