For as long as I can remember, I have been celebrating other people’s dads on Father’s Day. My mother married three times and I never experienced an emotional connection with any of her husbands.
My biological dad was in my life for a short time. I have very few and very gray memories of him – coming to pick up my brothers and I in a big red convertible, eating jello and whipped cream at his apartment – that’s about it. My mom, my brothers and I moved in with our maternal grandparents and eventually, my dad just stopped coming around anymore. My mother cut out my father’s face in all of our family pictures and, despite a lifelong and verbalized desire to reunite with him, it never happened – I was denied the opportunity to see him before he died.
My mother remarried when I was in elementary school and for a period of time, I had another older brother as well. One day, I came home from school and noticed that half the furniture in our house was gone. My mother called my two biological brothers and I into the den and she casually said to us, “Your father isn’t going to be coming home any more. Let’s go out for chicken.” I never saw my second father or my step-brother again and they have both died.
My mother remarried for the third time to a very kind man but I was heading off to university and didn’t make the time to get to know him. He also died a few years ago.
I have never felt the presence and security of a physical father. I don’t ever remember being scooped up by two big arms and twirled around or sitting down and having one of “those” talks about boys. What I do remember is the yearning in my heart to be directed and protected. No one needed to tell me that this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. Every year, Father’s Day brought a contemplative sadness along with it and for many years, it marked me.
Circumstances never changed…but I did. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was fourteen years old and as the years unfolded, I learned to mourn with hope, to forgive, to acknowledge my feelings but not be controlled by them and to celebrate Father God”s Day in my heart when June rolls around.
I can shout it from the mountaintop that I unabashedly experience the love of my heavenly Father, the Father of the fatherless and that in Him, there is healing, freedom and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
He is enough.
I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18