Father’s Day for me has never been easy. I had a dad who deserved Father’s Day every day but gave me daughter’s day every day. He made me feel like the only girl in the entire world. A true princess. He loved me more than anyone ever could and he made sure I knew it! On our Sunday drives, he’d take me to the west side and teach me how to duck to the floorboard. He’d chase me around the house as the one eyed tickle monster and made me laugh till I cried! He made me pallets right next to his side of the bed every night I wanted to be there with no questions asked. My dad snored as loud as he could until he fell asleep and then I could fall asleep. Whether I was next to him or all the way upstairs, I could hear him. I always knew he was there and I never felt more safe than I did when he was around. He always knew what to say and what to do! He was my safe place, my knight in shining armor, my hero and my prince charming!
I wrote many journals to him and as a little girl I constantly talked to him as if he was here. Whenever something happened that I wish he was there. I learned to talk to him always. Especially in the long lonely hours when my little heart ached for his arms to wrap around me longing to cuddle up beside him on his recliner just one more time and hear his comforting, loving voice! He was my best friend!
Without Jesus, I could never survive Father’s Day without my daddy. Without Jesus, there is no way I could survive each day with empty arms and an empty heart. Fatherlessness is hard to explain. Even twenty year olds, having been without a dad for nine years, need to know we belong somewhere, to someone. That we have people. That we’re loved and wanted. Fatherlessness destroys that safety.
We were made to long for the love of our Father. God gives us our earthly fathers to show us that. I often say I understand God’s love for me because of the way my daddy loved me. I believe it with my whole heart. I see Jesus’ love more because of my dad’s love. He wanted to help everyone and he did. So many people still continue to talk about the impact he made on their lives. Nine years later. He was an amazing man who loved me more than anyone else could! Because of that I know God’s love and I understand (as much as my little brain can) how much He loves me! I crave His love for me!
I am thankful to have given my life to Christ two years before my dad was diagnosed. I was blessed with a dad who led me to Christ in all that he did and all that I did. He not only showed me the love of Christ but how to live like Christ. In everything that he did, he glorified Christ. He taught me to take the hand of my Heavenly Father, crawl in His lap and listen to His voice. Though my dad didn’t know how short his time was, he knew his lap was never going to last long enough. My daddy was destined for Heaven. We all are as children of God. My dad taught me to set my heart on Heaven!
Though I have the hand, lap, and voice of my Heavenly Father, I still have moments when I long for the touch of my own earthly daddy taken too soon! One more kiss, one more hug, one more tickle fight, one more wet willy. I long for the earthly, physical fulfillment of that touch. But I am thankful that in my own daddy’s arms I learned that both of us were in His hands and though we are apart today, we remain in His arms together, and will be together again really soon in Heaven!
“A Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is Holy. God places the lonely in families;” Psalm 68:5-6
I am thankful to God, a Father to the fatherless, who gave this very lonely girl a family. A family in Him, of brothers and sisters in Christ (and moms and dads.) Many people ask “how did you make it out?” (Talking about the peer pressure trap of boys, drinking, smoking, partying, cussing, etc.) As I roll my eyes, I think so many times “It’s because God placed so many moms and dads in my life that watched me and took care of me, I couldn’t go anywhere or get away with anything without someone seeing me that I knew. The fear of getting caught was enough for me. I was never tempted because God gave me so many parents I never wanted to let down.” For that I am blessed. Though so many times I still feel the loneliness of fatherlessness, I wipe away my lonely, fatherless tears, and dig deep down to find the joy that I have belonging to Him, His family, and the family He has given me.
Today and every Father’s Day, it is easy to look at what I do not have. I could give you a list miles long of the things I am missing, have missed out on, and the list I will miss out on from here. But I choose to look at the things I do have. I have the love my daddy gave me that will last me until eternity. He loved me more than some daughters will ever feel from their dads and he loved me so much in eleven years that I will live every day knowing it and feeling it. I have a memory that will last my entire lifetime. Not a second goes by that I do not think of my dad or have something that comes up that reminds me of him. He is with me and I feel him every day. I remember my daddy, for that I am thankful. Today I am thankful for his laugh and his smile that stay in my heart and in my mind forever. I am thankful for all that he was and all that he continues to be through me and his legacy!
Happy Father’s Day to my prince charming and knight in shining armor! You are every thing I pray my husband will be and everything I want to be today and every day. I pray to be more like you and to love like it’s my last day. Never ever pass up the opportunity to tell someone you love them, to tell someone how you feel because you never know when it will be your last! Tell your dad that you are thankful for him and hug him. I’d do anything for one last hug, one last “I love you!” I love you Dad and I am thankful for you every day, especially today! I wish we were together but I am longing for the day we are together in Heaven! I love you more than you will ever know and more every day!