Healing the Orphan Heart: Your Name Is Carved On God’s Tree

Healing the Orphan Heart: Your Name Is Carved On God's Tree by Jamie Rohrbaugh | FromHisPresence.com BlogOne of the biggest sources of discouragement that plagues Christians today is that so many of us feel like orphans.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether you have actual parents or not. Orphanhood is a state of the heart; a feeling… and it’s not something you can talk yourself out of if you’re already in that state.

But an orphan heart is something for which we can receive healing.

I know. I spent many years feeling unloved; feeling that I didn’t belong anywhere or to anybody. I felt like I had no home. I was an orphan.

It wasn’t my parents’ fault; they loved me. Orphanhood was simply the state of my heart, because I had not received God’s love deep down in my innermost heart yet.

So I felt like an orphan.

And because I felt like an orphan–belonging nowhere and to no one–I was hounded by fear. I would have frequent panic attacks when there was nothing going on outwardly of which to be afraid. I could feel something constricting my chest. I would desperately gasp for breath.

I didn’t know what was causing these panic attacks at first, but I finally recognized them for what they were–fear. (Read more of that story about how God set me free from fear here and part 2, here.)

Out of His mercy, one day as I was struggling with this, Papa God led me to read First John 4:18:

Start-quoteThere is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

He showed me then that love is the antidote to fear.

He is the only One who loves perfectly, so it is specifically His love that casts out fear. I began to meditate on God’s love (see the story in the link above) and, over time, God set me free from fear. He filled me with His perfect love and healed me completely.

As I have continued to meditate on God’s love, He brought me into not only freedom from fear, but also into an understanding of how wildly He loves me. He has healed the orphan’s heart I carried, and has given me the secure heart of a beloved daughter.

Note: My favorite resource ever about this subject is Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland. Click here to check it out on Amazon for Kindle or paperback (affiliate link). God really advanced the healing of my heart when I read this book.

Maybe you suffer from an orphan heart too. Maybe your heart longs to be healed.

  • Maybe you long for a place to belong.
  • Maybe you’ve been hounded by fear also.
  • Maybe you feel empty and lonely, even when there are plenty of people around.
  • Maybe you long to know and be known, to love and be loved.

Maybe your heart’s desire is to have a Father and a home.

If that’s you, my heart goes out to you. I know how you feel.

But there is hope, and there is healing. Your healing will begin when you begin to meditate on this:

God LOVES you. He’s a big Papa with a big heart, and that heart beats for you.

I know it can be hard to start to feel like God loves you. But He does. Leif Hetland says:

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If God had a tree, He’d carve your name on it. You are His happy thought!”

And it’s true. Think of His love as stretching even farther than that. Papa God loves you so much that…

  • If God had a nightstand, your photo would be on it.
  • If God had some spray paint, He’d go to a wall and draw hearts all over it with “PAPA + YOUR NAME” written inside.
  • If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it.
  • If God had a mantel, your baby shoes would be bronzed and displayed on it.
  • If God had a Christmas tree, He’d make an ornament with your picture and the year of your birth: “Baby’s first Christmas!”
  • He keeps your love letters (your prayers) with Him in Heaven all the time.
  • He’s spent so much time ruffling through your hair that He has counted every hair on your head.

Your Papa loves you.

His heart is full of you. He is thinking of you always. Everytime He thinks of you–which is constantly–He’s overjoyed at your existence. You are His dream. You are His pride and joy.

Your Papa God loves you.

  • He knew you in Heaven before you were conceived on earth.
  • At just the right time, He threw you on the womb of your mother.
  • He knit you together in your mother’s womb and planned the exact moment of your birth.
  • He has been loving you and watching over you all your life.
  • He has never looked away, not even once.

God’s heart beats for you.

I realize it may seem foreign and strange to think of yourself this way: as the apple of God’s eye. Nevertheless, that is what you are. Precious friend who feels like an orphan, you are not alone. I’ve been there. But I am not there anymore. And having come through that valley of the shadow of death, I can tell you this:

You don’t always have to have an orphan heart. You can feel like the beloved son or daughter you are. Your heart can be healed.

Pray this with me:

“Papa God, I love You. I know You love me too, but I need Your help to feel like it. I need to “get it” down deep in my heart, deeper than I can go or reach. 

Papa, would You help me? Holy Spirit, please help me to receive Your love. Reveal Your love to me in ways I don’t even know how to ask for.”

Then begin daily to meditate on God’s love. Use the list of examples I provided above to invoke your holy imagination:

  • Imagine your Papa carving your name on His tree in Heaven.
  • Imagine Him taking His wallet out and showing off your photo to Jesus in Heaven.
  • Imagine Him longing for you as He draws a big heart on a wall of holy graffiti in Heaven, writing “Papa + YOU!”

