To My Father

Growing up, I had a weird fear. And actually, looking back it actually reveals a lot about me and my people pleasing tendencies.

But I was always afraid that my dad would think I loved my mom more than him, and vice versa.

I just remember always trying to make sure that things were even. The same. Equal. I never wanted to make either feel hurt or second rate.

*Surprise mom and dad! You learn something new about me every day!* ((They’re avid BBB readers 🙂 ))

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But this would transfer to holidays too. Especially Father’s Day.

I always felt bad for Father’s Day. It was like the forgotten holiday. With Mother’s Day, we were still in school so there’d be art projects galore to celebrate mom. We’d proudly present construction paper creations and little potted plants in all their homemade glory. But with Father’s Day, it was already summer, school was out, and let’s be real: it was a lot harder to make construction paper gifts for men. They like scotch. Golf balls. Leather goods. Cuban cigars. Frankly, Father’s Day kinda got the short end of the stick.

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But the thing is, Father’s Day should be the most important day. Because dads have a crucial role to fill: they are to reflect our Heavenly Father.

And granted, we all are. But fathers have the critical duty of being the closest example we – as children – have to Father God. They have the job to demonstrate what it means to be a father in every sense of the word: being loving, compassionate, honest, kind, respectful, disciplinary, fun – that is their duty.

And, I know, there are all kinds of dads out there. And it breaks my heart to think that there are people who did not grow up with supportive and loving fathers. Not everyone is blessed with a present dad. And that is tragic.

But I wanted to just take today to honor my father.

If there’s one thing in the world that fills my heart to the brim, it’s looking into my father’s eyes.

As the years go by, we both get older, I’m becoming more and more of an adult, and yet, those eyes look at me the same way as they did when I was a little girl: He looks at me, and it’s as though I am all he sees. Not my past. Not the mistakes I’ve made or the baggage I still struggle with. He looks at me with gentleness. Love. Compassion. Generosity. Forgiveness. Selflessness. Patience.

He looks at me as sees the good.

He looks at me and it inspires me to see the good in myself.

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My dad and I have had quite the history.

I have mentioned before, but with anorexia comes a lot of deception and manipulation. Secrecy is the very nature of the disease. And it pains my heart, but my dad was on the receiving end of all of that. From me. I took advantage of his immense love for me. I abused it.

But despite all of that hurt and deceit and mistreatment – he forgave me. He chose to love me. To see past that period of darkness, and see me whole. See me clean. See the goodness and worth inside of me.

That is compassion.

That is what I long to be.

That is my father living out his duty to be the example of our Father in Heaven.

The Father who is patient with my shortcomings. The Father who wants only good for my life. The Father who provides. Protects. Guides.

My dad is the earthly example of that Father.

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And, I know. He is human. He is not perfect. But he is a shining example of God’s heart as a father.

If I could go back, there are a lot of things I would do differently. Especially around my anorexia. I would say certain things I never said. Take back particularly hurtful things I did say. I would make better choices. Treat him with more respect and honor his authority. If I let it, those regrets could haunt me and plague me with guilt.

But he has freed me from that baggage. Forgiven me of it. And for that, I am forever grateful.

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So as this Father’s Day approaches, I am profoundly grateful for my dad. The one who taught me, through example, the deep and powerful love of God.

Happy Father’s Day, pops. I love you 🙂

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

258 thoughts on “To My Father

  1. […] I miss you, Dad, but it took a beautiful young woman whom I have never met to help me  realize just how much. I don’t know her name but still, I consider her a friend. I call her JD (short for Jane Doe which is the way she signed a personal email to me once a while back), and she has a blog called “BeautyBeyondBones” which chronicles her journey out of anorexia, a journey that began at a point when the evil that is anorexia had very nearly claimed her life and surely must have made her Father think his own life wasn’t worth living if he couldn’t help his little girl. I was inspired to write this letter by a recent post on her blog titled “To My Father.” […]

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  2. Amazing post, very thoughtful and speaks to all of us who have seen the representation of God in our fathers. And this gives a perfect example of what fathers should be to their children.

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  3. This was lovely to read. And isn’t it a good thing that we can look at the past, but we don’t have to stare at it? We are all perfectly imperfect. There is much to be grateful for. Thank you for this reminder.

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  4. God Bless your relationship with your Father as well as your Mother. You are blessed that you had, and still have one. We are alike in that we felt weird as children on Father’s Day, but in the end your story was of a Father who’s eyes saw you for the beauty that you are. I wrote a couple of poems about my Father, and Father’s Day, but I can’t plug them off Fbook (where they once were) and share them. If you’ve got $5 to spare, they’re in my book on Amazon (An Identity Shared). Love, Hugs, and Blessings!!

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    1. Thanks Miguelito. You’re so right, I have been immensely blessed with two great parents. Something I definitely don’t take for granted. That’s awesome that you have a book! congratulations! hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooops its 6 not 5. They wouldn’t let me go any lower than 6 when I lowered it from the original 10 I first tried selling it for. xoxoxoxo

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  5. Funny. Despite all the mistakes I made my father looked at me with such a deep love. I beleive they see no faults in their daughters. This is such an amazing way to honor your father. I do miss my dad tremendously EVERYDAY he was quite the father to look up to. It’s fatjers like this the society needs not of. The truest shame is the girls who grow up without their daddy 😯 GOD works in mysterious ways. Sometimes we are meant to shape in his seen for ways.

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  6. Such a truly touching post. One doesn’t see such a touching post for a man as much as women. I think it’s sort of like what you said about the time and what a man might want as a present. Most men sort of go under the radar. But, inside, they enjoy even the most simple of gestures. They might not ask for it but, when received, it is precious to them, even though they might not express it with great feeling. Just speculating.

