Revive Our Hearts Podcast

This Is Your Father

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Leslie Basham: After experiencing rejection all her life, Dorie Van Stone was surprised one day when she picked up the telephone.

Dorie Van Stone: These are the words I heard: "This is your father." Now the long and short of it was he said he wanted to meet me. I was scared to death.

I said, "No." Anybody who has seen me hasn't wanted me.

Leslie Basham: It's Monday, July 14. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I think one of the most painful things any of us can ever experience is the feeling of rejection. All of last week and continuing again this week we've been listening to a testimony of a woman who knew what it was to experience intense rejection. Her name is Dorie Van Stone. Dorie was abandoned by her mother as a little girl, and it was many years before she even knew who her father was. Her story is told in a touching book called Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved.

In the portion of her testimony that we'll hear today, we'll learn how she experienced what is perhaps the most intense sort of rejection, and that is in knowing that not even your parents accept you. Let's listen as Dorie continues her story.

Dorie Van Stone: I was taken out of that place and then I was placed in another foster home. It wasn't much better. I ended up finally in one that turned out to be pretty good. It was a doctor's home. I'll never forget when I got there. I thought, Wow! I'm in a palace.

The doctor's wife said, "Now child,"--instead of saying my name--"Child, listen to me. Because of your background, you're never going to amount to much. But if I train you real well, maybe you can become a maid or something. But don't set your sights high."

I said, "All right. All right."

One day the doctor called me in just out of the blue into his study. He said, "Dorie, I want to ask you a question. Who is your father?"

"I never had one."

He said, "Now listen. Think a minute. Think. You've heard something."

Obviously, someone someplace, sometime had told me. I hid it in a memory bank in my mind. He kept saying, "Stupid, think!" Finally, I remember the name of a man and a state and a city. I just said it, not even knowing if it was there. He said to me, "Dorie, write a letter to this man and just see what will happen."

I said, "Sir, if he's my father, I've never even met him. I wouldn't know what to say."

"Well, just say, 'Dear Sir, You're my father.'" That's what I did. The silliest letter you ever saw. He took me down to the telephone company. I saw the name and a certain state and city. We put it on the envelope and mailed it.

Two weeks to the day that I was serving dinner to the doctor and his family in my maid's uniform, the doorbell rang. Now it was a long table. The doctor was down here, and she was down there. I thought, They're not that crazy about each other, really. The doorbell rang. I set the food down. I went out and answered the door.

Now I had done this a lot of times for the doctor, so I didn't think anything of it. I signed the little paper from the man and he drove off. I turned to look toward the doctor and his wife, and I had this letter in my hand. All of a sudden, I flipped it over and it wasn't for the doctor. It had my name on it.

I went, "Doctor! Doctor!"

He said, "Dorie, what is it?"

I said, "I've got a letter!"

"Well, stupid, open it!"

You know, a girl thing--we get nervous. I couldn't open a thing. He took it. He opened it up.

Then I said, "Just tell me how it's signed."

As the letter fell down, I looked up and I saw "Dad."

I grabbed it and went up to my room, memorized it, and I sent more letters and he sent more. The phone rang a couple of weeks later and I answered it.

I said, "Doctor's residence." These are the words I heard:

"This is your father."

"My who?"

"Your father." I just dropped the phone.

The long and short of it was he said he wanted to meet me. I was scared to death. I said, "No." Anybody who has seen me hasn't wanted me. He was quiet for a while and I thought, I blew that.

Then he said, "I'll tell you what. I'll pay half the fare." The doctor and his wife paid the rest and I went halfway across the United States to meet a man I didn't know. I walked into the bus station, two days and a night. You look yukky. Curly hair is all over the place.

All of a sudden, I'm looking at the people and I thought, I don't even know what the man looks like. Back at the wall, I saw a good-looking man and I thought, Why not? I was young. I thought, I'll try him. I set the suitcase down in front of the man.

I thought, Lord, help me say something original. I looked at this nice-looking man. He looked down at me. I said, "Excuse me, sir, but are you my father?" He stooped down and then put his arms around me.

Let me give you a clue on abused kids. When anyone goes to touch you, you go like this because you're not sure what the next touch means. As he kept hugging me and hugging me I thought, Maybe he means it. Then my arms slowly went around him.

Do you know what I was thinking, people? I thought, This is what arms are for. They are made for hugging, not beating people up all the time. Why I tell you that is because I was 18 when that happened. That was the first time in my life at the age of 18 I had ever been hugged. Oh, wow!

I went home with my father that night. I don't think he was too impressed. I had to carry my own suitcase in. He plopped in a great big old easy chair like, Whew! It's over.

I got down at his feet and I said, "Tell me about when I was little."

"It was awful."

I said, "Sir, I don't want to hear that part."

He said, "No. You're going to hear this right up front. You were conceived out of wedlock. I didn't want you then. I don't want you now. I didn't love you then and I don't love you now."

I said, "Then sir, why did you send for me?"

He said, "Why? I was curious to see what you looked like."

That very first night I tried to tell my father there was someone who loved me. It was God. His Son Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for me, for my sins, and I was a part of the family of God.

He said, "I don't want to hear about it. I don't believe in God. I don't believe in that kind of a relationship and all that kind of stuff."

