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hope flew away…

February 17, 2009

february 2nd. 35,000 feet over the earth. sitting in a metal tube in the sky… with a seat belt on for protection 😕

staring out the window, looking down at the world below me and i began to wonder…are there any lost little girls down there?

my mind went back to 1976 in southern california. i was 6 years old, playing in my driveway when a plane kept circling over head. i just knew it was my father looking for me. i knew it.  i hopped up and down, waved my arms and yelled “right here, daddy! im right here! can you see me?! here i am!!” and it flew away… just like all the others before.

i was convinced as a little girl that inside every plane sat my father, looking out of the window, hoping to find his little girl. i so wanted to be found. i wanted him to want to find me. but he didn’t. he didn’t want to.

so, on february 2nd, 2009 i sat on an airplane, staring out the window and i prayed for all those lost little children. all those children wanting to be found. all those children who will never be found. not all my readers believe what i believe…but to all the lost ‘fatherless’ ones…you’re not Fatherless. you’re not.

i saw in my minds eye from the plane that day, a little girl on the ground, waving her arms frantically trying to get her daddys attention. i wanted so badly to reach down and hold her. tell her she is loved. tell her that life is tough and seems unfair. tell her that bad things happen to everyone…to hold tight, hold on. tell her not to let the choices and selfishness of someone else bury their dreams.

for a moment, i got angry. i was frustrated knowing for certain there were too many abandoned little ones below. but then…i began to pray for them. i prayed their lifes journey might be much like mine. a journey that might lead them to Hope. dicovery. forgiveness. the ability to forgive. i prayed they will choose to not allow lifes injustices to debilitate their potential. that they might one day stand tall and look upon their lives without regret or ill feelings toward another.

this may not resonate with you like it did me. but i realized that day i have never prayed for these lost little children. they need our prayers. they need encouragement and love. i guarantee there are many of them in your circle and sphere of influence. reach out to them. even in the smallest of ways. trust me – it will have an eternal impact.

41 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2009 1:33 am

    pray for them, pray for them…
    I love how God moved on your heart to lift them up. Like you I know they are there, and sometimes feel the urgency to “search and rescue”. Then I have to pray that God willmove one of his children to come in their little lives and show Jesus to them, show them a better way. Sadly all they know is what they have been shown.

    I, too, used to look everywhere for my Dad, and assumed that he was waiting to be reunited with me, and was sorry for leaving me..he wasn’t. I have learned to forgive him with the grace of God, and the result…is what you have here in this post..a heartburn to help another child. Thank you for praying for them..this is the sweetest thing, really touched my heart! love you Princess!

  2. February 17, 2009 2:49 am

    I wish I could go back there and hold you, too. Thank you for sharing your heart. Channel 8 in San Diego does a special about specific orphans called Adopt 8. They showed a little girl yesterday who was simply amazing. I thought, “HOW can this little girl get away from all these prospective parents?” Answer: It’s not about whether she’s valuable enough.

    I am glad you know how precious you were, and are, and I am so glad you know your Heavenly Daddy who was looking down on you in love each and every time you waved your arms toward the sky.

  3. February 17, 2009 4:00 am

    This is good stuff! I often wonder to this day, if my dad looked/is looking for me… But look on the bright side. We both grew up to be pretty normal people… right?? ok.. well we both grew up. Life is weird and very painful. I pray for those kids every day. the ones who are more and more on their way to lost every day. Wish I could build a home for them all….

    On a completely random note, when I was 5 or 6 my house burnt down, and I woke my parents up. But, (after I went and got my teddy rupskin and my puppy) I ran outside and tried to wave down several planes!

    So, for some weird reason, this blog brought back that memory. Thank you. I think I’ll write about it.

  4. February 17, 2009 5:19 am

    Sara, my little grand daughter from China now has found her daddy! They will be in that big plane Friday to come home – please pray. One of the orphanages over there has over 600 children with no daddy. 😯 Papa is in tears – sorry.

  5. February 17, 2009 6:00 am

    Oh Tam. Tears in my eyes. To me, I think right relationships to people happen when we realize that everyone is a little child waiting for someone to love them. Or at least – an integral part of relationships. Maybe not everything. Love you.

  6. Heidi permalink
    February 17, 2009 6:09 am

    I am glad YOU found Him. He was waiting throughout all those years, busrides, sleepless nights, lonely times, and He just waited.

