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Ada Obiako: But I Have a Father



dreamstime_m_11502449I turned 30 recently and as usual I did a mini life review to assess the choices I have made in my life plus any significant aspects of my existence that I might have missed or overlooked. This time, I found myself pondering what effect having the presence of my dad in my life has had on my being, my spirit, and my choices.

As far as I can remember, my dad has always been there. Growing up, normal for me was waking up each morning and seeing my dad before he went to work or I went to school and seeing my dad come home at night from work before I went to bed. On the weekends, we ate, talked, laughed, and watched television as a family. He was always there. A woman’s first sense of value and empowerment typically comes from the relationship with her father or the paternal figure in her life. For me, it came from my father.

My father was always physically present in our home and life – I felt I was worth his time.

My father put me through school and pushed me to take education seriously – I felt I was worth his money and had potential he was happy to invest in.

My father answers my phone calls and gives me sage advice when I have life questions or frustrations – I feel I am worth his listening ear, his energy, and his wisdom.

And because of this attention, energy, focus, love, and faith in me that he has shown all my life, there is a significant level of value I equate with myself. I am not a perfect being. There are times when I struggled with purposelessness, finanacial droughts, lack of confidence, and contemplated questionable options.

There are times when I was broke and scared I wouldn’t meet my financial obligations. I could have gone the sugar daddy route. I could have decided to exchange sexual favors in return for financial ones – the opportunities were there and I am not better than anyone else who has or is doing this. However, only one thought stopped me:

“…but I have a father”.

There have been times in college or at previous workplaces where I knew I could have gotten a higher grade, raise, or promotion simply by offering my body or opening up my legs to a teacher or supervisor. It happens everyday. However, only one thought stopped me:

“…but I have a father”.

There have been times when peers have insulted, mocked, or tried to undervalue me (out of jealousy or malicious intent or sheer underestimation) and I could have believed myself to be worthless and insignificant. However, only one thought stopped me from that:

“…but I have a father”.

The list goes on. I don’t say all this to boast or to make anyone who didn’t grow up with a father present feel less than. I say it all because in this day and age of feminism, with the “women rule the world” and “anything a man can do, a woman can do better” mantras, I find it would be unfair of me not to admit the importance of a father in a growing girl’s life or make mention of the man in my life that has paved the way for me to be where I am today and to be who I am. He’s not a magician and he can’t make all my cares or concerns disappear, but he always gives me a sense of self-worth that reignites my faith within.

I don’t always make the right choice but I can confidently say that most, if not all, choices I have made are because Adaeze wanted to make them and not because it would make Tom, Dick, Jane, or Susan accept, value, or love me more. It would have been the opposite,

“…but I have a father”.

Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images |

Adaeze Diana is a freelance writer, copy-editor, speaker, and vision coach who helps young Christian women feeling depressed/hopeless discover who they are and why they exist so that they can learn how to enjoy more fulfilling and fruitful lives. She blogs about the spiritual lessons she's learned at You can follow Adaeze on Twitter and Google+.

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