*Lengthy post alert (just a little 😉)*
Father’s Day invokes so many thoughts, feelings and emotions for so many. To look through social media lately, you’d think every woman is “Daddy’s Little Girl,” and most men are “Dad’s Best Bud;” yet, for many, like myself, Father’s Day is filled with a pure mixture of emotions.
You see, as a small child, I hardly ever saw my biological Dad. He was an alcoholic, worked as a merchant marine and was off to sea more often than he was at home. His father wasn’t really present in his life, and he didn’t know how to be present in mine. Sure, he promised to call, promised to come, and I’d watch and wait for hours. At four years old, I’d even have my bags packed by the door, waiting for hours on end, only to realize, in the moments of crying myself to sleep, that he wasn’t coming, once again. I do have a few fond memories of him from my younger years, and I still hold those tightly in the treasure chest of my mind, but I don’t call him Daddy anymore. As an adult, some things have changed, and we have slowly begun a new relationship, but those days of “Daddy’s little girl” have faded; for some things are simply lost over time and just can’t be regained. The emotions found here are disappointment, forgiveness and resolution.
There was another man in my life with whom “Daddy’s little girl” took on a totally different meaning… My grandfather, or as I affectionately called him, Pa”T,” stepped into my life and became the daddy I never had and of whom I’d always dreamed. He was bigger than life, purely a man’s man, rough and tough as leather but tender as a rose petal when it came to me. He treated me as a jewel and loved me with a fierce, protective love. I grew up learning what true love in a marriage should look like, what kind of man to look for in a lifetime partner and how that man should treat me through the years. In 2002, I had to say goodbye to my Pa”T, and my life was forever changed. The emotions found there are admiration, devotion and respect.
Steve came into my life when I was at the young age of twelve. He married my mom and tried to become the father figure I had never had and the dad he had never known to be. He taught me so many things over the years. He taught me a love for the Smoky Mountains and an appreciation for God’s creatures and all of His creation. He learned to listen to my teenage chatter and helped me to see beyond my selfish adolescence to the beautiful scenery of God. He taught me kindness and patience, but most of all, he taught me about the miracle love a father can have for a child who is not biologically his. He became the earthly father I needed who would, one day, give me away to my lifetime love. The emotions found here are appreciation, recognition and acceptance.
Not to overly extend this little list, but I’d like to add another, if I may…my father-in-law. I guess, there are some who wouldn’t really want an “in-law” on their dad list, but I choose to, because what he has brought into my life, few other men have. He has taught me a spiritual wisdom far beyond his years, a sense of authority and confidence in God which conquers fears and intimidation, and a love for his children that surpasses personality differences, life changes and even direct conflicts. The emotions I have found here are encouragement, fortitude and honor.
On this Father’s Day, all of these men and all of these emotions turn me to the one father figure who has been present throughout my life and even before I took my first breath. He has been here before the beginning of time, and He will remain beyond the time frame of my understanding. He is the Author and Finisher of every life ever known to be, and He is the picture of pefection. He is the best Daddy that could ever be hoped for or even imagined. He is God. He sees our faults and our failures, and He still loves us! He knew us before we were born, and He makes great plans for our future. He thinks of us as His precious creations, and He longs to have strong, unmovable relationships wth us. He redeems us from our sins, and He’s promised to come back for us again one day. I’d have to say, He thinks we’re pretty special! The emotions I find when thinking of Him are so many of these I’ve already mentioned all wrapped up in awe and wonder for who He is, who I am not, and how He could love me so much!
I have found that no matter the emotions I may uncover for the earthly fathers I have, my Heavenly Father is beyond amazing and beyond my comprehension. He is worthy of all my praise and all my adoration, and with Him guiding me through this life, He is the only Father I need for all the hopes, pains and dreams I may encounter. He is all I need.
No matter the emotions this day may bring to you, remember, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and longs for you to come to know Him. Just talk to Him, spend time with Him, and you’ll soon find out what being a real daddy is all about.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there. I say thank you to the ones who have played such an important part in my life, and I say an extra, great big thanks to the One who has taken the most vital role of all. He holds my hopes, my dreams and my very life within His hands…My heart just stands in awe. ❤️