In Need of a Father
My name is Mary Beth and I am a beloved daughter of God the Father. When you come from a family background like I did, people tell you that you don’t know your story and that you’re wrong about your story, but the Lord was like, “You know your story.” And I just feel like He wants me to share about becoming a beloved daughter of His.
So I grew up in a narcissistic household, narcissistic abuse, and physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse and it was a very trying time. My parents fought every weekend. I do have three older brothers, so we all kind of lived through it together. So all this stuff kind of unfolded through my childhood. Finally, it all kind of came to a head when I was 16 and I woke up at four in the morning; my parents were fighting. That was like, super normal for me in high school. This time was kind of different though, because my dad said that he was leaving, and my mom found out that he had been with another woman. So it was just like this whole issue on top of like, abuse, you know, and all of that. Now, this came to light and I was the only one who was actually awake out of all my siblings. So my dad was gonna leave and I got out of bed and I went to his car. I just said, “Don’t do this. Please don’t do this.” And he said, “I’m sorry.” and he just drove away.
That was the last time that I really was connected to my dad for like 10 years. That started a whole slew of really painful years afterward, that I didn’t know the Lord would walk me through and end up like Fathering me through. So as you can see, kind of like my whole life, I didn’t really have a father necessarily. He was really scary sometimes, and narcissism, if you know anything about it, it also comes with bipolar and manic and things like that. So like, you can really set off a narcissist and not really know how you did. As a child, you’re not really raised in a loving environment, you’re raised in an environment that’s all about the narcissist. Praise God, like all those years, my heart was just very connected to hope. I mean, I was just a very joyful kid and always knew that He had something special for me.
So yeah, so when I was 16, my dad left and then of course, I have to go through so many different things. There were these like little moments that would mark me throughout my life and whether they were negative or positive, like the Lord just marked me with His love. One of the moments that marked me specifically is when I was in high school and I was nominated for homecoming court. I got in the top three, and I was also the drum major. So I was like, in a dress, you know, conducting the band during this homecoming game. (ha ha ha) And then like we, all the homecoming court went out on the field, like usual and everybody else was like, Yeah, whatever. Then I came out, and the whole stadium full of 1000s of people are like, “Mary Beth, Mary Beth,” and like chanting my name! And it was like, all of a sudden, like, the love of God, just hit me and I was like, ‘This is how God feels about me.’ Because I had never been confident in myself ever in my life; I had never loved myself and the Lord just like wrecked me that night. I didn’t win actually; I did not win homecoming court, but I was so marked by that moment, because I didn’t have to win to know that I was loved. I didn’t have to be the best.
After my dad left, he continued to text me and call me and just slander me. I mean just, your this, your that, cuss at me, f- you, all this stuff. I think that just like for a long time, I dealt with bitterness because of that. But I knew in my heart, I still loved him for some reason and I was like, Well, I’m bitter because I love him. It was just this whole story of just dealing with the cycle of abuse during high school and college and all my life leading up to that point, and then trying to navigate how to have healthy relationships with other people since that wasn’t modeled for me ever.
My junior year of college. I was like, “God, I need a daddy.” I said, “I don’t have a daddy. I need Dad advice. That’s what I need in my life because I am wrecked right now. I am a mess.” And there’s a lot of things that happened that year that were very traumatizing and hard for me and I just said, “Can you please speak to me like a Dad would and just give me dad advice?” And that moment was one of those moment markers because the Lord was faithful in what I asked Him and now I’m like, not just walking with Him, but I’m hearing Him in my heart and my soul. Let me remind you, like, nothing around me got better except for that and so I was very depressed. I was very anxious, I had PTSD. I was going to therapy during college and I actually didn’t know that I had been abused until I was 21 years old. Because when you grow up in that environment, you don’t realize it’s not normal. So then when you get out of that environment, you’re like, Oh, this is not normal. And then you go and seek counseling. From there, I began to get healing and then the Lord spoke to me.
