Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Father's Love

Being a single mom with four kids was better than being with some guy who may or may not stay. And, if he did stay, you might wish he'd left. At least that's what I thought about my mom dating again.

I was thirteen and dead set on making The Boyfriend, as miserable as possible. A sneer here, a thankless eye-roll there. Every kindness was met with contempt on my part. 

He couldn't fool me. I knew he was bad news.

That summer, I became a Christian. 

In Christ, I realized that I had a heavenly Father who loved me and cared about me (1 John 3:1).
Nothing had changed about my circumstances. But, I saw the world with new eyes.

I could see he wasn't just The Boyfriend. He was my friend.

He truly cared about me.

I began to enjoy our trips to the grocery store, and he showed me how to set up a budget. He coached me in Spanish and didn't make fun of the way I rolled my "r's." 

A hug and a kiss on the cheek was his Latino way of greeting. It took me by surprise at first, but I learned to appreciate this simple expression of care when he came to visit.

He gave me attention, affirmation, and affection. Something I didn't receive from my real dad at the time.

Two years later, he became my step-dad.  

Through a series of events, I met my birth father and got to know him and the rest of my family. 

I went from having no father to having a heavenly Father and two earthly fathers who all cared about me.

When I was about to get married, I didn't know who would walk me down the aisle. My birth father or my step-dad? I couldn't choose. 

My birth father gave my step-dad the honor. Because I knew him first.

My step-dad gave me away. My birth father strummed a love song. And, as he sang, I felt the love of God wrap around me like the beams of sunlight streaming into the church.

A father's love matters. A girl needs to know that she is loved. Cared for. Cherished.

May this Father's Day be one where you sense our Father in heaven's love for you. Knowing that from the break of day to the setting of the sun and on to eternity, because of Christ, nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38, 39).