Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Daddy’s Girls

By Lavinia Masters

On Valentine’s Day of 2007…Tyler Perry came out with a movie called Daddy’s Little Girls. The movie in short was about a single father that had 3 little girls that meant the whole world to him. In the movie this father showed that he was willing to do anything for the safety, care and well being of his three daughters…and after viewing the movie myself… I was convinced that this father was willing to not only sacrifice his freedom and all that he had for his daughters, but that he was even willing sacrifice his life so that his girls would be able to live without the abuse, ridicule and shame that their mother and her boyfriend had put upon them.

The dictionary defines a father as man who is a parent… or a male parent of a human being… it also states that that the adjective “paternal” refers to father, parallel to “maternal” for mother.

However, I want to stop and pose a couple of questions to you today…or give you some things to think about….one is… what is the definition of a father to you? or how do you define a father? And now that you’ve answered or thought about that question, my second question is this, do you consider yourself a daddy’s girl? Or are you one of daddy’s little girls?

Growing up I did not have the pleasure of that father daughter relationship or bond that all of you may havehad, mainly because my father divorced my mother before I was old enough to even know who he was. I never knew the joy of going to a father daughter dance or experiencing the bond of a father praising his daughter for my strengths and exposing me to the working world. Oh, how I use to envy other little girls as their daddys would swoop them up in their arms and laugh and play for what would seem like forever.

Unfortunately, as I began to get older, I began to accept the hand that I was dealt in life and one of them was this… that I was not a daddy’s girl…I didn’t even know if he loved me, I didn’t even know if he cared or remembered me and, by the time I began junior high, I had literally detached myself of the idea of even having a father…until the night of July 31, 1985.

This was night that tragedy struck, this was night that my life was held in balance by the hands of a deranged rapist, the night my innocence was violated, the night I thought all hope was lost, the night I wanted and cried for my daddy.

Even though I did not have Timothy Ray Mangum to rescue me on this horrific night, I had a man by the name of Jesus Christ to that heard my call.

Now before I go any further, let me stop to tell you that this story is not intended to depress or get you down you, I promise, my purpose today is to empower and uplift you with my testimony because I now know that I am a part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that I should show forth the praises of Him who hath called me out of darkness to a marvelous light.

The reason I can proclaim this is because although I did not have that relationship with my earthly father that I was speaking of, I thank God that I had that spiritual bond with my heavenly father, that bond that no man can break.

It was April 2003, when I got the call that my biological father was dying of lung cancer and he wanted to see me before his demise. Was it to tell me that he was sorry that he was not there for any of my birthdays? Maybe he wanted to say that he regrets that he missed my wedding day where I had to have a proxy father stand in for him to give his angel away or possibly that he was sorry that he missed the birth of his grandson.

Whatever the reason he wanted to see me, but I missed the opportunity because the week during the time my oldest brother and I were to make the trip to Amarillo, Texas, he passed. I remember when I got the call at work, I began to cry. I was confused because how could I shed tears for a man that I knew nothing about but his name? How did I have the strength to tell my aunts, yes, I would travel to Waco and make his arrangements and pick his suit to bury him in. How did I stand over his body at the funeral home and kiss him goodbye, what was wrong with me!

You see, if there is one thing that I have learned to do as a child of God, that is to show unconditional love towards my fellow man and that forgiveness has its place in everything, yes even in the case of my “missing” daddy. I do not know nor understand the choices he made in life and why he chose not to be a part of mine, but I do know that, in the end, he tried to reach out to me for whatever the reasons. I also know that just as Christ has forgiven me and given me the opportunity to eternal life…He could have extended that same opportunity to my biological dad. The healing from his death came through my forgiving of his non existence in my life and the only way that I could have done that was through the love that my heavenly father has shown towards me!

So today I know that I am a daddy’s girl because I have a Father that sits high and looks low... a Father that can take away all my tears and fears…past and present. I have a Father that is with me when I am strong and picks me up when I too weak to carry myself. My Father is omnipotent, omnipresent and can do anything but fail! I love my Heavenly Father because He has taught me to love my earthly father in spite of the circumstances and no matter what he has done in the past or hasn’t done for me it does not take away what God has created me to be in the present….a loving, healthy and happy daddy’s girl!

Finally, to all the little girls, young ladies and women reading this empowering message…maybe you were victimized sexually by your daddy or hurt by his physical abuse, or whatever pain or trauma that the man you loved and trusted as your father in your life inflicted upon you…know that he does not have the final say so in your life, do not give him that authority ,take back what rightfully belongs to you…your sanity, your integrity, your life!

Know that although failure came through the hands of your earthly father…that there is no failure in your HEAVENLY FATHER…so yes you, too, are a daddy’s girl!
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  1. Well said Lavinia!

    I am a victim of childhood sexual abuse, but I only found out 8 years ago. I am now 48. My father, two grandfathers, and cousins were the initial abusers. When I confronted my Dad and Mom in 2003 my world was never the same. Of course they denied everything, but I stood my ground, with my husband's support.

    My father died a year after I told him, with still no resolution. Another sister, who was also abused by him, and I went to his funeral. We weren't even told he'd been dying until a different sister called two hours before the funeral to say he had died. My Mom and my other siblings didn't want us to make a scene. Well, we didn't make a scene, but we did make an appearance.

    It was so uncomfortable knowing my family did not believe us. Denial runs deep in so many areas. But, I can honestly say, the day of the funeral put to death a huge torment in my life. I began to take back the fragmented pieces of my self, and make sense of the depression and fear I had always had hanging over my head.

    A few years later I renewed my relationship with my mother, but I had to set a clear boundary with her. She had saved a beautiful birthday letter I had written to my father around the time I became a Christian, in 1991. It was a letter of memories of all the good things I remembered about my Dad, and times spent with him. She had thrown it back in my face when we were together, asking me how I could accuse my father of such terrible things when I had written this. I admitted to her that we did have some wonderful times together, but that I knew my truth and that he also had done some bad things, and that if she wanted to be in relationship with me she would have to stop bringing this up. It felt so good to stand up for myself.

    I may never get the validation I desired form my Mom or siblings, but I know what God has shown me and how I've healed. It's because of my relationship with Jesus. As a result of Theophostic counseling I now have a beautifully illustrated book to share with other abuse victims, or should I say overcomers. It's called "Darkness and Light - The Little Girl in Pink" (A Journey from Fear to Faith) available at

    So glad to have shared this with someone who understands. Blessings in His care.

    Kathleen M. Wichterman

  2. Wonderful article, Lavina. You are a shining light! God is my Daddy as well.

  3. One of the first things that I had to do to be able to forgive my father of incest was to feel all of the rage, sadness and hurt. As I processed through those feelings (It took years to do this.), then I had to grieve for the father that I never had. Finally, a year and a half before he died, I was able to forgive myself. I was able to thank him for the lessons that I had learned from him and the incest. Forgiveness is possible through the grace of God. For a long time, I had to leave forgiveness in the capable hands of God and I asked God to deal with it until I could do the forgiveness myself.


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