The Father's love met every need

The Father’s Love Met Every Need

Bethany LaShellBy Bethany LaShell8 Minutes

Earthly fathers should care for and protect their children. Not all of them do. But there is One who always loves perfectly and meets every need. While Billy Wayne’s earthly father abused, reviled, and abandoned him, the Father’s love met every need.

God fulfilled the fatherly role in Billy’s life in a way that no biological father ever could. Miraculously, he never projected his earthly father’s characteristics onto God; he let God show him what his Heavenly Father was really like. Divine love comforted and changed Billy “from the inside out.”

To Billy, God was “not this plastic God” demanding perfection. God let him cry and vent, then seemed to ask, “Are you done?” God held, loved, and orchestrated his amazing journey. God is bigger than an earthly father — He’s a “Big Daddy” and Billy Wayne’s “Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6).

However, Billy’s earthly home reflected more of hell’s values than Heaven’s morals. Because of his parents’ knock-down, drag-out fights, infidelities, alcoholism, abuse, and neglect, Billy Wayne pleaded — to no avail — with them to come to church; he knew Jesus could fix his family.

Billy’s mama looked for love in all the wrong places — and often brought men to their home. One such night, Billy begged, “God, I just need to feel your presence with me.” He immediately felt the physical comfort of God encompass him like one of his grandmother’s heavy quilts, and he heard God whisper, “Peace, be still.” As evil raged around him, he experienced Jesus as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Immediately, he stopped crying and shaking.

The Father's love met every need

Acting offered a great escape. Billy Wayne, his siblings, and their cousins loved to put on shows for their family. He was usually the director and star of each show. After his first time on a real stage in junior high, Billy was hooked.

Through his school years on into college, Billy Wayne developed his gifts of acting, dancing, and singing — always for God’s glory. Various teachers and guidance counselors encouraged him along the way.

Church and school were refuges from his chaotic home life although he was often bullied at school. Billy Wayne learned to stand up to bullies and looked for opportunities to share God’s love with them.  He felt like he was a little grasshopper walking up to giants, but, like David and Goliath, he walked in God’s power.

Freedom and a Future

When Billy Wayne arrived at college, he was relieved to be free from the troubles of his youth but concerned about how his younger siblings would survive without his protection and care.

Having been saved in a legalistic church in the early 1970s, Billy saw freedom and grace in fellow students he wanted. The healing he found excited him, and he wanted to stand on the tables in the cafeteria shouting, “Hey people, Jesus is the answer!”

In his quest for the Broadway stage, Billy left footprints of stardust in theatres and churches all over eastern Tennessee. He didn’t even realize that theatre had become the most important thing in his life until God asked him to put his idol on the altar during his senior year of college.

Although grieved and puzzled, he honored God by turning down invitations to act on Broadway. It would not be the last time God asked Billy to trust His plans. Instead of acting on a big stage, God asked him to sing and preach on small stages around the country after graduation.

God always blesses obedience and uses weaknesses to display His strength. When good happens, there’s no doubt about whom the victory came from. God proved Himself to be the “Mighty God” over and over in Billy’s life (Isaiah 9:6).

When it was no longer Billy’s idol, God restored the desire of his heart — theatre. By then, he had his finger in several other ministries. Billy Wayne began looking through the eyes of the Father, seeing needs, and sacrificially investing his life to meet those needs. Sometimes he ministered to a homeless person on the street; other times he welcomed an orphan or an addict into his home; often he just sat with a broken, hopeless kid and loved on him. And from this lifestyle sprang ministries to meet those felt needs.

Impossible Dreams

In his younger years, Billy Wayne often railed at God for giving him the wrong family. While he was in college, God told him, “I gave your father to you. I trusted you with him. Have you shown him what the love of God looks like?”The Father's love met every need

Billy Wayne started reaching out to his parents then, particularly his father. God worked through every card, phone call, and invitation. Eventually both of Billy Wayne’s parents received Christ because of his unflagging love and forgiveness.

Even as God restored Billy’s relationship with his father, another impossible dream emerged: to be the father he had always longed for even though he had never married.

His “Everlasting Father” had a plan for that too (Isaiah 9:6). Billy Wayne often had teens and young people hanging around the theatre whom he mentored. As years passed, he gained credibility with local officers and social workers. They knew he wouldn’t just check off the community service hours; he would “get in the kids’ business” and really help them turn their lives around.

In 2007, a social worker showed up with Ridge, a troubled 15-year-old, and asked Billy to take him in. Ridge lived with Billy for four years. In 2011, Peyton appeared on his doorstep, and Billy adopted him as well. He thought he’d retired from fatherhood, but in 2021, God sent him 14-year-old Riley, Ridge’s younger brother.

These boys endured unspeakable traumas — abuse, outright rejection, watching parents die — and Billy’s hard-earned empathy was just what they needed to begin their healing journeys. As a father, Billy gave these boys all the things he never had: faith, love, discipline, and time. And once again, the Father’s love met every need of a broken heart.

Billy Wayne’s life exemplifies how God’s redemptive, healing love fulfills the longings of broken people.

To find out more about Billy Wayne and his ministries, go to