Growing up, I was often given the label of being a PK (pastor’s kid). My dad was a pastor of a church, so hence the label. It wasn’t that the label was good or bad, but it did come with its pros and cons. Pros being you had first hand knowledge of most everything that was going on in the church and all the exciting things being planned. You would get to spend time with all the amazing missionaries and guest speakers that would come to your church. There was also a lot of traveling because you would go to cities, states, and countries with your parents because they would be ministering or being taught at a conference. Being the daughter of a pastor also gave way to much favor, leadership opportunities, and the like.
The cons of being a pastor’s kid weren’t necessarily as obvious until later in my life. Often you were placed on a pedestal by many, intentionally or unintentionally. People expected you to set high the bar for behavior, attitude, character, etc. If you fell below their expectations, your parents were sure to hear about it. Thankfully my parents never told me about those moments until I was much older. Ha! Like when I stuck my tongue out at a lady who was looking at me through the nursery window, or when I rolled up my skirt above my knees with my best friend just to see who was watching, and playing football with the boys in my frilly Sunday dress. Nevertheless, you learned quickly to appear to have your act together.
As a teen, I was your typical teenager, still a PK, but wanted to be out late with friends, boyfriends, party, and push the boundaries. One Sunday at church an older lady of the congregation came up to me and started telling me all about her granddaughter, who was the same age as me and struggling with different things. She proceeded to tell me how she was so concerned for her granddaughter. Then she tells me she wishes that her granddaughter was like me because I didn’t do those things and was so perfect! I remember my heart beginning to pound and race in my chest when she said that because I knew that I was guilty of many of the same things as her granddaughter. In that short moment I knew that I would have to get better at keeping my act together, so as to not disappoint people’s expectations of the “pastor’s kid.” And if I was struggling with something, I had better be pretty good at keeping it hidden.
It didn’t take long then for my identity to become defined by what others thought of me versus what God thought of me. As long as everyone else saw and thought that I was succeeding or the best at everything, I was ok. Even the fear of disappointing my parents crept in because of wanting to maintain that perfect PK persona. So, if I was disappointing my parents, I must be disappointing God. And if I am disappointing God, I must be disappointing my parents and others in the congregation. So, it was always easier to give in to others opinions and thoughts instead of discovering a voice of my own. I have always loved God and His presence for as far back as I can remember. Being filled with the Holy Spirit and being baptized at age 7 was monumental and powerful. But my perceptions of God and being a daughter of God became distorted.
It wasn’t until I was about 26 years of age that everything about my identity began to change. I began to hear a message about being adopted as a daughter of the Most High God. It doesn’t matter what you have done or choices you have made, you are still precious and loved. Doesn’t matter your title, what you do, who you are, your rank, your class, your ministry, etc. Those do not define the love of the Father. You can strip all the titles and positions away, all the education, all the excellence and awards, and Father God would still find you His very favorite daughter or son. My gifting, my talents were not who I was, they were not my identity. My identity simply came by seeing myself as a daughter of the Most High God. I could rest, my soul could rest, in that simple truth. No more striving to earn acceptance or love, no more hiding mistakes of the past, but yielding to the truth of a pure and passionate love of my daddy, Father God.
For the first time in my life I am able to call God, daddy! It was so hard to say it, even though I knew it because of how I had previously perceived my relationship to God. So afraid of failure, it was easier to call him God or Father because it wasn’t as personal or too close. But now, knowing in some of the deepest places of my heart that I am His daughter and I don’t have to do anything to earn it, I can call Him DADDY! So, whose your daddy? His love is pure, deep, and irrevocable. His love is not judgemental or condemning. And absolutely nothing can separate you from the love of our Heavenly Father, Daddy! So who is your daddy?