True Father figure

Nicole Daughhetee

Nicole Daughhetee

Life As I Know It

By Nicole Daughhetee

My brain is so analytical in nature. I’ve often thought (and I certainly don’t mean for this to sound arrogant or pretentious) that being intelligent has its downfalls, because one can think things to death.

Faith can be a challenge at times because the human mind can think of so many best- and worst-case scenarios for any given equation in life, and yet there is that one variable in the equation that the human mind, no matter how intelligent, cannot fathom: God, in all of His infinite purpose, wisdom, grace, love, truth and possibility.

I have wanted, needed, craved love from a man my entire life. I don’t blame my father or hold this against him; it simply is what it is and there is research and anecdotal evidence to solidify the unequivocal and undisputable fact that girls need to have fathers in their lives. The absence of one in mine (and my grandpa did his best to fill in those gaps for me in the best way he could) made me long for approval from men; I hungered for unconditional love and acceptance; tenderness and gentility; I have always needed to be genuinely “wanted” because I felt like my father never wanted me.

My birth marked the beginning of the end of my parents’ decade-long marriage. My Mom had had to have a cystic ovary removed in her early 20s. She wanted so badly to have a child and my parents tried, but gynecologists told my mom she could never have children.

I think my dad put the thought aside and went on living his day-to-day life while my mom fervently prayed for a miracle. They had been married for 10 years when my mom found out she was pregnant. She was elated. I can’t say for certain how my dad felt. I only know how events unfolded from this point.

Three years after I was born, we were living in Missoula, Mont., and my dad came home one day, told my mother he didn’t love her anymore and he thought it would be best if she packed up her life and mine and moved us back to Miami.

I can’t imagine how devastating that must have been for her, because prior to that one snapshot in time, she had everything she had ever dreamed for her life. She was a nurse and had a job doing what she loved; my parents were in their first official house home (as opposed to apartment dwelling); she had a husband she loved and the baby girl for whom she had prayed for years and years (my mom has always referred to me as a miracle from God).

In an instant a key component of that dream was annihilated.

She packed us up and we moved back to Miami. Growing up, I saw my dad once a year for one or two weeks in the summer. I always dreaded those visits because I didn’t know my father, and having to be torn from the safety of my home, my mom, the only support and stability I knew was anxiously agonizing for me. My dad never “got it.”

I love my father because he is my father; but he was never a dad to me. What felt like indifference toward me, as his daughter, perpetuated a void in my life that I desperately wanted and tried to fill with not-so-good relationship after not-so-good relationship.

There is a part of my heart reserved for the Dad I always wanted, and I know this space will remain empty for the rest of my life; and while it doesn’t get smaller with time, it has softened and become less painfully hollow. The defining difference for me has been God and not only knowing, but genuinely feeling that while my earthly father has not been the man of my dreams, my Heavenly Father has loved and accepted me without condition before I was ever even conceived.

Finally allowing myself to believe, accept and embrace this truth erased the panic and desperate need to have a man in my life to fill the hollow that has ached for too long. For the first time in my adult life I do not feel like I am in some frenzied and desperate need to fill a void or ache in my life because I have allowed the Lord to fill that with more unconditional love and grace than my dad could ever muster even under the best of circumstances.