I’ve been sitting on this blog post for awhile, trying to claim being too busy, but truly it’s just not a fun one to write. With today being my dad’s birthday and Father’s day this coming weekend, I felt it was appropriate to finally get it out. It is my hope and prayer that this blog post encourages ALL in whatever season you may be in. This blog is for you if your dad is gone, if your dad is here, if your dad is the best, or if your dad is less than the best. Whatever your story is, I pray this reminds you that you have a Good, Good Father always available and with open arms.
Today my dad would be 58 years old, but instead, this August will mark four years without him on this earth. We celebrated his last birthday together four years ago. He was a month into fighting cancer and was on a heavy chemo and (soon to be) radiation regimen. However, it just so happened his birthday landed on an off week of chemo treatment and he was feeling pretty good. We celebrated at his home in Texas by floating around the pool (his favorite activity), making mocktails (he couldn't have any alcohol during treatment), and making his favorite, strawberry cake with strawberry icing. I’m so grateful that his last birthday was such a good day and it is something I can hold onto forever.
Since my dad passed I have had to face emotions I had only heard about. To be honest, I have become very good at stuffing those feelings away, but they always seem to find their way out one way or another. I am blessed to have had twenty six years with a really great dad. He wasn’t perfect, but in my eyes, he was pretty close. But the last four years it’s been like learning how to walk again as I approach to live in a world that my dad is not in.
HOWEVER, since losing my dad I have also come to encounter our God as Heavenly Father in a new way too. I knew in theory that God is Father, but it was easier for me to view Him as Lord, Savior, and King. Over the last few years I have had the great opportunity to be healed and loved on by my Father in Heaven in a way I hadn’t allowed in years past. Why? Mostly because I didn’t think I needed it. Did God love me as Father before? Yes, but it took me looking for that lost fatherly love to truly feel it and find it in the everlasting Father that will NEVER leave.
Over the last few weeks I have been reading Louie Giglio’s new book “Not Forsaken”. No matter your relationship with your earthly father, I recommend you read it so you can learn more about your Heavenly Father. I had hoped to have the book finished by the time I wrote this, but as its material is pretty heavy, it’s taking me a little longer than planned as I feel ALL the feelings. You can order and read an overview of the book here. The bottom line is that our view of God is the most important thing about us and that above everything else He is a Father wanting to know and love us.
*Side note - if reading isn’t your thing, I urge you to listen to the “Not Forsaken” series on the Passion City Church podcast. I listened to the first one yesterday while I was on a run and by the end of my run I had tears… but HAPPY tears… streaming down my face. This book and this series is helping heal my soul! See HERE.
I definitely don’t have all the answers for you and whatever your relationship (or lack there of) might look like with your dad. But in my personal experience… and from what the Bible tells me… I do have a Heavenly Father who is ready to meet me where I am and hold me through every step I take in this world.
But what does that look like?
In times of not feeling good enough I have a Father who tells me I am wonderfully made in His image.
In times of missing my own dad I have a Father who tells me there is a time to mourn and a time to dance and He will meet me wherever I am.
In times of wishing my dad could see and meet my sweet girls I have a Father who created those girls and watches over them every moment.
In times of feeling alone I have a Father who is always near and with me wherever I go.
In times where I feel shame I have a Father who sent His own son to die for my sin and shame.
No matter what lies you are feeling today that is keeping you from the Father’s love, our God is ready to wipe those lies away with TRUTH if you would only listen.
We must use the Word to learn about God as Father, to then approach Him as Father, all so we can begin feeling Him as Father. If you are in need of comfort today, I pray you reach out to your everlasting and always available Father for peace and rescue.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my dad and that is OKAY. It is right to miss him and be sad. But feeling alone and unloved is not okay simply because it is not true. I have a very real Father who loves me and wants infinitely more for me. My job is to accept that love and walk in it. I hope you will join me!