Last year at this time (Father’s Day) I wrote the following article as I was working through my first Father’s Day more-or-less devoid of a father (he’s still alive, just read the article and you’ll figure out what I mean): Father’s Day for the Fatherless.
It’s been a year now. I’m now on to my second Father’s Day without my father in my life and to be honest, I was hoping I’d be a bit further down the road with this than I am. I’m not saying I haven’t gotten anywhere, but definitely feel as though I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be by now.
It has been extra tough watching all my friends and family post about their father in such a positive light.
NOTE: This is NOT telling my friends to not post about this stuff…this is my struggle…not yours…and I’m TOTALLY happy that you have such a great relationship with your father…that is how it ought to be.
But it has been hard. I’ve sat all day wondering if what, if anything, I should write about today. And this is the best I could come up with for now.
My father sent me a text message today like he usually does on holidays and my birthday since I have requested that he not be part of our life for a while. I haven’t responded to it yet. But basically he was saying happy Father’s Day and that he loved and missed me.
Inside I was screaming, “You miss me? You put yourself in this place, not me.” But, instead, I’ve chosen to just not respond yet. Not even sure if I will respond.
I keep trying to remind myself of the things I put in my article from last year, but it’s still a struggle. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am thankful for the other father figures in my life. I am thankful that they have remained steadfast, and have been there to help guide and mentor me as a young father and minister. Things I had hoped I would get to share with my own father at this stage, but apparently, he had other plans.
The best thing that happened to me today was my own children coming up and hugging and kissing me and telling me happy Father’s Day. They became a reminder that I’m still a father, and that I still have a duty to them to be the best father I can be, and best husband to my wife so they can see what it should look like as they grow into their own adulthood and begin to have their own families.
I’m hoping this gets easier as the years go on. As for now, I press on. I lean into God. I trust He is in control. I do my best to release my anger, disappointment, hurt, and frustration to Him and move forward.
Perhaps, sometimes, that’s all one can do…
…just simply cling to the Father of father’s.
I realize I have nothing super profound written here, except to provide a window into my life’s story. Perhaps as I grow and process all of this, there will be something more to share than my pain with it all. I’m hoping for a serious victory in this, and that I will get to testify to how God did a mighty thing in this area for me. Not sure what that will look like, but it’s coming. So be prepared. Maybe this time next year the tone of Father’s Day will be radically different for me and you all will get to be some of the first to know.