by Subarna Thibodeau
The Father’s love has such a tender spot in my heart. I’ve often wondered what it’s like to have a dad. My dad passed away soon after I was born. In a village in Nepal, being a widow looks very different and difficult; my mom was not prepared for this. A few years after my father passed away, my mom took me to a Christian orphanage/day boarding school. I was around seven or eight years old and I grew up without my mom around me. This was the best she could do.
In 2017 I did my DTS in Nepal, and one topic that passed right over my head was the Father Heart of God. I could not relate to or understand this concept. I had an orphan’s mentality. I grew up believing I deserved all pain and hardship, and I had no self-worth.
After DTS, I had a great encounter with God. I was on my knees in prayer and I had a vision of God’s hand holding me in His palms inside my mother’s womb. For the first time, I understood the weight of Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” The Father’s love finally soaked into my heart, and I cried on my knees for so long to have found a new identity in Him. After this, there were long seasons of my Heavenly Father restoring my identity in Him.
This year in staffing Harvest DTS at YWAM Turner Valley, students and staff kept giving me Bible verses and words during prayers connected to the idea that I am a daughter of God, I am adopted by the King of kings, and I belong to royalty. As I kept getting these verses and words from everyone, I knew they were biblical ideas, and it wasn’t new information, but I thought it must be particularly meaningful and important as it continually came up in prayer times. I figured Father Heart of God week would be a very dramatic and emotional time for me, and I even brought tissues to class, just in case.
Our speaker, Andrae, asked us this question as he taught on this topic: “In the prodigal son story (Luke 15), which son are you?” As I thought about this, I realized I have been in the place of both sons in the past – the prodigal younger son, and the self-righteous older son – but I am neither one of them in this season. This was a great week to reflect on how far I have come. God the Father wanted to remind me of how much I have grown, and as a result, I was able to go deep back into my roots and see how God has brought restoration in my life. I was able to walk in thankfulness and confidence.
I know my story of adoption has not ended here, but He has so much more for me. God has crowned us with faithfulness and love.