Daddy’s Little Girl

By on June 10, 2013

By Laura Petherbridge

Father’s Day hasn’t always been an enjoyable experience for me. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old. Before they separated I was, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” but after the divorce the time with my father was limited. That, plus the addition of a new stepmother and stepsiblings changed everything.

Late into my 30’s an excellent Christian counselor helped me discover that I blamed myself for my parents divorce. Those wounds to my young soul formed a self hatred and a distorted view of God. For more than ten years after I gave my heart to Christ I didn’t really believe God loved me. This lie manifested into a continuous state of attempting to perform for Him. I’d take three steps forward and two back. In my heart I felt He saved my soul because that’s what God does for a living. It’s His job description. But does he like me? No way. Why would he? What is there to like?

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide

Fortunately, my Heavenly Papa loves me too much to leave me wallowing in lies. He exposed the villain that stood between us-Fear. Fear of trusting, fear of abandonment, and fear of rejection were keeping me from his lavish love.  I had to decide. Would I abandon myself and leap into His embrace? Or would I settle for the frigid slap that performance offered? It all boiled down to trust. My soul knew this was the turning point in my voyage with God.

Through a long, painful process God revealed his deep desire for me to climb onto His lap, place my head against His chest, and listen to His heartbeat. He wanted me to know the comforting, steady rhythm that whispered, “I love you, Laura. I cherish you. You are precious to me. I will never abandon you.” At last I knew—I am loved. I don’t understand how or why he loves me. He knows every flaw and foolish choice I make, and yet He never leaves me.

I loved my earthly Father, and many of the gifts I have came from him. This will be my first Father’s Day since his death and it feels strange. However, it’s my Heavenly Daddy who fills me with joy. He is the one who replaced the emptiness and shame in my life with the truth that I am the Beloved. His relentless love broke through my wall of fear, and taught me how to breathe in the abundant life Jesus promises. He assures my mind and soul that I truly am, “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

.A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5 NIV).

How About You?

  • What does Father’s Day mean to you? Is it a good day or does it stir painful memories?
  • Have you ever considered that your view of God may have been affected by the relationship with your earthly father?
  • If you have childhood wounds, what steps might be necessary to heal a distorted view of God?
  • This Father’s Day make sure you take time to jump into your Heavenly Papa’s lap, listen for his heartbeat and snuggle. He’s anxiously waiting.

Copyright © 2010 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved

Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is the author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series. Her newest book The Smart Stepmom, is co-authored with Ron Deal. Laura’s website is

About Laura Petherbridge

Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on spiritual growth, relationships, co-parenting, stepfamilies, divorce prevention and divorce recovery. She is the author of, When“I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and The Smart Stepmom co-authored with Ron Deal. Laura has spoken at the Billy Graham Training Center. Her various TV and radio broadcasts include: Focus on the Family, Moody Broadcasting, Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey, 100 Huntley Street (Canada) and HomeWord with Jim Burns In addition to her books she has been published in: Christianity Today’s Marriage Partnership,, Christian Broadcasting Network-, Stepmom Magazine and Proverbs 31 Woman. Laura is a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series, she has taught on divorce recovery at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and functioned as a Stephen’s Ministry instructor. Laura is a contributor to several publications including: The Twenty-Third Psalm for the Brokenhearted, The Art Of Helping, When God Steps In, and Hope, Help, and Healing During and After Your Divorce. Laura and her husband, Steve, reside in Lady Lake, FL. A stepmom of 25 years, she can be reached at [email protected] and

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Daddy’s Little Girl