|The Dad I Never Had|
When I was 10, I actually led my dad to the Lord by writing him a letter pleading with him to get his life right with God. After he died, my grandmother gave me a box of some of his belongings, and all those years later that letter was still there! By God's grace, we were able to reconnect shortly before he died. I had long forgiven him for not being a part of my life, and I was right there with him as he breathed his last breath. I had made peace with the dad I never had.
Growing up without a dad left a tremendous hole in my life. I would look at my friends' dads for guidance, protection and validation. Some of these men, like David Martin and Karol Warren will never know the impact they had on my life as I watched them love their wives and children . . . and me! I may not have had a relationship with my own dad, but God allowed these "filler fathers" to show me how a man should behave. These men gave me the blueprint as to what a loving Father was.
Fast forward and now I am married with children of my own. God continues to show me more of who He is through how I parent my own kids. No, I am not a father, God knows that :-), but I am a parent. And God always meets us where we are. He knew I couldn't really relate to him as "Father," but I most certainly can as "Parent."
Just today, I had to spank one of my kids---something I absolutely hate to do! You should see me. I'm probably more anxious than the child! Why won't this kid just listen and obey?! I scream aloud. I pour out mercy and give warnings, yet they still choose to disobey. In that moment, I understand the Father heart of God more clearly than ever. How many times does He warn us, redirect us and give us mercy and we still disobey? How this must grieve Him!
On the flip side, I am planning a wonderful surprise for my kiddos tomorrow. I'm so excited! I've purchased the tickets and they have no idea! I think of my Heavenly Father. How many times does He have a wonderful, glorious plan in store for us, yet we whine and complain because we can't see how our future looks. Instead of stepping out in faith, we shrink back in fear, not realizing He's already "purchased the tickets" for our hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11)! I see Father God all giddy and excited because He knows our future, and it is mar-va-lous dahlin'! Won't you trust Him?
See, for me, Jehovah, Yahweh is to me the dad I never had. And what a Wonderful Dad/Father/Papa He is!