Saturday, March 16, 2013

Vanessa Riley's testimony: Even when earthly fathers fail, The Heavenly Father never forsakes

Ada Brownell: GUEST AUTHOR VANESSA RILEY TALKS ABOUT HER REGENCY CHRISTIAN NOVEL, MADELINE'S PROTECTOR, HOW GOD'S HAND HAS BEEN WITH HER EVEN AS A CHILD, AND  HER  CHARACTER'S ASSURANCE OF GOD'S LOVE, TOO

Vanessa:
Thank you Ada for hosting me today. I'm excited to be here. For people who comment  on the blog, I will give away a T-shirt to the winner, in their size. It's a black T-shirt with white writing: on the front, "Who's your daddy?" the back, "Romans 8:15 God is my daddy."

In my debut book, Madeline's Protector, the heroine is Madeline St. James. Though she is young, and a might naïve, she holds to her faith. No matter the challenges tossed her way, she knows God is in control. At one point, when everyone has let her down, she's hurting and she's cries out to Abba, Father.  Abba is translated as daddy and it shows the closeness of her relationship to God.

As Romans 8:15 says, we've been adopted by God and should cry out Abba.
 
Romans 8:15

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (KJV)

Think about that. All who know Jesus and have invited Him into their hearts are sons and daughters of the king. God is our father, but do you call him daddy? Do you believe and feel that warm relationship of a Daddy-and-daughter or a Daddy-and-son?

No, maybe, not every day.

But God is our daddy.

Who do you want to pick you up when you scrape your knee? Loving Daddy
Who do you want to embrace you when you've face the loss of a job or a rejection. Consoling Daddy
Who knows how you hurt on the inside, when your breath is stolen at the death of a spouse or a friend's anguish over a terminal diagnosis.  Huggable Daddy

I've been a Christian since I was eight years old. I still remember making the long walk from the middle section of the church pews. Down the shaggy burgundy carpet, I kept moving until I stood at the front underneath the shadows of a gigantic oak altar. Every set of eyes from the congregants seemed to bear down on me as I stumbled reciting the pastor's words. I squinted as the altar call ended. A majestic stained-glass window allowed the sunlight to stream inside, almost blinding with its brightness.  I was awed and struck with the reverence of committing my life to God in this formal tradition, but it would be a few years before I could call Him, Abba.

When my world ripped asunder as my middle-class life disappeared, I found God was Abba. My earthly father decided he wanted a new life and never came home again. An ache like I've never known twisted in my stomach as I watched my mom soldier on even though she'd have to figure out how to feed four children. That night, I dropped onto the cold ceramic tile of the bathroom, and cried until I felt God's spirit warming me, whispering everything would be all right. Abba cradled me and has been there for me as Daddy ever since, whether to share a triumph or to hold my hand.

Whatever you are going through, know God loves you. He cares about you. He is your Daddy, and He's waiting for you to call upon Him.