I stayed with him a while. Then one day I had to go to my dad. I said, "Dad, you don't want me to talk about God. But God loves me and there is something He wants me to do. I've got to get the priorities in my life straight."

I went back to California. Now there are a couple of things I wouldn't want to do, and one of them would be being a missionary. They're a bunch of dried up old prunes that wear black and they're no good here. That's why we ship them overseas. Then I wouldn't want to be a preacher's wife because I'd give them such a bad time we'd be changing churches every month. "Oh, here they come again."

But God called me to become a missionary. You can read that all in the Dorie book. I said, "Okay, Lord, if You're sure You don't have Your wires crossed, I'll do it. I don't know how, but I'll do it."

I just had to go tell my dad that I was called to be a missionary. I went to see him. I want you to know that when you really follow the Lord, it does cost a price--if you're really, really going to be committed. I found my father again. I took a train, called him. He wouldn't come pick me up. He said, "Come to the house by yourself." So I went. I drove up in a cab.

My father was sitting on the porch. I got out. I ran up the stairs. I said, "Dad, I've come to tell you something."

He said, "Wait, I've got to tell you something."

"But, Dad, no, wait. I've got to tell you something."

"You know, Dorie, I've had philosophies to live by all my life. But I've been told I'm going to die. I don't have anything to die by."

I said, "Dad, you can if you accept the Lord."

He said, "No."

I said, "Dad, God is calling me. I'm going to serve Him. I'm going to go be a missionary. I might marry a preacher."

My father stood up and he looked at me. He said, "You leave your suitcase. You can go call a cab and tell him to come back and pick you up."

"But I just got here!"

"Do what I said."

"Why?"

"I'll tell you why. I think it's the dumbest thing I ever heard of. If that's what you're going to be"--this is exactly what he did, he looked at me, pointed his finger and said, "From this moment on, you are no longer my daughter. I never want to see you again."

I never did see him again. I got on the train. When that train pulled out, rocking, it was like it was saying, "You're all alone, you're all alone, you're all alone."

I said, "I'm not! I'm not!" And every verse of Scripture I had ever memorized came over me like an ocean.

"I'll never leave you! I'll never forsake you! I'll be with you to the ends of the earth!" I thought, That's it!

Psalm 27:10 says, "When your father and mother forsake you, the Lord will pick you up."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: That's Dorie Van Stone, telling a story that you can read about in a more complete way in a book that we're offering this week on Revive Our Hearts called Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved.

Dorie really did understand as a little girl and a teenager what it was like to be rejected. But over and over again, those that should have been counted upon to teach this little girl the meaning of love failed her.

It's almost unimaginable how a dad can look his daughter in the eyes and say, "I didn't want you when you were born. I don't want you now. I never want to see you again."

But I know there are many who have been listening to this program today who can imagine. It's not just Dorie's story; it's your story.

The hurt and the pain have been so deep. Perhaps you're still living with that pain. You don't know what to do with it.

Can I say, first, that God wants to set you free from that pain? Not free necessarily from all the memories, but He doesn't want you to have to live in bondage to that pain and that rejection.

You know, even though I can't fully identify with or understand what you've experienced, I know Someone who does understand. His name is Jesus.

You see, when Jesus left heaven to come down to this earth, He knew that He would be facing a life of rejection. The Scripture says, "He was despised and rejected by men." Even those who should have accepted Him did not. His own people rejected Him. They didn't understand who He was or why He had come, so Jesus endured the rejection, the scorn, the ridicule.

The Scripture tells us in the Book of 1 Peter that even though Jesus was rejected by men, yet He was chosen by God. That is what determined His worth and His value. That's what made Him precious--the fact that God said, "You are My beloved Son."

No matter what kind of rejection you may have experienced, there is One who does love you--who accepts you unconditionally. That's why I love that verse that Dorie quoted from Psalm 27: "Even if my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me in."

The secrets that will unlock healing and freedom in your life, no matter how troubled your past, is to come to know the God who loves you.

Oh, Father, how I thank You that we can call You Father and that You are not like any earthly dad--that Your love is infinite, indescribable, unconditional, permanent, unending. We can never get past the reaches of Your love.

Lord, today I want to lift up some of my sisters. Their hearts are just hurting and bleeding and crying out, for they know what it is to experience the scars and the wounds of rejection.

I pray that they might come to find a place of acceptance and refuge and peace within Your loving arms. I pray that You would reach out Your loving arms today and that women by faith would receive Your embrace and that they would choose to reject the lies that tell them that they are unlovable, that no one could love them, and instead that they will believe and receive and be transformed by the truth of Your never failing love. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Leslie Basham: Thanks, Nancy. If God is doing a work in your life--helping you heal from rejection--could we continue to pray with you? We have a team of people who pray for our listeners' requests. You can write us at Revive Our Hearts.

You can also write to that address and ask for a copy of Dorie Van Stone's memoir, called Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved. You can also get a copy by going online. Our Web address is ReviveOurHearts.com. Or call toll-free: 1-800-569-5959.

We'll continue to hear Dorie's story tomorrow. After being rejected by her earthly father, God brought a new man into Dorie's life. We hope you can join us to find out more on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.