The Wounds of a Fatherless Daughter
Steps to Healing with Kia Stephens
In a recent interview on Family Life Radio, Kia Stephens, shared her passion to help women exchange their father wounds for the love of God the father.
The emotional pain caused by fatherlessness is a wound that, if left unaddressed, can linger throughout a person’s life. In her first book, “Overcoming Father Wounds: Exchanging Your Pain for God’s Perfect Love,” Kia Stephens shares her journey towards healing and forgiveness, offering insights and tools to help others navigate the same path. In this blog – Part 4 of 5, we’ll explore some of the key steps Kia took on her journey towards wholeness, and how you can apply these lessons in your own life.
Questions and Journaling
Self-discovery is a critical component of the healing process, and journaling is one way to facilitate this exploration. Kia’s book includes powerful questions at the end of each chapter, encouraging readers to engage with their thoughts and emotions deeply. As Kia explained in her interview with Family Life Radio, “I love this idea of journaling through your pain. Obviously, I’m a writer and I’ve gotten a lot of healing from just writing out my thoughts and even a lot of self-discovery. In where there’s an emotional blockage, and I’ve written things out and been like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m better.’”
The Forgiveness Letter and Chair
One of the most transformative steps Kia took on her healing journey was writing a forgiveness letter. She penned a heartfelt letter to the person who caused the pain. Kia also employed is the “empty chair” method, where she read her forgiveness letter aloud to an empty chair, imagining her father sitting there. This confrontation allowed her to face her emotions head-on and embrace the healing process.
For repeated offenses, Kia recommends the forgiveness wheel, a quick method to walk through forgiveness steps. The process may need to be repeated and helps develop a forgiving mindset.
Prayer’s Transformative Power
Forgiving someone who has hurt you can be an arduous task, but incorporating prayer into the process can make it more manageable. Kia encourages others to pray for the person who hurt them, even when it’s challenging. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (ESV). As you pray for those who have wronged you, your hearts begin to change and you develop empathy and compassion for them.
Kia strongly suggests professional help. “I recommend Christian counselor. … I am not a counselor. I am a woman who has had a lot of counseling and a lot of counseling. And so I’m able to talk about that in depth and talk about some of the tools that I’ve used.” To find a counselor, she suggests asking for recommendations from friends, family or local churches.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of counseling that Kia found particularly helpful, focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns, empowering you to see yourself and your situation in a more balanced light.
Forgiveness Instead of Bitterness
As you confront your feelings, it’s essential to compare them to the Word of God. Kia pointed to Hebrews 12:15 when it comes to choosing forgiveness over bitterness, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (ESV). Your decision to forgive opens the door to freedom and creates space for personal growth and healing.
See Your True Self Through Healing
In his book “Abba’s Child,” Brennan Manning famously wrote, “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” As you embark on the healing journey, see your identity rooted in God’s love, not in the wounds inflicted by others.
Kia’s journey demonstrates the transformative power of forgiveness and the freedom it brings. As you follow her lead, you can begin to heal the wounds of fatherlessness and step into the fullness of who you were created to be.
Your Support Systems
A strong support system is another vital component of healing. If you will connect with others who have experienced similar pain it can be a tremendous source of encouragement and understanding. Kia suggests finding or creating support groups that offer a safe space for discussing emotions and experiences.
In addition, fostering strong relationships with mentors, friends and loved ones can provide invaluable support during challenging moments. The presence of a compassionate support system can make your journey to healing more bearable.
A Continuous Journey
Healing is a lifelong journey. You’ll experience setbacks, moments of frustration and times when it feels like progress is slow. But each step you take brings you closer to forgiveness and wholeness. Embrace the journey and commit to continued growth, and you will find that healing is possible.
As you embark on your healing journey, remember that forgiveness is a choice, and it is a powerful one. Armed with faith, determination and the support of loved ones, you can find the strength to heal, forgive and live a life of freedom.
Kia Stephens is a wife and mom of two who is passionate about helping women know God as Father. For this reason, she created The Father Swap Blog to help women exchange their father wounds for the love of God the Father. Kia is also the founder of Entrusted Women, which she created to equip Christian women communicators of color. In addition to these ministries, Kia faithfully serves in Bible Study Fellowship and her local church in Atlanta, Georgia. When Kia is not writing or serving women, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. Kia released her first book, Overcoming Father Wounds, on March 7, 2023. Kiastephens.com