    Your post reminded me of my father, who passed away several years ago. I really didn’t put much thought into Father’s Day. Even those at work who are talking about it, I didn’t really connect the dots with feeling. Your post brought out feelings that I don’t like between me and my father. How understanding, compassionate and even, behind the scenes and silently, was covering by butt in life without me even knowing at the time. Then, I was such as ass to him.

    All the things you used to describe your father, I would use for my own. My father was a beautiful example of our Father in Heaven. Most times I repress these thoughts because of how terrible I was to him at times when I was growing up. I was a real ass. Yet, I know he forgives me. He was just that way. My father was so wonderful.

    Sorry to use your blog to celebrate my own father through the clear eyes of “You don’t know what you had until it is gone.” I would love to go back and do it all differently. Celebrate all those Father’s Days that I didn’t celebrate with him. The birthdays when I didn’t call or even send a card. So many things. But, regrets don’t do any good. Knowing that he was the most wonderful person, who always supported me, cared and loved me, even though I was such as ass. To be honest. our Father in Heaven has had to put up with the same from me.

    Your post has brought me the realization that my father was an almost perfect example of our Father in Heaven. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much Matthew, for sharing this. I’m so sorry that your father passed away and that you’re feeling these feelings. It is so easy to dwell on the “should/would/could haves.” I find myself doing that a lot. Growing up, we are all trying to find our way. Luckily, we will all be reunited in heaven one day and you’ll be able to say all the things you want to right now. That gives me comfort. I hope it does for you too. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your heart. Sending you s big hug. Xox

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      1. Thank you for bringing Father’s Day alive for me. It was nice to express what I have been repressing and let my father I do love him on this day for fathers. Even if only for myself. Yes, we will be reunited again and that will be great!

        Hugs back to you.

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    2. I believe God gives glimpses of what’s going on, on earth, from time to time, for those who are kickin’ it in Heaven. I imagine your old man has seen this and read it, and laughed, and can’t wait to hug you and show you around -but ‘no rush’, he’d probably say.

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      1. I believe you are right. For me, it felt good to simply express what’s been eating at me for a while and, in a sense, let him know that his kindness and love didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. Can’t wait to see him again but I have to complete this part of the journey first. Thanks for your input.

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  7. That was really nice and I was thinking the same sentiments the other day, regarding how my appreciation of the Father has been enhanced by my own Dad being so…epic, really.
    I love that your dad follows your blog.
    If he’s anything like he’ll print out the words of his kids, or received cards and tuck them in his car visor, so they are at hand at stop lights, or when life has kicked the crap out of him and he needs to rejuvenate and reflect on what really counts.

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  8. Oh, how very beautiful. You are indeed blessed to have a father that reflects the love, compassion and protection of THE Father. But, something tells me both of your Dads feel equally blessed by you. You are a beautiful soul. Happy Sunday to you and Happy Father’s Day to your special dad.

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  9. How beautiful. You are right. Everyone should have a Father who reflects Father God. You are very blessed to have such an example. Thanks for sharing just a piece of this rare man with us!

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  10. Just like the rest, I am grateful for your positive words here today. My relations with my own father wasn’t so grand, leaving me somewhat scarred, with ‘conflicting emotions…’. So it pleases me tremendously, to hear your wonderful praise of your father, and others’ commenting on theirs too. So great to hear such inspirational words, that will provide comfort for me, too. Thanks for expressing your loving, kind offerings…

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    1. Hi Lydia, thank you for sharing this. I appreciate you sharing your heart. I hope that these words did bring some comfort. I’m sorry you’ve been scarred. I hope that there can be healing in that area for you 🙂 You deserve that. Sending such a big hug to you friend. xoxox

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  11. Great to see you honour your father. It is so true how the love of our fathers should reflect the love of God and sadly when people don’t get that fatherly love, they struggle with God. But our fathers on earth are only our foster fathers, let’s not forget whose we are. We should look for validation from God, because He is the only constant in out lives. May Father God bless you and prosper you ❤

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  12. This is a beautiful post! So well written and vulnerable. It’s great to hear you talk about your close relationship with your dad, so great 🙂

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  13. Beautifully expressed and written….and my goodness that hurt my heart a bit to read the line you abused his love…not even knowing you i want to hug you and tell you honey it was not you doing the abusing or lying it was the disease the condition and your father surely knows that. He sounds like a man that has unconditional Love for his child and what a beautiful thing that is! Im very glad youve come out of the darkness! xooxo

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words. And thanks for the hugs. Sending you a big hug right back. You’re right-his love is unconditional. He’s a great man. I’m very lucky. Thanks for stopping by! Xox

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  14. This is amazing BBB. Somehow in my illness I established a bond with both parents which would never have been established otherwise . Never thought in million years three of us will become one soul. Thank you for sharing your incredible times and memories

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    1. Thank you so much Maha. That is so beautiful. I can definitely relate. There is a bond that forms through trials that is unlike any in the world. So glad you three are close too. Sending a hug to you and yours xox

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  15. Beautiful. As a father, do you know what I fear the most? Failure. I want my children to be able to know God better because of my example. There are times where I know that I have done just the opposite, but then I realize that they also need to see me fall. They will learn from that also.

    How wonderful that you have a father who perhaps has shown you the most important ingredient in life — grace.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. it sounds like you are a great dad 🙂 and amen to that! I am so grateful for my father. He has shown so much forgiveness and love and mercy over the years. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a great dad, but I definitely don’t take it for granted. thanks for stopping by! hugs and love xox

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  16. No matter their differences, Mom and Dad have to be loved equally. The same also applies for Dad and Mom, your children have to be loved equally no matter their differences.

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