Tomorrow will mark the first of many to come “more without you than with you.” This is something my math loving brain has been dreading pretty much since forever.. Hitting the days where more days without my dad make up my life than with him.

Even though I have two weeks until I begin having more total days without him, tomorrow will be my 12th Father’s Day without a celebration. Every year, I am thankful for my dad and the 11 Father’s Days I had with him, for those who have briefly stood in the gap, and most importantly, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father. But it’s a day I kind of wish I could skip altogether. I think as I get older, family holidays become harder for me.. as social media becomes more and more popular, there are pictures of dads and families, and celebrations and things I do not have. I do not covet, I am not jealous, I just want my dad.

I often wonder why God chose me to live without my dad. And why I’m not the only one. So many children are living without their dads, living through Father’s Day with only memories to celebrate. People always say it gets easier as time goes on.. well it may get more of the normal, but it doesn’t get easier. In some instances, it gets harder. As time continues to separate you from the one you’re missing, memories become distant and the years between you become more and more.. we don’t forget, we don’t get over it, we don’t really move on. We just keep living.

Father’s Day is hard, and while I am so thankful for the eleven years I had and I am remembering those, 12 Father’s Days without him is a little hard for me to swallow this year. I could even say this is my hardest Father’s Day. When days like this come, focused on dads and families, I begin to feel a little like the entire world and everyone in it is spinning around me and I’m just watching it go.

Without Jesus, I could never survive Father’s Day without my dad. 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-two year olds, having been without a dad for eleven 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 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. 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!

This Father’s Day, I am thankful for my dad’s 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! So this weekend as you’re celebrating your dad, don’t take it for granted. If you don’t have plans to be with him, call him or make plans to see him. And while you’re celebrating, think about the ones who aren’t and be thankful for what you have. No matter how broken, dysfunctional or insane your dad is, love him for being yours and being there.

Thank You Jesus for Eternity. If we are Children of God, our hearts are set for eternity. I’m thankful I can go through days with eternity in mind. I love You, Lord and I will honor You.

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