wedding daughter walk

Why My Dad Will Never Walk Me Down the Aisle

“It only takes believing one piece of truth from God’s Word to put us on a new path to freedom.”

I can’t say I dream about a wedding often, but there are occasions I do. I’ve never been one to plan that perfect wedding day like my friends did when we were little girls. I was too busy dreaming about winning an Oscar.

But as I’ve released the broken places of my hearts—the places devastated by fear of men—for the last few years, I think about it more often.

The vows. The promises to be there in sickness and health. The commitment to love each other even when we don’t like each other. Those are the things I think about most. But I also allow myself to dream about the day. The dress. The laughter. The crowd. The dancing.

Then I think about the one person whose presence I long for. The one who will never be at my wedding. My father.

My dad will never walk me down the aisle. 

Thanks to addiction, the enemy stole a piece of my wedding day, which can never be replaced. I’m not bitter about it anymore. But I am still angry and that’s okay.

I’m using my anger to fight addiction and the fears and lies behind it.  I’m using the disgust for Satan and his lies over those struggling in their brokenness to combat them with the truth of God’s Word. I’m choosing to love instead of hate.

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This month marks seven years since Jesus took my dad home. Next week would’ve been his 55th birthday. I think back to that time and the funny thing is—though our addictions looked different, we were both equally as deep into them. He couldn’t live without prescription drugs or alcohol. It seemed I couldn’t live without food, codependency, anger, hatred and bitterness.

Like father, like daughter I guess. I didn’t know then how similar we were, because I refused to compare myself to a man who’d broken my heart more times than I could count, “choosing his addictions over loving his daughter.” That was another lie I believed, filling me with more hatred and bitterness.

Addiction is a false comfort. 

I don’t know all the reasons my dad drank his feelings away, but I know a few. I don’t know why his battle with prescription medication controlled every aspect of his life, but I have some assumptions.

Probably many of the same reasons I used my own comforters—food, pornography, codependency—to avoid shame, regret and fear. It takes one lie whispered in our ear by the enemy to change the trajectory of our lives, if we choose to believe those lies. Both he and I believed them far too long.

But … the same goes for truth. It only takes believing one piece of truth from God’s Word to put us on a new path to freedom. Unfortunately, my dad never accepted that truth. Oh how grateful I am my Father in Heaven grabbed a hold of me before I chose to believe another lie.

That’s one of many reasons I’m so passionate about what God is doing through Esther’s House of Redemptionto fight the lies behind addiction. To help women take the truth of who God says they are and defeat EVERY. LIE. THE. ENEMY. HAS. WHISPERED. TO. THEM.

Satan may have stolen a piece of my wedding day I will never get to experience, but he didn’t get to steal my dad’s eternity. He may have stolen my dad’s life way too early, but God is using it for His glory.

Why? Because I’m fighting back against addiction and lies. I’m standing up for what my dad didn’t believe about himself and vowing to help others believe.

You are loved. You are chosen. God desires to redeem you. He longs to hold your tears. He seeks a deeper relationship with you. He wants to be your Father. He desires to wash you white as snow. He longs to comfort you right where you are.

Don’t run from Him, my friend. Run to Him.

Question: What is God telling you today that you need to believe about who He says you are?

Sundi Jo
Sundi Jo is the founder of Esther’s House, a residential discipleship program in rural Missouri, offering hope to broken women. She is a speaker, author, thought-provoking leader, and loser of 145 lbs. Find her on Twitter (@sundijo).

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