    When you came He opened up His Bosom. Now look…

    I pray for all those children young and old, battered or whole, perfect or disabled, I pray each and everyone.

    This is a classic Tam post… Love it!!!

    Gave me a great rev this morning… to go pray for my teens before I wake them..

  7. February 17, 2009 6:52 am

    Wow. This hit me hard. I’ve had those days.

    Well, you gave me something to write about.

  8. February 17, 2009 6:57 am

    I was a lost little girl. My father was right there the whole time, but he never saw me. I saw him all the time, but he never saw me. I was in a family, an “in-tact” family, but I was so lost. I’m not lost anymore.

    And now, I am a mom to a lost little girl. And even though she is found, and loved, and cared for, I pray for her every day that she recognize she is found even though she feels lost. I will never be able to explain to her, no matter how old she gets, why the things that have happened to her have happened, but I know that her Father in heaven can heal the wounds that are inevitable.

    Touching post. Probing post. Thanks.

  9. February 17, 2009 8:31 am

    Tam, that was a beautiful, heartbreaking post.

  10. February 17, 2009 9:16 am

    darla – i know you can relate to this. on one hand im sorry that your dad wasnt there either – but on the other i know that where you are each day, on that bus with all those kiddos, it has allowed you to look upon them with a whole different set of eyes. you are a gift to them darla!

    anita – thank you. it baffles me too the amt of homeless, parentless children there are right here in our own country. left to fend for themselves in too many cases. all we can do is reach the ones closest to us. somehow. not everyone can. but we can pray!

    andy – youre so right. we turned out ok, you and i 😉 i really dont think id go back and change a thing. unless i could whisper in his ear the hurt he was willingly causing his child. convict him a little, ya know? now, go write that post and come back and link to it 🙂

    papa – i love your tears! your tears are always covered in prayer and love. i cant wait to see more pics of your new granddaughter!!

    annie – yes. we all want to be loved, valued, wanted. child or not. there is something in all of us that yearns for connection. i know that that yearning is there to draw us to God. i think had i not chosen to acknowledge God at the age of 19, i would still be searching and yearning for my earthly daddys love and attention.

    heidi – thank you, friend! i know you pray for them. and dont stop! i love your heart for kiddos.

    mike – im off to read your post in a bit. thanks for linking to it!

    lori – you bring up another fact. an absent father right in the home. ive known several people ho have lived that. and hearing their stories makes me grateful mine was completely absent, not to be found. having had him there, physically, yet absent emotionally would have been tormenting. im so sorry friend. and now you have come along side a precious little girl and rescued her! i just sit here and cry over that. wow!

    mary – thank you. i dont write like this often. its kinda draining. but i had to get this out.

  11. February 17, 2009 10:04 am

    I remember the last time I reminisced fondly about going to the game farm/petting zoo with my biological dad. My mom, apparently very tired of hearing the story finally exploded with things like, “Do you really think he cares at all about you?” and “He wants nothing to do with any of us!” along with the requisite name calling. She closed with “Daddy (referring to my step-dad) is your father!” Of course daddy would reserve his harshest beatings for when she was not around … so she did not know the limited choice she demanded that day.

    My experience HAS helped me spot lost children hiding behind the wrinkled skin of adult friends.

    Thanks for the prayers Tam.

  12. February 17, 2009 10:10 am

    oh wow ric. that gave me chills. it is heart wrenching knowing what children have had to endure and are having to endure right now. youve turned out to be quite the man of God and great daddy yourself!

  13. February 17, 2009 10:46 am

    I think we are all survivors of childhood, so that we can be the light of Jesus now..and although you may feel like you just offered a prayer for them while flying over…there is no telling how that moved the hand off God over that area. We won’t know how our prayers actually moved til we get there…I just want to thank you now for praying for them…it means so much to me and to them even if they never know that you unleashed heaven on them. LOVE YOU!

  14. February 17, 2009 10:53 am

    It’s always so hard for me to write when you pull my heart in so many directions. Wanting to sweep up that little girl and love her to pieces, feeling so much pride for the way you broke a cycle and found a daddy for your kids who loves and commits and shines an example for your daughter to look for and your son to be, so much admiration that you can take a moment of your own reminiscing heartbreak and turn it into a way to bless others … both us for hearing the story and the little ones who will be prayed for.

    I so want to be like you when I grow up.

