Lisa Harper has built her career around ministering to women, guiding them through unimaginable circumstances and seemingly insurmountable pain. Now, in this #MeToo era, she sees herself as a “big sister” to those coming to terms with the sexual abuse they may have endured.
Harper’s story isn’t clear cut and her journey to where she is today could never have predicted the success her ministry now boasts. As a young woman, she endured consistent sexual abuse, lived in a home with an absent father and was raped as a college student.
The well-known Christian author and speaker told Faithwire she “can identify with the heart cry” of the women speaking out about the abuse they’ve faced, adding her “heart breaks for women who are just beginning to deal with their own pain.”
As the “big sister in the house,” Harper cautioned the women coming forward in this season of reckoning from turning toward human repentance to “heal the deepest wounds in our soul.”
“What your soul’s really longing for isn’t the answers, it’s not even necessarily a punitive reckoning for the men who have been so abusive,” she said. “What your soul’s longing for is presence, it’s the presence of God.”
Though she’s thankful for the conversations taking place in the #MeToo era, Harper said it “grieves” her to see many women “are not running to God” but are instead being fueled by an “embittered” culture.
“You’re still not gonna find peace, even if your abuser is punished, because peace only comes with God,” Harper added.
Harper’s comments about the #MeToo movement come just days before the release of her newest work, “Who’s Your Daddy? Discovering the Awesomest Daddy Ever,” a children’s book she co-wrote with her daughter, Missy, whom she adopted from Haiti in 2014.
In the book, Harper, a single mother, chronicles a conversation she had with her 9-year-old daughter after one of her fellow classmates asked who her father was — a question for which Missy didn’t have an answer.
Harper had for years longed to be a mother, but the right relationship hadn’t worked out. So when she approached her adoption agency, she told her agent she was not interested in adopting a child who had “a good shot at a momma and a daddy, because I still believe … that’s the biblical template.”
But we live in an imperfect world with imperfect solutions.
Though she was uncertain about her decision to adopt earlier on in the process, looking back, Harper said she “totally scored” with Missy, whom she described as “the greatest kid since sliced bread.”
“The only thing I can rest on is the sovereignty of God, the peace of God, the way God directed me to adopt this child,” Harper said of the criticism she sometimes faces as a single mother. “So stigma at this point just rolls off me like water on a duck’s back because it has been such a joy, such tangible grace, in being her mom, that I go, ‘You know what, I’m gonna walk the path God has for me.’”
“Who’s Your Daddy?” reminds readers that, regardless of the earthly fathers — or “skin daddies,” as Missy calls them — who might fail us or are absent in this life, we have a perfect Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally.
“I don’t see [being married] as completing us, because of God being so sufficient, and really so accessible, as a father to the fatherless and a husband to the husbandless,” Harper said. “I rarely feel like we are two legs of a three-legged stool. I feel like we are a really wonderfully functioning family because of the presence of God.”
The book is available now for pre-order and releases Monday, Oct. 15.