Written by Katie Pezzutto

My father walked out when I was twelve. Mom left him a note giving him the option to stay or leave with his addictions and he chose the later. At that age, I didn’t understand the complexity of reasons for his decision. All I knew was this: I wasn’t worth sticking around for. My talent, beauty and intelligence couldn’t make him stay with me. I wasn’t enough and would have to work harder to lure my best friend into my life again.

I didn’t get him back.

Even though my father loved me and wanted to be with me, I didn’t grow up with that knowledge. To further the sting, my mom ended up in a wheelchair a couple years after he took off. While she was living in the hospital in Calgary, I came home to my grandparents feeling broken with no one to talk to. Throughout my middle school years, I was rejected by friends and crushes. As time moved on, I managed to live a conspicuously successful double life. My broken emotional state only became obvious when I started losing obscene amounts of weight. It only took a few months for people to realize I was lost deep in the belly of an unrelenting eating disorder.

As the fat and muscle melted away, I faked a strong demeanor and strove hard to be the most successful, accomplished human being possible. I wanted everyone who knew me to be proud of all the things I had accomplished. My desire to be a shining star was rooted in my lack of identity. I didn’t know my value. I was still that lost, little girl in middle school. While giving presentations in University and earning the accolades of professors, I was still the pre-teen at the back of the class, desperately wanting someone to notice her. When I won scholarships and the attention of employers, I was still the child, desperately wanting someone to make her feel safe and loved. I strove and worked, I did well according to earthly standards. But this striving almost led to a mental breakdown.

And the craziness all started with this: I didn’t know how my heavenly father valued me. To be honest, I still don’t grasp the entirety of His love. Not having to work for someone’s approval is foreign to me. I still strive to be involved in an prestigious occupation that propels me forward in the career I’m passionate about. But I realize I’m wanting to accomplish these things from a place of insecurity. Thankfully He realizes it too and, like a good dad, isn’t letting me walk that road. In a sense, He is teaching me about His love and passionate care for those who don’t strive to achieve worldly acclamation. Through this realization,, I’ve learned a few things about our Heavenly Father.

  1. He knows us way better than we think. He’s already sketched your path like a roadmap. He’s strategic with the moves He is making so as to mold you in a way that will powerfully impact your development. When He tells you to walk a certain way, TRUST HIM. He has plans and will not abandon you to a life you despise.
  2. He stands with us in the pain. Stop and spend time asking Him where He is in the difficult patches. Choose to develop a deeper relationship with Him, even when things in life seem impossible and He seems distant. He isn’t distant. He never has been and never will be. It’s not in His nature.
  3. You can’t ever do anything to lose Him. Don’t get me wrong… if you don’t want Him He won’t force His way into your life. But if you do, He’s there no matter what you do. I know it sounds a little cliche but He will never leave or forsake you. Unlike an earthly, flawed father who will inevitably make mistakes and hurt you, God is everything you’ve ever wanted in a father. He loves His kids more than we’ll ever know.

Walk in freedom, knowing your Heavenly Father does not expect perfection of you. He will not lessen His passion for you because you don’t have it all together. Child, you are beloved. You are loved, you are valued and cared for by the God who will never walk away.