I ended up graduating college with a 4.0 GPA. That’s Jesus y’all. Like…(ha ha ha) Because I was going through anxiety, depression, and PTSD on the daily and the Lord just absolutely made me like, understand the material. I was zonked out for most of my classes. I was very like, in a haze. Yeah. So then I ended up graduating with a 4.0 and then I ended up going to the World Race, which is a missions organization, you guys have heard of it. That was when the season of falling in love with Jesus came. I had asked the Lord not only to be my Father, but that I fall in love with Him before I fell in love with anybody on this earth. And He took me on the World Race and just started romancing me. During this time, my dad and I had spoken a little bit. So I think it was like, it was always these moments where the Lord would say, “Hey, he’s coming back into your life.” And he would come back and then he would only be there for a couple days before he kind of went off on me and I said, “Okay, boundary.”
Before we went on the race, some people made these keys for us and prophetically prayed over them, and my key said, “Beloved.” I finally started, my gears started turning like, I am not a victim. I am not whatever my dad has said I am even, because he’s told me a lot of things that he thinks I am. I said, I have permission not to listen to that. Fast forward to month seven, I believe in Malaysia, and I was at the Penang House of Prayer and the Lord just started telling me, “Pray for your enemies.” I was still bitter towards my dad in here (the heart). And I was like, I don’t want this bitterness. I knew it was killing me. And I said, “I don’t want it. I’ve had it for years.” And the Lord was like, “Just start praying peace over him.” So I prayed all that month for peace and I remember like, the day after I prayed, I was in our house and my teammates came downstairs, I just finished quiet time with the Lord, and there was this peace that just rushed over me. I knew that I didn’t want to be anywhere else but the Lord’s presence ever again in my life. And they came downstairs and they said, “Murby.” They call me Murby. “Murby, your face is shining.” And from there on the bitterness in my heart released and released and released and released to the point where I had started to invite compassion in my heart.
When I was in Malaysia, one of the visions God gave me when I was praying for my dad was, I saw him in his old apartment and Jesus…he was on the floor crying, and Jesus picked him up. His head was just on Jesus’s shoulder and he was just crying. Jesus was holding him up, but his feet were buckling, like, he couldn’t hold himself up. So I just kept remembering that. Then all of a sudden, I’m processing like, I think my dad’s coming back into my life, because you know, I had put our relationship away after the World, during the World Race and I was just like, Okay, Mary Beth, you are a daughter of God. Now, how are you going to deal with this versus when you were younger? Because I think when we’re, when we’re young, we have ways of dealing with things and we have our own coping mechanisms. But I think as we get older, the Lord says, “That really worked for you in one season, but now it’s not going to work anymore. Because you’re now maturing, you don’t need milk, you need food.” So I’m like, Okay, I need to prepare to have a relationship with my father again, because that’s important to the Lord. And I was like, “Lord, You’re gonna have to do it, because this is not healthy.”
So I get done with the World Race, an amazing time of falling in love with God and becoming His daughter and listening to Him. A month later, the Lord said, “Please, let’s go on a little adventure together.” So we went to a Kansas waterfall and if you don’t know what a Kansas waterfall is, that’s okay. It’s not actually a waterfall. It was like, dripping because it was drought season now. It was Fall. And the Lord just said, “You see how all of those water droplets drip down and then they fall into this pool underneath?” I said, Yeah.” He’s like, “They don’t understand that they’re falling into something greater than themselves.” And He said, “They are falling into the unknown, but it’s going to turn into a pool of water.” And He said, “It’s going to turn into living water.” And He just says to me, “Will you take My hand and journey with Me into the unknown?” And I knew He was talking about my dad, I knew that was one of the unknown things. And I said, “Yes, I will do that for You”. And so I just said, “Take my hand, Lord, if You hold my hand, I’ll do it.” And so He said, “I will.” I went back to my car to process and then went home and was like, this is the season of the unknown. That was November of 2019 and then COVID happened. I was like, “Ohhhh.”
