We had almost finished setting up our tent, when we saw the red truck back into the campsite directly beside us. As they started to unload, the Dad came out first, then the Mom along with a toddler, a baby girl, and a large dog named Abraham who was apparently celebrating his birthday.
Later, as we sat around the crackling fire under the stars, we heard the baby cry out from their tent, “DAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDYYYYYYYYYY.” After a few minutes, the Mom joined the Dad and toddler by their fire.
It was quiet and as the fires dwindled, we all made our way into the tents to rest under the dark sky. I fell asleep reading a book on my Kindle and was suddenly awakened in the middle of the night to a familiar cry, “DAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDYYYYYYYY” and then a few minutes later another, “DAAAAAADDDDDDYYYYYYYY”.
The baby soon fell back asleep and I did too. Just as the sun started to rise, again I heard her belt out, “DAAAAADDDDDDDYYYYYYYYY.”
He was always there. He always responded.
She continued to cry out, and he was able to quickly soothe her.
As we all settled in our tents on the second night, I fell asleep waiting to hear her cry. At some point I woke up again smiling as I heard her cry out, “DAAAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYYYY.”
It didn’t upset me at all to be awakened by her cries.
The imagery made me see how I go to everything but DAAAAAADDDDDDYYYYYYY.
Do I cry out to my Heavenly Father? Yes, but not nearly enough! It made me realize I need to be more intentional to cry out to Him first.
Cry out to my Heavenly DAAAAADDDYYYY when I am stressed.
Go to Him and be filled when I am overwhelmed and anxious.
Say His name: “Jesus” when I have a bad dream or flashback.
Whisper “Help me DAAAADDDDDYYYY!” when I am sad or angry.
For that baby girl, it was completely natural to cry out.
It doesn’t come easy for me.
Somewhere along the way, I believed the lie that I had to fend for myself.
I learned to cope by crying out in other ways.
I stuffed myself with food, relationships, alcohol, and staying busy.
I replayed scenarios in my mind and worried myself into a panic over and over.
I stuffed things deep down, and I pretended like everything was fine.
There was no need to cry out when nothing was wrong, right?
But, I am no longer living that lie.
In the quietness of that tent, I smiled and whispered “Daaaaaddddyyyyyyyy.” It literally felt like I was practicing, and I wanted it to feel natural.
It was both awkward and beautiful.
It was intimate, personal and real.
A beloved Father and His beloved Daughter, together.
And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!”
For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”