I dreaded going to see him sometimes.
He lived in the 3/4 finished basement of his mother’s house, and in order to get to the bathroom, I had to walk down a hallway. The hallway was dark with one dim light. Along the wall were pictures of….women (inappropriate magazines) that as a child at that time, I should never had to see.
As a young girl between the age of 7-11, my stomach hurt when we would go for a visit to see my dad. Part of me wanted to see him, but I did not want to see the women displayed on the wall.
As my dad began to bring us around his other girlfriends, I began to notice somethings. They weren’t like me. And they weren’t like my mother. They were fair skinned (very very light brown in color) with straight long black hair. My skin is brown. My hair is kinky. They were very thin and tall. I was not.
As my body began to change (I was just slightly plump, but looking back I was just fine), I’ll never forgot the words he said to me one day, “Hey girl, you’re getting fat.”
In that moment, I remember all the pictures of those women. Those were the women who were perfect in his eyes. The women whose beauty was summed up in how it laid bare for the world to see. Nope, that wasn’t me-but his words stuck in my head. Like a record playing over and over.
Wonderful words you say to your daughter, right? These words stuck. The images of the immodest women on his walls stuck. The memories of his girlfriends stuck. I understood that he could like any woman he wanted, but what did it say about me? Wasn’t I enough? Wasn’t I beautiful too? Was my beauty only tied to my outside? What about my heart? Couldn’t that be beautiful too?
I never really understood the power of the images and his words (lack of words too) until later in life. I often tried to be like those women but I just wasn’t. My kinky “4c” hair texture took hours just to get a curl put in when I was in the sixth grade. I never felt comfortable dressing too immodest-it just wasn’t me. I tried to be comfortable being me, but acceptance took years. Later in life, when I learned to use Photoshop, I understood that those images of those women were more than likely altered and YAHUAH began to show me that beauty is of the heart.
I was just beginning to accept myself in my middle twenties but I was still struggling a lot. At that time, the single males that were around had a similar view of outward beauty and I wasn’t what they wanted. Yet that was okay because YAHUAH had a plan. He had a plan for a man who saw my beautiful inward and out. Who wasn’t afraid of my love and devotion to our wonderful heavenly Father. He wasn’t intimidated by the amount of scriptures I knew, because he knew them too. He wasn’t afraid of my dreams and hopes, because they were his too. My husband was YAHUAH sent and like in Sarah and Toviyahu’s marriage, she was not meant to be joined to any other man but him.
My husband would (and still does), tell me that I am beautiful. On the surface I accepted his words, but on the inside, I really did not believe him. What was his motive? Surely he must really admire that woman over there?
This went on for years, until I slowly and finally, laid the hurts of my father at the feet of the Master YAHUSHA Messiah and accepted the love of our heavenly Father, YAHUAH. My earthly father my have left many voids in my life and shown me what he thought beauty was, but YAHUAH has filled those voids and given me beauty that can never fade-a fear and a love for Him.
Now, I still have some issues sometimes. From having five kids, my stomach is not what I want it to be, but my husband does not care! I have learned to receive his compliments without analyzing them. Furthermore, since we have three daughters, I have seen him pour out words of affirmation, tenderness and love-like only a father can. As I watch him with them, my heart continues to heal. By him loving me and them, our daughters will have a healthy view of themselves. Though the world may try to tell them that they aren’t enough, the words of our heavenly Father, YAHUAH and their earthly father will forever be etched on their hearts.