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 🙂 ))
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