Meditate on God’s love. See it in your mind’s eye. Ponder on it.

And God will begin to heal your heart.

Did this blog post encourage you? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below.

If this post would encourage others you know, please also consider sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Thanks!

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20 Comments

  1. This was wonderful!! I am reminded of 2 Cor 1:3-7. If you had not gone through what you did, you would not be able to comfort others in the way you have with this post. This ministered to me greatly. I believe this is a huge problem today. More people are alone and lonely than ever before. We have amazing technology with the internet, emails, and iphones but while that has been a fabulous invention, people have come to rely on it as their primary source of communication (texting/emailng, etc) in place of visiting or calling. It has sadly served to alienate us even more from one another. I experienced this while living in Africa for several years where we were forced to depend on one another to survive. When I returned to America, I experienced terrible loneliness because Americans have forgotten to be interdependent on one another–an important piece that God uses to show us His love. THANK YOU for this post. Bless you!!

    1. Amen! Thank you so much, Jan. It’s so true. We need one another! I agree wholeheartedly!!!

  2. Brenda Faye Roberts says:

    Oh God, I know I have an orphan heart. Like you wrote, this is not something we can fix or heal ourselves. Please pray that I can know and believe in the Fathers love. I weep for this, it is my greatest need and desire.

    1. Hi Brenda, precious sister, thank you for reading. I can feel your pain through your comment. My heart goes out to you. Please, please, please get Leif Hetland’s book that I linked to above-“Healing the Orphan Spirit.” Papa will use it to bring you healing as you read. And I will pray for you. Love in Christ, Jamie.

  3. Angela Randall says:

    This message is so precious to me. I am actually an orphan – rejected by both parents, then adopted… and that adoption failed. I married twice – and both marriages fell apart spectacularly. I became a Christian at 20, but I never let God heal my devastated orphan’s heart and so my life became a giant roller-coaster of wrong choices. It didn’t seem to matter where I found myself in life – I always made awful choices! It was only when I started to pray and ask God to heal the deficit and damage in me that my heart so I would stop sinning against Him that slowly my heart began it’s healing process. It is a brutal thing to be left as an orphan in this world. And you are right, only God can reach down deep enough in us to take up the space we have in our needy and desperate hearts. Thank you so much for this post – I love it. God is here 🙂

    1. Wow, Angela. Words are insufficient to respond to that. I’m so sorry that you had to endure that. My heart goes out to you! I am thankful to our Papa for touching you and beginning to heal your heart. I pray He would continue to overwhelm you with His perfect love so that your heart may be completely healed and restored better than it ever was before.

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story! May God bless you exceedingly as you continue to seek Him!

  4. Hi Jamie,I stumbled upon your blog today and my oh my,am I blessed or AM I BLESSED??I feel overwhelmed,I want to read all your articles and memorize everything;I just want to soak it all in.My goodness. This particular article speaks to me so personally because I have struggled for a long time to really identify with God’s love for me,and even more so after my dad passed on. When I think of the illustrations you have included on the article, I feel warmth all around me. I thank God for directing me to your blog. I am blessed. Be blessed exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ever ask or imagine. I will read this everyday until I am fully saturated in Papa’s love for me.

    Eva

    1. Eva, I’m so glad our Daddy touched you. I pray He would heal your hurting heart, and I’m sorry for the loss of your dad. I pray the Holy Spirit would fill you in every place inside you that needs her Daddy, right now in Jesus’ name, and that He would protect you, nurture you, and grow you and build your life more than any human father ever could. In Jesus’ name. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading, and thank you for sharing!

  5. I’ve had a stressful day….feeling the aloneness of my life and knowing the things I read are a mirror of who I am…so much sadness and disappointments have weighed down my heart and spirit….I’ve struggled all year with this..then in october I almost ended my life…the agony in my heart was killing me…I ended up in the psych ward for 6 days and on new depression medication..which btw I’ve been on since 1996…I’ve suffered with bouts of depression most of my life…my father abandoned me when I was 4 or 5…I’ve agonized over this my whole life and even though I had a mother I lived an abusive and loveless existence…I suffer with deteriorated disks, both knees are blown out, diabetic neuropathy feet,and I’m supposed to “do mighty exploits and have some kind of healing and miracle ministry”….prophets have said…I’m nowhere and in no shape to do anything…somebodies made a huge mistake thinking these things…if you saw my life you would have to agree….but I love the Lord..and He has helped me endure….I’m still here.

