Last summer, I had an opportunity for renewal for three weeks away from mission. My time of retreat and renewal overlapped with one of my very first spiritual directors. In the passing years, I had entered the convent and he had gone on to become “Catholic famous.”
After a brief, “We’ll visit soon,” the days began to speed by. By the second week, I was worried and fretting that the visit wouldn’t happen. By the last week, the worry had spiraled into thoughts of not being significant enough to be worth his time.
Longing for Fatherly Love
Taking it to prayer, I began to pray through the why.
Why was I obsessing, worrying, and worse, doubting my worth in the eyes of someone I trusted, who knew my heart?
It was because “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:32). God the Father knew my heart was hurting in ways that I had not yet acknowledged. I had lost my own dad to cancer a few years before. My most recent spiritual director had recently left the priesthood. Grief had become a constant friend that made me both grateful and sad. And hesitant.
The Father's Love Remains
The Lord began to show me that in all that change and upheaval of the past years, God had remained the same. His love for me had not changed. He had always provided for me, was providing for me in these moments of doubt of my own significance, and He would always provide.
I began to turn these thoughts of my own insignificance and lack of trust over to the Lord. When thoughts would arise about my self-worth, the Lord reminded me of the truth of being Beloved to the Father, and that He remained my constant friend and Father through it all. I began to believe it and even have peace that if I didn’t get a chance to visit with my spiritual father, it was not a reflection on me, but a reflection on the busy-ness of life.
So when I got a message for an invite for coffee a few days before I left, I laughed at the Providential, nothing-accidental timing. During coffee, we celebrated all the Lord was doing in our lives. And I wished my heavenly Father Happy Father’s Day, too.
How has the Heavenly Father used someone else to remind you of His steadfast love?
Consider reaching out to someone who has lost a parent and remind them that they are still a beloved child of God.
Who are you in the eyes of your heavenly Father?
Consider thanking a spiritual father today and name a specific way they reflect the Father’s love for you.