Jack Frost, author of the life-changing book From Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship, came to our small country church for a week of special services in 1995. He had just returned from the revival in Toronto and brought an expectation that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on us.
Karen and I took our young family to the church every night. We were hungry for more of God and were eager to receive whatever Frost had on offer.
Frost told his story of growing up under the roof of a harsh father. And then when he himself was a father, he realized that he was doing the same things that his father had done. The pain of that was overwhelming. Frost said:
You face two choices in life: to live life as if you have a home or to live life as if you don’t. If you’re living like an orphan because you’ve never made it past your fears and into a place of rest and safety, lay aside your orphan mindset. Come in from the storm and find rest! Discover your true identity – and your true home – as a beloved son or daughter of the Father.
The message hit me hard! I remember going up to Frost and asking him to pray for me. He had been through such a hard time with his father. He’d struggled to feel OK just for who he was.
He wanted to prove himself to his father to get his father’s blessing, but ultimately, Frost only found the love he was looking for when he realized that God the Father wanted to love him like that.
I resonated with his story. It had felt like that with my father. My dad was an intense man and a hard worker. I figured I too would get my sense of identity from my work. If I could be a success, I would be OK.
One day I asked Frost if he would go out for lunch. During our lunch, I asked if he mentor me. I think I was still just looking for a perfect father.
He was gracious and said that he would. But he lived in South Carolina and I lived in Georgia, so it never happened. And beyond that, I didn’t really know how to pursue someone to help me with my father wounds.
One day, God showed me that I was never going to find healing from my issues by dwelling on them. I saw how many young people were struggling with their own father wounds and needed fathering.
There was a young man I worked with named Robert Cantu who struggled with such a deep sense of rejection. His father had died of a heart attack when he was young. And when Robert came to talk to me and ask me to pray with him about his father wound and broken heart, I felt led not to counsel him, but just to hug him as a father would.
Robert sobbed in my arms. He was never healed of his deep pain, but I helped him carry it as a friend and someone who was a father.
Jack Frost died as the World Race was getting started in 2007. I saw that so many racers had a broken heart like Robert’s. They were running from the pain of fathers who didn’t know how to love them. And though I never had Frost’s mentoring, God gave me his heart for his kids.
Maybe I received the mentoring I needed. All of us have had imperfect fathers. And many of them have broken our hearts. God wants to love us back to a place where we feel like a daughter or a son.
If you’re in the place I was, maybe you’re looking for someone like Jack Frost to be a father to you. I wish you could get the kind of hug I gave Robert. But even that wasn’t enough. Frost was not the answer my broken heart needed. Only God could love me that way.
I pray that in this season of hiding, whatever father wounds you may still carry, you decide to stop looking for the perfect father. Stop hiding. Get what you need from God. He is the father you want. He longs to gather you into his arms and love you.