Three Things I Celebrated on Father’s Day
For those of us who are fatherless, Father’s Day can be tough. I turn my situation around and reflect on my Heavenly Father’s loving kindness, comforting arms and strong affection towards me. Three life experiences usually pop into my head during this time and without the love of God I would be in a place of hopelessness.
First, growing up without a father. My parents separated when I was very young and my father was in the military. I can count on one hand the number of times I saw my him before he died when I was fifteen. I really didn’t focus on the absence of my father. I was born with an ‘it is what it is’ attitude and I often applied it to this situation. My mother telling me at a very young age about the presence of God helped. I clearly remember when she said that God was all around me and watching everything that I do. From that day on, it was me and God. I didn’t know that much about Jesus when I was 5, but I was amazed by the ability of God to be with me and watch me all the time. I did become familiar with the ten commandments and had a desire to do what God wanted and began to cherish our Father daughter relationship. I would talk to God, ask Him questions and He would answer. It wasn’t until my 30’s that the issues of being raised without the physical present of a father began to surface. Even in that God showed His strong affection towards me. I reflect on how God filled the emptiness as I experienced His loving kindness.
“How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:7
Secondly, I was in college when I lost my youngest brother to gun violence. Trying to understand God and His ways became an urgent need. I was searching and not finding an understanding to why God would allow my brother to be murdered. He was a young father and on his way to college. My knowledge of God was limited, my perception of His will and power disoriented. I made some incorrect statements that led my oldest brother to give me a little booklet on God’s will. The statements, “it was meant to happen” and “it was God’s plan” were things I had heard. The unbearable pain led me to find out the truth, that God had plans for my brother. His death was a result of bad choices and the consequences of those choices and not God’s will. As our Father, God’s gives us free will, His desire is for us to live and fulfill His purpose for our life. I reflect on how God gave me peace as I rested in His comforting arms.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”” Psalm 91:1-2
Thirdly, is when I was freed from my own spiritual darkness. I tried everything to deal with the harshness of life. Only to be discourage and resolved back to my place of pity. I had come way beyond the ten commandments and was studying the bible consistently. Then there was the door. I had to walk through the door. I had to make the decision to leave my past life and step into my freedom in Christ. To step out of spiritual death into life. From the darkness into God's marvelous light. Thinking back to when I was 5 years old and my questions about God and how God throughout the years guided me to the point where I had to make a choice. God guided me to His everlasting love through His Son, Jesus Christ. I closed the door behind me. I reflect on how I am God’s child, He is my Father and I am His daughter forever.
“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
Fatherhood is an incredible gift. Father’s day is a day for family to celebrate this gift. I celebrate with those who are able to enjoy this time with their earthly fathers. I pray for those who are estranged and need healing in their relationships. I stand with those who have no earthly father. No matter where you are in your life and what place you find yourself, don’t forget to give thanks to your Everlasting Father.
The truth is some of us will never feel the hugs, hear the words of encouragement or experience the bond between an earthly father and daughter. That is our reality but it is not the end of the story for those who are in Christ. We have a Heavenly Father as it says in 1 John 3:1, "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
To sum it up, reflecting on God's love is how I celebrated Father’s day.