What I Needed

I was born into a marriage that did not last. In my youth, I didn’t think it made much of an impact. Plenty of other kids around me parents weren’t married either. Mine no longer being together wasn’t a big deal. I never felt embarrassed or insecure about my dad not being around like others. The older I got, the more I felt like I didn’t need a male role model in my life. Let’s just say I was not a daddy’s girl. I was, however, a little girl with a big mouth. I would tell all the business to anyone who asked. Especially when my dad asked. The older I got, the more I saw how damaging having a big mouth could be. I not only hurt others by telling their business, but I got hurt myself.

I remember the day I decided I would no longer share information about my mom with my dad. I was in my mothers’ room on a cordless phone talking to my dad. As usual, he began to ask questions about my mom. I was about 9 or 10 years old. Something in me began to get upset. Instead of answering his questions, I asked him a question, “Did you call to talk to me or to ask about mom? I don’t want to talk about her.” He didn’t push talking about her any further. After that, I began to speak my mind to him. My mom never bad mouthed my dad (I’m eternally grateful for that) but kids notice things as they get older. People who overhead my conversations with my dad would say I talked to him as more of a sister than a dad. It didn’t make any difference to me as I wasn’t a daddy’s girl anyway and didn’t feel like I needed a dad.

I carried the idea of not needing a father figure in my life for years. Plus, it wasn’t as if any man ever tried to take me under his wing. A lot of men don’t think girls need father figures; they usually focus more on the boys. Boys need male attention and girls not so much. How sadly untrue that it is. One of my lasting memories as a kid is when my mom’s male friend took me to the basketball court. We played around for a bit, and he helped me in my technique on shooting the ball. It made me feel special, and I couldn’t wait to show my dad that I could shoot a basketball. And…that time came. My dad brought my siblings and me to the basketball court behind our house located at the junior high, and I was ready. I got the ball & shot it. My younger sister and I went back & forth taking turns. When my dad saw he said, “Triana, you should play basketball because you’re tall.” He told my younger sister she should play because she’s “good.” I vowed that day never to play basketball. I was crushed.

My view of men growing up was a competitive one. They were lazy, mean, selfish, dumb, lustful predators. I found myself in several yelling matches with men over the years. I didn’t have any respect for them and why should I? They didn’t have any respect for me. When someone I dated pointed out I was competitive with them, I quickly turned the conversation around to how insecure they were being. I didn’t want to do everything a man could do, but I felt that whatever a man could do intellectually I could do better. When I came across females who were dominant or competitive, I immediately let them have the floor. They weren’t my issue. If anything, rock on Sister! It’s the man that I can’t stand. Even when dating men, I always felt as if I had a leg up on them.

Then I learned about my Heavenly Father. At first, even acknowledging God as my heavenly father felt weird. Galatians 4:6 says, “…one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Father? I didn’t need a Father. I could use a comforter, a healer, a counselor (you get the gist). But a Father? I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I didn’t know how to receive a Father’s love. Growing up I thought most men looked at me as nothing more than a sex object. When I was told God is loving, cared about how I felt, would never leave me nor forsake me it wasn’t anything I had ever experienced from a man. How could I rely on a Father I never saw? I never heard His voice. I never felt His embrace. Abba, Father, Daddy. These are words I barely used if ever, growing up.

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