  15. February 17, 2009 10:55 am

    darla – you know me personally…and you know how much i love Gods people. i am compelled often to stop and pray for people. i know prayer has power! i am living proof of that 🙂

    “you unleashed heaven on them”

    wow! that is a powerful statement!

  16. February 17, 2009 10:57 am

    Someday soon I will share the story the past year with you about my Co-worker.
    To say he was ready to run away from his 5 month old daughter would be an understatement.

    I have been mentoring him and planting the seeds of Christ in his heart. I baptized him a couple weeks ago. Now he is fighting with everything he has to get custody, so she can have as close to a normal life as possible.

    People reading this. Tam is right, you are never alone. My friend needed a savior, and his daughter a Dad to fight for her. The fight isn’t over, but my friend has Christ now….

    I will join you in your prayers Tam.

    Peace and love sis.

  17. February 17, 2009 10:58 am

    gitz – you are SO lucky i havent put on my mascara yet today 😉 ya know…youre dancing post reminded me of my time on that plane. when i had experienced this a couple weeks ago – i wrote it down in my phone. it was a heavy moment for me. then when i read your post last night and saw that pic…it just flooded me. so thank you!

  18. February 17, 2009 11:01 am

    carl – that is quite impacting. sitting here near speechless. so grateful for you that youve reached out. thank you for that! not all of us will reach out. not all of us will pray. but we can all do SOMETHING to play a positive role in these lives.

  19. February 17, 2009 11:01 am

    and carl – that avi STARTLED ME!!!! 😯

  20. February 17, 2009 11:16 am

    whoops… Sorry. about that. Gravatar has a mind of its own… Or maybe I do… 😉

  21. February 17, 2009 11:27 am

    I know these things we’ve endured can be turned around for His glory. I’ve seen it too many times to doubt. But in the midst of the pain it feels it won’t ever happen. Some wounds take years to heal…some people live their whole life feeling lost.

    As Ric said, “My experience HAS helped me spot lost children hiding behind the wrinkled skin of adult friends.”

    I pray for the little ones and love on them with all I’ve got. I pray for the big ones and love on them when I’m allowed. It’s our ministry one to another, you know?

    Love you, TammyJo!!

  22. Jean permalink
    February 17, 2009 12:04 pm

    I am going to pray for them too….That was so beautiful!

  23. February 17, 2009 12:42 pm

    That is such a good reminder. We do need to pray for those kids and kids in bad homes. All the kids looking up hoping for something more.

    By the way good writing. It was really beautiful.

  24. February 17, 2009 12:58 pm

    this is just as powerfully written out as it was when you described it to me sitting in our family room… thank you for that reminder!!!

    definitely praying for those little girls.

  25. February 17, 2009 1:18 pm

    I have had a special time with my daughter the past two weeks. Many of you know that she has been in China picking up her adopted daughter. My daughter was not able to pack her bible for the trip so she asked her daddy (me!) to email her a devotional each day. SO even though we are separated by being half a world apart – we have been having devotions together – what a blessing. I have been her daddy for almost 40 years. The devotionals came from my own book I am writing.

  26. February 17, 2009 1:53 pm

    thanks tam

  27. Heidi permalink
    February 17, 2009 2:26 pm

    You said up in the comments somewhere that this was a “draining” post to write, I just read all the comments here Tam..

    We are having some serious church here. Feelings shared, eyes opened.

    God is so using you girlfriend.. Love ya!

  28. February 17, 2009 3:00 pm

    Great post Tam, draining to writer and draining to read.

    I know how Lori feels. The only thing I really wanted as a child was to feel loved and wanted. I think this is true of all children.

    All those thousands of kids in our orphanages. Helping them find a home where they can be loved and wanted should be one of our societies highest priorities. When I look at the US billion dollar stimulus plan I haven’t read anything about money for orphanages.

    I also think of all those poor children whose parents are sitting right next to them, but are not in their hearts.

  29. February 17, 2009 3:02 pm

    It’s pretty amazing how God allows us to go through those situations so that we can grow out and be on the lookout… to help PROTECT those who don’t have the same make-up as we did/do/find to survive it. For the “least of these”, right?

    Kinda sick how closely I can relate to your story.

    I am praying for those abandoned ones right now. For them to soon find the One who will never abandon them. I’m glad I found Him.

    Tam, you’re amazing!