So I got a call from my brother, Aaron and Aaron said, “My son’s daycare just shut down. I don’t know what to do.” And it’s funny, because that day, I actually lost my job. I was a substitute teacher for the district at that time, and I lost my job on Tuesday. Then my brother talked to me about Waylon, and then I called him on Thursday and we decided I was going to move to Florida. I bought the ticket on Thursday, and I left on Sunday. I had no idea what was waiting for me, but I knew it was a season of the unknown. So I go to Florida, I start taking care of my nephew, and I find out my dad actually paid for my plane ticket to go see my brother. And so I was like, I just need to call him and thank him. I haven’t talked to him in a long time. I think I just need to do that. I just felt the Spirit just like giving me peace. So I called him and when I FaceTimed him, he looked at me, and he just started bawling, just crying. He just said, “It’s good to see you.” And he said, “Hand the phone to your brother.” And when I hung up the phone, when we hung up, after FaceTime, my brother said, “He asked you to hand the phone to me because he was crying so much and he didn’t want you to see him that way.” So from there, I was like, something has changed.
A couple weeks later, my dad drove down from Alabama to see me. And one of the things that has been hard is that we grew up Independent Baptist, if you know what that is, and my dad is from the south in Alabama, so it’s like a very, like very legalistic form of Baptist communities. And so me coming back with my dad, was me facing my old religion, again, facing my old ideas of God again, and me projecting those ideas of God when I was younger, because I didn’t understand who He was. I just thought He wanted to punish me and that I was always screwing up and all this stuff. All of a sudden, I come back face to face with that thing and the Lord just Fathered me through it. I saw him and we had a day where we just got to spend a whole day and just talk. And I said, “Dad, can I be really honest with you? You might really not agree with me.” And he said, “Okay, go ahead.” I said, “The Lord gave me a picture. I kind of danced around it, the Lord gave me a picture of you when I was in Malaysia.” And I told him about how Jesus was lifting him up from his apartment floor, he was just sobbing and buckling, and the Lord was just holding him up. And he said, “I cannot tell you how many times that happened to me in that apartment.”
Later on, we went for a drive and for the first time in my life, I got to share my grievances and I think I needed this last part of my grief to be let out because losing a dad in any sense, there’s a grieving process. And I just said, you know, “You hurt me so much and you texted me this, this and this…” And I told him what he was texting me. I said, “You made me feel like I was worthless. Like I could never be a good wife and like I would never be worth anything as a woman.” I just said it straight out and I honestly think it was the Lord in me, helping me to say it and my dad was just crying. And I’m like, He finally gets it. Like, he finally understands. Because I felt like I wasn’t wanted. When my dad left, that made me feel like I was so worthless as a daughter. For God to pick me up and make me His daughter was something that I never in my life thought could happen, you know. But the Lord did. Then all of a sudden, when I started living out of my identity of daughtership in Him, it helped me to just unravel what was in front of me with my earthly father because I was no longer afraid of him. Because my God is my Dad, the creator of the universe and so my Dad defends me.
I started to read all of the passages about Him defending the fatherless and that was one thing I wish I would have read earlier in my life when all this happened, was that our God is so passionate about the fatherless. He is the Father of the fatherless and for many times in my life, I mean, I was that person. I was the fatherless. So this is 10 years later. – By the way 10 is the number of new beginnings, which is really cool. – So a decade has passed and my dad and I hadn’t spoken for a decade. So from there on my dad and I have like slowly mended things and it is messy. It is messy. It is hard at times and I think that’s okay. So I’m actually really hopeful about the future. I’m very excited. The Lord just took my life as like this fatherless child, completely broken from the start. I mean, my family was broken from the start, raised me in a really hard environment, and then when I was 16 I was also put through the fire for 10 years.
The Lord has brought me now to this point where I can honestly say like, I have a good relationship with my dad. I have everything I could ever need and I no longer consider myself like the fatherless child. Like, when my dad tells me he’s my father, I always think to myself actually, God’s my Father. I don’t, you’re not really my dad, like God’s my Dad. So He literally just took this brokenness in my life and made it completely new. The Lord has just prophesied over me my whole life. I just didn’t even know it.
Yeah, my name means that He’ll take the bitter and turn it into sweet – Mary Elizabeth. He has promised to take the bitter and turn it into sweet. So that’s really neat.