Father’s day is coming. For me that means a lot of happy things. My dad is awesome. I have a great father. The world’s greatest father in the history of fathers. But for ALL of my children Father’s day means pain and confusion. It means memories they don’t want, obligation they feel burdened by and lots and lots of ache.
I never intended that. And in the instance of my first husband, I know he didn’t either. We married young, and we were crazy in love. But he had an issue. A hidden demon that didn’t stay hidden. Like alcoholism it overcame us both and ripped our family to shreds. To my shame I did not “stand by my man”, but rather after 13 years I raised a pirate flag and began to do battle with him instead of for him.And while the vast majority could hear me recount the tale of the tape and exonerate me of any wrong-doing… I know the truth. I gave up, gave in and gave over to a defeated mindset and didn’t honour my vows of for better or for worse. In the face of worse… I ran. My children (The first five) were witness to knock down drag out fights. long silent battles, violence, and score keeping. Lots of it. I tried for years to live by my ex- mother-in -law’s example, by not bad mouthing their dad, but I know I didn’t accomplish that entirely.
My second husband didn’t ever try to mask his duplicity, beginning to date other women three weeks BEFORE our wedding. If I had known I would have run for the hills. But I didn’t and here we are.
So how do you celebrate father’s day when the example of father’s is so shady at best? I mean, I had to take dad number two to court to get him to even SEE his kids!! How do you celebrate that?
Thaniel has gone a whole year without laying eyes on his dad. He has no idea what “dad” is. Wouldn’t recognize “dad” in a line up… We haven’t heard from him in more than a year , don’t know where he even is… happy Father’s day Thaniel.
And yet here’s the thing I believe whole heartedly. Psalm 68:5 says God is a “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows–this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”
God is the Father to my un-Fathered children. Intended or not. God knew, and He saw and He made a way through. And He never intended to leave my kids wanting in the middle of a vacuum.
I kept buying into the fantasy of “I’ll be there for you” and God kept showing me only He can promise that.
Some of my kids have had great role models. My dad being the first and for-most,he is a constant in the storm. A plum line, an anchor. My brother is awesome sauce and he loves his nephews and nieces so so much , Rob Graham was a HUGE figure to them when the first five were young, and they still speak of his presence fondly. Bradley Bandit Brooks filled the roll of “dad ” to my kids for more years than their real dad ever did and I’m so grateful for Men that stand up, stand above and stand out. But what do you do on “father’s day” for a little boy who doesn’t know what a “father” is??
You have “Father’s day” anyway! and you celebrate his real Dad. The father to the fatherless. The one who adopts us all. Who holds us and nurtures us and teaches us and leads us in the way everlasting. The one who provides, protects, preserves, and connects us to what we really are. Spirit in flesh. One family . Which means cake for Jesus and balloons for Abba Father and reminders of scripture that Hallmark Jesus as our Heavenly Father. (and more cake)
I am forever grateful that God the Father holds both me, and my children at all times.