  30. February 17, 2009 4:05 pm

    This is beautiful and made me cry. I will probably think of this story now every time I’m in a plane looking down to the ground. And, I’ll definitely pray for the little ones who are fatherless, that they will know their heavenly Father. Thanks for sharing.

  31. February 17, 2009 4:49 pm

    I do personally know you! and I love that!

    I am very aware of your prayers for us, and they have carried us through some very trying times. We are blessed to know you, and even more for you are precious to me and my family, we love you!

  32. February 17, 2009 6:49 pm

    I’m late again. And this was so powerful! Wow. I knew where my Dad was….still do…..and it makes no difference…..he doesn’t know me. But my Father in Heaven is all the Daddy I have ever needed, thankfully. I am ashamed to say that I have remembered to pray for children without mothers, but I have failed at being in prayer for children without fathers. Humph… could I have failed so miserably at that? Not any more though….not again. Thank you Tam.

  33. February 17, 2009 7:12 pm

    michelle – you are so right. it IS our ministry to one another. i believe its our calling. to reach others. you said…”some people live their whole life feeling lost.” that is a truth that breaks my heart.

    jean – im happy to know you will be praying along with all of us! 🙂

    samantha – “All the kids looking up hoping for something more.” hoping they find that something more… and thank you for your kind words!

    brandi – can i come back and retell it again? 😉

    papa – i cant wait to get a hold of your book! i know it will be phenomenal!

    tyler – 😉 hi rose!

    heidi – praise God!

    ed – “I also think of all those poor children whose parents are sitting right next to them, but are not in their hearts.” yes. that is heart breaking. i said earlier in a reply here that im almost glad my father was completely absent. i dont think i wouldve fared as well with an absent, present, father. sigh…

    jenni – “It’s pretty amazing how God allows us to go through those situations so that we can grow out and be on the lookout” i love when i see believers have this perspective. it is so healthy. use our experiences, good and bad, for good! thank you for this, jenni!

    brenda – i think prayer is one of the most powerful things we can do. thank you!

    darla – love you sis. miss you!!!

    melissa – “I knew where my Dad was….still do…..and it makes no difference…..he doesn’t know me”. this makes me cry. im so sorry. i just cant imagine how that feels. you are so precious. i’ll never understand why a daddy abandons.

  34. February 17, 2009 7:14 pm

    reading through all these comments – i became so excited at the thought of all our prayers being lifted up on these young ones behalves! this is so good! thanks for joining in everyone.

  35. February 17, 2009 8:35 pm

    The more i know of your past the more i value you, as a person and as a friend.

    You said you will never understand why a daddy abandons. While such an abandonment is no doubt a very traumatic experience for the child concerned, it is not always the case that it is the worst thing that could happen to the child.

    Few humans are perfect – even less are perfect parents and almost no-one who has a child is always ‘ready’ for that child and the challenges being a parent will cause the parent – and the consequences of raising a child are so huge as to ‘scare’ many who know in their hearts that they will not handle the responsibility well into taking the coward’s (but potentially a life-saving) way out and running away.

    God does not stop those who are not ‘ready’ from having kids and we see the result of that every single day. Abuse, Abandonment, Dissociation, Unmet needs, Divorce through stresses too great for one or both parents to carry – and the ultimate… Murder/suicide of children/spouse.

    Here in Australia one father – who had recently gone through the Family Divorce Court and been ‘granted’ access to his three children (A Judge has to ‘grant’ a father ‘access/visitation” rights?) was returning his children (all aged under 10) to his wife after a three day visit when he stopped his car atop a 60 metre (200ft) high bridge, took his 4 yo daughter from the back seat, walked to the edge of the roadway and threw her over the side into the bay! He then got back into the car, still containing his two boys in the back, and drove to where the police found him pulled over by the roadside, completely wrecked as a human being, crying behind the wheel, an hour or so later.

    She survived and was pulled from the water by ambulance staff but died from horrific internal injuries shortly after…

    There could have been MUCH worse pain in your life if Daddy had stuck around when he really did not want to.

    Abandonment is bad, no doubt, but humans (mothers or fathers) are rarely perfect as we as a child would so love them to be. Life rarely turns out the we want but does turn out the way He plans for.

    (and in case any here are all too ready to blame the father in the act i mentioned because he is male i could also tell the story of the mother who put her 2 yo in a suitcase and threw him in a lake to drown – the suitcase was found 6 days after, partly submerged. Not all mothers are ‘ready’ or perfect either).

