A twenty-five year search: for one year with dad [part two]
For those who haven't read part one, you probably should :)
As I sat in graduation after receiving the text from my dad I had an overwhelming mix of emotions: gratitude, fear, excitement, anger...
However as the weeks continued my emotions leveled. I began to truly know this man who had helped to give me life. And I liked him. I can only ONLY explain it as gift from God. Because the healing that took place came from nothing of this world.
Oddly enough I didn't know how to have a dad. :) What do you do with your dad? What do you talk about? Do I let him meet my kids? Do we hug? What do I call him?
I quickly realized it didn't matter what the answers were to those questions... Those things would develop over time. And in time I learned a few things - I had grown up idolizing the idea of "dad" and dad was just a man. A man as human as I.
I think those of us who are brought up "fatherless" in some way naturally develop the thought of having a dad as an idol. As we watched our friends have relationships with their dads, we longed for that missed relationship. We longed to experience that type of love and acceptance and no matter how good our mothers did or grandmothers did we still wanted more.
And for those who know me well, you know that I am not someone who easily loves. But over the course of this year I have learned to trust and love my dad.
These blogs aren't a bashing of him or his lack of presence in my life. There are choices in life that we all make and sometimes we don't realize the magnitude those choices can have.
And even now after much healing he lives with a missed lifetime full of guilt.
And I think that's okay. Because I will always live with some sadness of all the things he missed. But we can both acknowledge that and we can still pick up the pieces of what's left and make something out of nothing... And that's the beauty of relationships: they are messy and unexpected and can change lives.
Over the year I have realized some monumental things about myself:
- we cannot ever place a limit on what God can accomplish through relationships - they are the backbone to knowing Him
- being obedient to His call no matter how unclear or difficult will reap heavenly reward
- kids need their dad, and fathers today need to step up in big ways not only for their own children but for other children who remain fatherless
- being fatherless impacts us in ways we can't even imagine and it's okay to be upset with that. But the challenge is not allowing ourselves to repeat the cycle - we are not defined by this world
- having a dad allows us to embrace a further part of our own identity. I can't help but imagine how joy-filled we will be when we meet our heavenly Dad someday
And today I think God has blessed me with the gift of sharing my experiences transparently they may be a vehicle to learn and share for others who may be voiceless. My sincere prayer is to be a voice to those who have lost their own.
Here is to many more years of time with dad.
May God's love be with you