As I recently sat next to our old hurting dog to say goodbye, I was thankful for my husband's arm on my shoulders as I sobbed. My husband is a steady rock for me and for my children.
With Father's Day approaching I am reminded of how he continues to be involved in our children's lives even though they are out on their own; he provides wisdom and support as they face life's curve balls, steep mountains, and dark valleys of fear, anxiety or loss. He celebrates their successes. He provides guidance for big decisions.
I see how he is a father to others whose fathers are absent.
I watch how hard he works to provide. The unending emails and problems to solve seven days a week.
I smile when I see how he makes my grand-nieces and nephews laugh by his silly antics, pushing them around the merry-go-rounds or giving fun boat rides.
I am so thankful for the man and father that he is.
I am also thankful for my fathers.
My dad went to be with the Lord when I was 19, but his gentle spirit and how much he loved God and others still impacts me. Memories of sitting in his lap every night as a child while he chewed on his black licorice, of taking in two neighbor children to live with us when their families couldn't provide, of him faithfully telling friends and strangers about how much God loves us by sending his son Jesus to die for our sins...
I'm thankful for my stepfather who loved my kiddos, and my father-in-law who loves God, leads well and always made me feel part of the family.
As we approach Father's Day, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the men who have watered flowers in your life's bouquet, be it your father or father-like role models.
What seeds of inspiration and truth did they plant? Battles they helped you fight? Losses they helped you mourn? Dreams they helped you fulfill?
Some of you have such deep bruises from men that seeing any good seeds is a struggle. At Heartmatters we pray that you will come to know our perfect and loving creator as your Father. He wants deeply to heal those bruises so you can be fully all he made you to be and to feel the unconditional love he has for you.
Dear God, thank you for all the amazing fathers you have sprinkled around this earth. And thank you that you are the ultimate loving Father.
"I've heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night, and you tell me that you're pleased and that I'm never alone. You're a good, good Father. It's who you are… And I'm loved by you. It's who I am…" Good Good Father, Chris Tomlin
"A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in his holy habitation." Psalm 68:5