MY BOOK: I think I've finally stopped looking for a "father-figure" in my life
September 06, 2011
Some of my guy friends look at me funny when I talk about this and wonder if I'm some kind of sissy for admitting this out loud. But, I've been on a search for a father figure for more than six decades. It's not something that's so much intentional as it's just there and won't go away.
That started to change last year when our pastor gave a sermon where he emphasized that it's not important who abandoned you, but it's vital to remember who picked you up. He kept repeating "Remember Who You Are. Remember Who You Are. Remember Who You Are." And I started to see that my search was over.
I had always seen myself as Claude H. Thorp's son. His picture is to the right. My father vanished, disappeared, abandoned my mom and me in 1948 when I was 18 months old. He never came back, never called, never wrote. He was just gone.
Why am I writing about this? My life has been good. I have a lot to be thankful for and I feel that God has blessed me big time. But there has always been a void in my life. And that hole has affected every part of who I am. It shaped me from the way I think about myself to the way I relate with other people.
And I know that there are tens of thousands of single-moms with many thousands of kids where the dad has stepped out and has given up as a father. Their friends, siblings, pastors, co-workers don't know how to help. So, they do little or nothing.
The reality is that they can be world-changers for a group of people who may not ask for it.
A couple of years ago, I remember visiting with an elderly uncle down south who complimented me. A smile came to my face and my heart. It felt good to be affirmed by an older guy.
How many times have I felt that in my life? I could count them on one hand.
What about now? It finally sunk in that I need to "Remember Who I Am." I will talk more about that later.
Am I the only one to feel the father void? Do you know anybody touched by it?
I wonder if my own dad ever had the same feeling in his life.