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Confronting the Truth of Fatherhood

 
Blair Linne | October 7th 2021

The following is a sample from one of the chapters in Finding My Father by Blair Linne. This is one snippet of the author’s personal story of learning to trust our heavenly Father when you feel your earthly father has let you down. Grab a copy to read more of the story and helpful insights into how the Gospel heals the pain of fatherlessness.

I was 18 when I realized my backbone was no longer made for bending. Prior to that, fear had won for so many years. Now I finally pried off the muzzle from over my mouth and confronted my father’s scarceness during one of our sporadic phone calls.

But let’s back up to what led up to that call.

Within a two-week period at my “name it and claim it” church, three different guys had all said that God had told them they were to marry me. They weren’t at the point of getting down on one knee, but they were very clear about what they thought God was telling them.

I wasn’t dating any of these guys, and never would, and yet I remember racking my brain over this dilemma. The thought that God would tell these three friends the same thing and not mention any of it to me was strange. Yet I was a Creflo Dollar partner at the time, consumed with the mystical idea of man’s ability to speak things into existence—so I took their words to heart.

Finding My Father

Finding My Father

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A personal story of learning to trust our heavenly Father when you feel your earthly father has let you down.

And that made me consider, for the first time, what I should or shouldn’t look for in a husband. I had no idea. I was nowhere near ready to tie the knot.

God used those three guys to stir up in me the realization that not only did I not know what I wanted in a guy, but at the core I didn’t know who I was. In order to know who I should marry, I had to understand who God made me to be. This caused me to face another downside to growing up without a father: especially when it came to what to look for in a man, I had no one to model it to me or guide me through these things.

Growing up without a father is like this. We see the effects of not having our dad—the gash, the tears, the steady dribble of heartache inside of us; the slow, creeping onset of pain and grief as the breach of relationship begins to boil over into different areas of our life. But what most of us never do is to work our way back to find the original cause. Quickly bandaging the cut and moving on seems easiest. So we put on our “I’m ok” face and keep Pandora’s box sealed for fear of what may escape.

"I think I had a picture in my mind in which my dad could and should be like a superhero: that he would swoop in eventually to save the day with all the right words."

But now I was 18, and for whatever reason those three guys’ words meant I knew I couldn’t keep the box closed. As painful as what was potentially on the inside was, I had to pop the seal. So, on the phone with my dad, I did what I had wanted to do ten years earlier but hadn’t had the guts to.

I blurted it out before I could talk myself out of confronting the truth, again. I told him. Told him that I was hurting. That I had been affected by his absence. That I expected more from him than silence.

He listened, and said words to me that I never expected. That he was afraid too. That his dad had not been in his life, and now he had repeated the cycle.

I had not created a play-by-play for the conversation in my mind, but this was not panning out like I had thought. And it helped me see something about my dad I had never really considered before: that he was a man. He was just as broken and needy as I was.

I think I had a picture in my mind in which my dad could and should be like a superhero: that he would swoop in eventually to save the day with all the right words. That he wore an S on his chest. Maybe it was all the TV I was watching, my own unrealistic expectations carefully nurtured over the years, or the slick sayings I was used to hearing slide off his tongue like Jello. But he wore no cape.

He spoke no parables or metaphors. He couldn’t raise memories of what had not been and breathe life into them with his being there. He had no access to a time machine which would allow him to travel back in time to catch dreams before they shattered in a cacophony of fatherless pain on my stone floor. He couldn’t reshape what had already been molded like cast iron. He was simply a beautiful, flawed man. He let me see his frailty that day, and it’s something that has cuddled my story like a weighted blanket.

A father is a covering. He is a shield from danger. So where do you go when your dad needs a place to hide too?

Some have suggested that we simply do away with the idea of this kind of father, since it has been so muddied by sin. But our sin does not negate the truth God has established. And no sinner can dictate or destroy what God intends. We just need to lift our eyes a bit higher.

There is a true Father who is drastically different in so many, many ways. And he was not the man on the other end of the phone with 18-year-old Blair

Blair Linne

Blair Linne is a Christian spoken word artist, actress, and Bible teacher. Blair is recognized as one of the originators of the Christian spoken word genre. At 13, she was one of the youngest contributors to the Anansi Writers Workshop at L.A.’s prestigious art forum, The World Stage. Since then, she has toured globally, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through spoken word. Blair has written poetry for Sprite, Neutrogena, NBC, and the Gospel Coalition. She has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, on ABC’s Nightline, popular Christian radio show Revive Our Hearts, and several Christian Hip Hop albums. Blair’s debut album, When Light Meets Water, delivers her God-glorifying, Christ-centered, gospel-saturated poetry against a backdrop of Neo-Soul influenced sounds, underground hip-hop and live instrumentation. She has appeared in numerous theater productions, commercials and television shows including Days of Our Lives, Alias, Malcolm in the Middle, Boston Public, The Parkers and American Dreams, as well as her own Saturday morning show, SK8 (Skate) on NBC. Blair lives in Philadelphia with her husband Shai Linne and their three children Sage, Maya, and Ezra; she serves in discipling women at Risen Christ Fellowship, where her husband is one of the founding pastors.

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