  6. Patty Whiteman says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have both books that you recommend but have not read them yet. I struggle with “it probably won’t help anyway.” My parents were very apathetic and showed favoritism – never was I a favorite. My husband is not relational at all. He thinks marriage is about the business of life and he can treat me very rudely. Please pray for me

  7. Funny I woke up w that feeling this morning not of love but fear. I think this is much bigger than just me and He’s showing me, training me. Part of me wants to say forget about it but I know that IS NOT THE TRUTH. I’m a feeler and I felt like He told me not too long ago how important it is for me to be ME…not a copycat of anyone else. I’ve felt waves of His presence and power today and have been able to intercede and that’s what I believe I am here for. I’ve had such a overwhelming love for people…and have perceived being hurt by other soulish people… (it’s very simple hurting people hurt people) helps me walk in grace. God says stand. and He told me specifically to pray for 30 days for said person to release that cuz I keep using that example in fear of being deeply wounded again by a closer “relative”. The former was a neighbor who praise God is doing really well and my heart has been released but the key to letting it go is prayer.
    Yes the love of God is so real and overwhelming and really want those who are afraid of “church” to KNOW how deeply loved they are…need to carry that after all that’s why we are here 😉
    On earth as it is in heaven. Living the dream now and training for reigning I just know it! Love and blessings

  8. Need to amend my Above post because this morning God dared me to never speak of pain again…kinda fell quick lol. He is so so good.

  9. This was extremely painful for me! I never realized until this morning reading this blog that I just kind of glance of God’s love for me and that I don’t really apply it to my life. It is nice to read about God’s love. But today for some reason as I read the words of God’s love and how he knit me in my mothers womb an emotion came to me of Why? If he knew me before I was born why did he let me be born to a mother who couldn’t love me and a father who would abandon me and never know me. Why did he watch as I was abused if he was there with me. I understand choices I made as a result were mine and mine alone but how…..that is where I stop. I can’t go beyond. I don’t even know how to deal with these feelings.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I understand what you are going through. I came to Christ right after graduating high school. At first, it was very blissful and full of joy. After several years, though, I noticed that I started to spiritually mature. It was when I realized this that thoughts of my childhood traumas came pouring in. I will be honest, I doubted God. Thoughts of “how can you let this happen to me? An innocent child, destroyed by the hands of evil”. I’m still in the midst of this emotion but I will say, Kelly, that you sharing this made me realize that I’m not alone. That I’m not the only person who is hurting by childhood abuse. That Im not the only who questions God. My parents weren’t the greatest and I grew up in a very unsafe environment unfit for a child. I’m still healing from it all. I just thought I share this so you know that you are not alone and that healing in the name of Jesus is possible. You sharing your honesty literally gave me a sense of relief. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in my feelings and thoughts. Sometimes the enemy wants us to believe that we are alone in our pain. I think the more we share our pain, the more we can help others find comfort. I was very thankful that I came across this article but even more thankful that I came across your comment. I know it’s been over a year since you posted but I will still be praying for you and your journey to find healing. God bless you Kelly.

  10. Annanson John says:

    “I felt like I had no home”.
    I do feel so periodically, when things go wrong…particularly, having done and having been doing my human part. I could caught talking to myself unawares sometimes…embarrassing.
    Tonight I was just going through the mails and nearly pushed this to tomorrow, and then something impressed upon me to read! And what a relief! Prophetess Jamie, God bless you and keep you 🙏.
    Thank you. Thank you.

  11. Thankyou Jamie this spoke to me (sorry for the cliche) but I felt strongly like that yesterday so God is really revealing things to you in the spirit you are so wonderfully blesses my prayer is that God will mightily use you more than ever be blessed

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jamie! You don’t know how much I needed to read this today. Again, thank you!

  13. IRMA NORTJE says:

    AMEN THANK YOU LORD GOD FOR HEALING OUR ORPHAN HEARTS – THANK YOU Ps Jamie for Sharing the immeasurable love of our God for His creation. Love heals and saves us!

  14. Hi, thank you for writing this. I had a prophetic word a few years back and a small section was “God wants you to feel His heartbeat for you” and you wrote a similar thing. Crying right now haha I felt God’s love in that moment. I had an abusive step dad and I’ve really struggled to relation to God as Father. I’m hoping it will all change now.

  15. Hi Jammie in my case is my daughter who feels like an orphan.May you please sent her your encouraging messages so that she receive direct from you
    .I did sub scribe for her but she’s receive few from you.She even tried many times to commit suicidal.lm slide,has a brother and sister it is only her father who passed on while she was 3 years.She is [email protected] her name is Assurancs

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