Daddy's Little Girl

Originally published Monday, 12 May 2014.

Are you daddy's little girl?

I wanted to share an excerpt from my new book Dream Devotional, a 40 day devotional of hope for people who have fallen on hard times. I have been sharing a daily picture quote on social media. Follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest to stay connected!

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Day #21 ~ Daddy’s Little Girl

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15, NIV).

I grew up as Daddy’s little girl. I craved his attention after he got home from work. I wanted him to approve of whatever I painted, created, or put together that day—pretty much like any little girl would, right? When he said, “Good job,” I felt appreciated. I mattered. It wasn’t until I grew up that I noticed how much my needing to be a daddy’s girl affected my career.

When I got my first real job, I wasn’t like the other girls who worked retail. They didn’t care about pleasing the boss. They actually took advantage of her, and yet they were the favored ones. I didn’t get it. I left the mall for corporate America and became an office receptionist. I loved being the first person that greeted everyone. I was the hub of that company. The center of attention.

I enjoyed getting to know everyone in the company—even though I didn’t have to. I worked hard to finish college and get my dream job. I thought I had hit a gold mine. I served the church and got paid for it. Shortly thereafter, a publisher approached me and I got my first book contract. Everything was going my way. I tried balancing a full-time job and writing a book.

Unfortunately, it totally backfired.

I tried to hide my panic attacks from my boss, which actually wasn’t hard because he had his own issues to deal with. I really struggled without his help. I thought I needed the approval of my boss. It took me six months of intense conversations with God and some of my coworkers to make me realize my work performance and the need for others’ approval was actually hindering me from accepting God’s plan.

Have you ever struggled to focus in your workplace or in your relationships because you’re missing approval from others? It feels totally normal when you’re a child, but somehow when you grow up you’re just expected to be okay without praise. The most frustrating thing to me is when you’re a child and you receive praise for almost everything you do.

The older you grow up, the less praise you receive. I’ll also go as far as to say that it seems like the only time bosses do notice you is when you do something wrong.

When I became a writer, I didn’t realize how little feedback I would receive. At first I received a ton of feedback, but eventually people move on and forget about you (not in a bad way).

Being Daddy’s little girl was something God was trying to teach me, but from His perspective. Actually, He’s trying to teach all of us to search for Him first.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV).

Maybe the reason you’ve stopped pursuing your dreams is because you’re not sure if you have what it takes. In the Dream Giver, Bruce Wilkinson asks, “Did you have a dream as a child that you lost along the way?” 1

He writes a beautiful allegory of Ordinary, who has a Big Dream. Along the way, Ordinary realizes his Father didn’t pursue his dreams and he doesn’t want to end up making the same mistake. He didn’t want to waste another day waiting for his Dream to happen.

So he came up with four choices that I believe will greatly encourage you to continue pursuing your Big Dream. He made a plan, hard choices, difficult changes, and big sacrifices.2

Take heart, friends. Don’t let your father’s mistakes, your own fears, or needing the approval of others cause you to quit pursuing your dreams.

In this season of scarcity, unemployment, and jobs that don’t mean much, seek Abba Daddy’s approval over anyone else’s. Just so you know, when I finally stopped striving to make a name for myself, my first book sold out, and I got my second, third, and fourth book contracts.

Dear Dream-Giver Jesus, you are my Abba Father. No matter what anyone else says and no matter how my earthly father treated me, I crave your love. I want your attention and affection. Show me that I’m worth it, even when I don’t believe in myself. Help me to continue to pursue the big dreams that you’ve planted in my heart. Amen.

Question: Do you seek to please others even at your own expense? Do you feel it is easier to seek man’s or God’s approval? Why?

[Excerpt from Dream Devotional,  © 2014, All rights reserved] 1 Bruce Wilkinson, The Dream Giver (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2003), 8. 2. Ibid., 18.