(written yesterday, Father’s Day 2012, in the wee hours of dawn)
One year ago today, I stood before rows and rows of cards in a halogen-flooded Target, skimming over the covers as they either displayed ridiculously adorable puppies or inappropriately suggestive men with glistening six-pack abs. Finally, I picked up a card with a spectacular view of a mountaintop ridge, the sunset blazoned in the background with the words “Happy Father’s Day to the man who helped me soar” scripted elegantly across the center. I wrote out a page-long letter about how much I missed my stepfather and blessings for his ministry and his mission over in Korea. I then mailed it out and totally forgot about it until today.
With Christmas in the lead, Father’s Day is 2nd on the list of holidays I have the most emotional battles with, yo-yoing between being content and then allowing my past to roll me around in the dirt, then going back to feeling like I’ve come a long way and healed completely. Even some of my friends have been witness to this misfortune, where I would joke about how I would cause pain to my father and stepfather who both failed in gargantuan ways, but “Don’t worry guys, I’m totally okay! I’ve moved on!” The truth is though, even today and after all that I have overcome, I still feel the scars in my heart throbbing and tearing just a little bit, a trickle of blood emptying out into who I am today. I am Harry Potter and my daddy issues are my Voldemort. Sorry, I always have to remind everyone what a gigantic nerd I am.
Now here I am, back to square one. Fatherless in the earthly sense, and trying really hard to plaster on the brave face for all to see. If I am being totally honest with my feelings right at this moment, I really have come a long way and I am proud of the progress I have made. But I know that I am not completely free of these issues I have with both the men I called my father, and I have a long recovery process ahead. I have seriously read an obscene amount of literature about coping with this, and I have had people play therapist or even practice their actual license to explore my soul’s depths and help me towards healing. All in all, I am still here, feeling a sliver of that abandonment and betrayal I had initially felt upon discovering the departures of both of these men. I almost feel like a child when it comes to thoughts of family and fatherhood, and there seems to be an element of disorientation when trying to gain my footing as a confident, liberated woman of God. It’s not easy, but I don’t want to give it credit for being too hard either. It’s manageable, for lack of a better term, but one thing that I absolutely have is hope. God is my sole father, He has always taken care of me and loved me, and I have hope that I will reach that place where I surrender and place within his embrace every single thing I fear and can’t quite recover from. I know He’s patiently waiting for me to fully accept Him as the Father who is the loving Provider of my life.
I am so proud of the fathers in my life who I can call my friends. There are some good examples out there, and I know that I see the future right before my eyes. Something that I was reminded of is that although there may have been much harm in my life, God intended it for good and He shows us the brilliance of that when the right moments arrive. I know that my friends who just had their first child or are even preparing to marry must ponder upon the idea of what their families will look like and also may worry about what kind of parents they may be. But with the idea that God will use whatever parenting or marriage style they implement into their home for GOOD, it foundationally brings us to the solid truth that God is good. God is good through the abuse and brokenness I had to experience growing up, and God is good through the two very important people in my life just leaving my mother and me. God is good, and that’s why everything will really be okay for me. The revolution is continuous; freedom is near.
There is going to come a time when Father’s Day rolls around again, and I won’t be where I am today. I may be at yet another Target, skimming titles to find the perfect one for my husband. But knowing me, I’ll probably pick out the most scandalous one with the six-pack abs, yet it’ll remind him that despite his imperfections, he’s the result of the hope I had through Christ in men and I didn’t give up to drown in what the past and the sin it contained dealt to me.
Happy Father’s Day, to the amazing fathers I know and cherish, the heavenly Father who loves and dotes upon me, and whoever that awesome, handsome, and wise God’s son may be that I will call the father of my children.