    Sorry for the downer but we sometimes only see the loss of the ‘good’ – and it may never have been there in the first place. We never are thankful for the bigger disaster in our life we avoided.

    Even though there is ample evidence of the disaster in many many people’s lives.

    Trust in Him that He DOES actually know what He’s doing – even if he does not do what we ‘think’ we’d do ( would want to do) in His place.

    love you.


  36. February 17, 2009 10:35 pm

    Daniel and I have been sifting through this whole little girl thing and our pasts and yes. Yes, you are right and this is a beautiful and true word picture of how I think so many girls are abandoned and in need of that unconditional love from their dads. I know that I still need that reassurance and even though it is now from my groom, the wounds from the past still creep up and so all that you wrote is so true. Thank you.

  37. February 18, 2009 3:23 pm

    This makes me look forward to this book you’re writing even more. I have no concept of what abandonment is like personally, but I’ve known/counselled/discipled a few who have.

    I’ll keep praying, but I also want to go beyond that and make sure I’m not leaving the duty of care to ‘someone else’. I am that someone.

  38. February 19, 2009 4:19 pm

    i love your beautiful heart.

  39. February 22, 2009 10:39 am

    WOW! I came to your blog through a comment you made on Lori’s blog. This post hit my heart hard! My “father” was in my life…but for 12 years “he” and his friends abused me to the point of me wishing I would just die. I often “searched” for a daddy who might love me like I thought a daddy should. Each time I thought things may be different as I went to visitation with him, I was once again disappointed.
    And now…now…I am raising a lost little girl. I left my husband due to abuse and found I was pregnant a week later. Never did I think in all my years of searching…that some day I would be raising one who also search. My ex. has nothing to do with my daughter…and at age 15 he now wants in her life and she does not want anything to do with him. But I know…I just know…that she searched for many years when she was younger…I believe she gave up.
    I have not yet accepted God as my Father as some have commented about. Yeh, I think there is a God most of the time. But as I hear people speak about him as a “Father” I cringe….
    I am trying to figure it all out. I am trying to learn more about God. Maybe one day I can call him my Father? And be ok with that? I am not sure if that is possible or not.
    And yet, how I would love to be able to show that example to my daughter who also needs to learn that.
    Hmmm….Tam, you gave me a lot to think about and so did everyone else who commented.

  40. February 23, 2009 9:44 am

    debbie – your words broke my heart. i am so very sorry for all the things youve had to endure.

    i, too – at one time, cringed at the thought of even believing God as a “Father” could be any different from anything i had ever experienced from a male figure. all the men in my life had abused me…mentally, physically, emotionally, sexually. i battled in my head for a long time. many, many years.

    i understand, completely, where youre coming from.

    after a long string of harsh circumstances, i found myself one day surrounded by Christians. they had something i didnt have…and i knew it. i wanted it. i started reading the bible. camped out a lot in the new testament. and quickly learned this Father could be trusted. and the way i looked at it…i had nothing more to lose. nothing.

    that was almost 20 years ago. ive never once regretted my decision to trust God. to allow Him to show me what a REAL Father is. never regretted it once. He has changed my whole perspective on the men in my past. for the first time, i felt safe. i realized God was not the one who abused me. those men were. they made the choice to do so. and i was living far too long as their victim.

    please email me if ever youd like to talk. i would absolutely love to hear more of your story!

    and know that the people here, this amazing community on this blog, will be here for you too.


  41. February 23, 2009 10:01 am

    love – ive never once wallowed or implied that having an absent father, or subsequent wanna be daddys who beat and molested me, was the worst thing that has ever happened to me or anyone else. in fact…i have stated quite the opposite. i am most grateful for those experiences. would i go back and relive them? no. but would i change them? no. they have served in making me the woman ive become. for which, ive little to no complaints about 😉 they also lead me to my real Father. the one who never will abandon me. the One who instructs with love and gentleness, even when He has to be firm with me. (too often)

    i am perfectly aware of the despicable, abusive and horrific happenings in the lives of children today. it is sickening.

    i also said in these comments that i am probably better off having been abandoned by my dad. i cant imagine, having met him when i was 13 and shortly thereafter experienced his vileness, that that wouldve been any better for me.

    “Trust in Him that He DOES actually know what He’s doing – even if he does not do what we ‘think’ we’d do ( would want to do) in His place.”

    i couldnt agree with you more and dont see where i implied that i didnt.

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