When It’s Hard to Think of God as Dad

The image of God as our Father is reinforced in today’s First Reading.

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. (1 John 3:1)

I do believe that, yet something is off in me. I remember at a retreat, the leader asked us to close our eyes and picture God as a Father interacting with us. I was supposed to imagine Him walking on the beach with me or sitting on a bench talking with me in a garden. Can I be honest with you? It just felt weird.

I can easily imagine myself interacting like this with Jesus or Mary. It is easy for me to imagine God as the Master Creator or a just Judge, but I still have trouble picturing Him as a “dad.”

When I picture God I always see Him sitting on a throne and I can’t lift my eyes to His face. I tend to keep my head bent just gazing at his feet. I always thought of it as reverence, but lately I question if something else is holding me back—Fear? Self-doubt? Guilt of past sins?

I don’t want my prayers to God to feel distant or awkward. I want to be able to imagine myself holding the hand of my Heavenly Father and pouring my heart out to Him. I want to know in my heart, and not just my head, that God loves me as a precious daughter.

If I am having trouble truly seeing God as my loving Father, and I have a good relationship with my own dad, how much harder must it be for those of us with bad examples of fatherhood? Perhaps you yourself have a lot of hurt obstructing you from embracing the image of Father.

Whatever the reason causing our hesitation or inability, I strongly feel God calling me. . . calling you. I feel His gentle tug, and Him saying, Look at me, my child. I love you more than you know.

For some of us, that will be easy. For others, it’s difficult in various degrees. So, let’s pray for one another as sisters of the Father, especially for those sisters who have deep hurt or interior struggles hindering them from fully embracing the fact that they are beloved daughters of God. I pray we can truly rejoice in the words, Beloved, we are God’s children now. (1 John 3:2)

[Tweet “I pray we can truly rejoice in the words, Beloved, we are God’s children now. (1 John 3:2) // @bobbi_rol”]

Bobbi Rol is a wife, mama and blogger living on the Monterey Bay in CA with her husband, teen daughter, and three rambunctious boys. When she is not dodging light sabers or stepping on Legos, she can be found outside with her family, catching a late night movie, or decorating her planner. You can find out more about her here.

1 Comment

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    January 3, 2018 at 6:14 am

    I wanted to share this website in response to the beautiful and somewhat poignant reflection by Bobbi . I discovered the site when I hosted a Christ Renews His Parish Retreat and used it in my witness. It has forever changed the way I view God. I hope it helps someone else who struggles to see God as “Dad”.

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