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A Father’s Love

Webster’s defines father as

A man who raises a child

A clergyman or priest

A member of the Senate in Ancient Rome

One of the leading men; as of the city

A man who creates, originates, or founds something

The Urban Dictionary defines dad as

An often overlooked and under appreciated parental figure

A man who cares for a child’s both physical and emotional needs; he puts the child’s wants and needs ahead of his own

A girl’s boyfriend or husband

We have a whole lot of versions of what it means for one reason – we are lacking the truth of what it really is

 

See, most of my life was spent struggling with this idea

Looking from the outside in, you saw a picture perfect family

But there was a bittersweet truth I never really shared

My father, my DNA, my sperm donor… He left

With his exit, my innocence abandoned me

Again, most people didn’t know this had ever been the case

Anyone looking from the outside saw a picture perfect family; but all I saw was a shadow

And all I felt was shame

 

My birth father leaving cast a looming darkness

Am I lovely? No… not more lovely than his new family… his new daughters

Am I worth fighting for? No… not when he can get a fresh start with his new wife

Am I good enough? No… not even for my father; he only missed his son

Even worse than these answers was the guilt I felt – Logical. Rational. Wrong.

 

After all, I had a new father

One who chose me after the other one walked away

One who sacrificed to make me his after another disregarded me

One who gave me his last name and embraced me as his own

Enough to say he didn’t need a biological child, because he already had 2 kids

 

How, then, did I have the right to feel sorry for myself?

How dare I have abandonment issues… Trust issues… Performance issues…

As much as I was grateful for my dad, the remnants of my birth father still lingered

Not that it would ever in my wildest dreams get to a point where I could say, “you’re not my real dad

My dad is as real as it gets – he’s the only dad I have ever known

Nevertheless, the pre-existing damage was still there… festering

I thought closure was needed, but really – I wanted answers

Little did I know, the answers I was seeking would have brought anything BUT closure

Still, my Dad knew best

 

A decade after trying to meet him, the moment finally came

26 years after I last saw him, I would be meeting my birth father – for what was, to me, the very 1st time

But not after explaining to my dad that it wasn’t because he failed me or did anything wrong

See, as I got older, I started to see his sacrifice

My friend was him… dating the single mom

I saw the glances they got at church… I saw the murmurs behind their backs

In that moment, I saw his sacrifice

Even more so, I saw God’s sacrifice – adopting me as His own child

What He gave up to make that possible

I saw what Joseph was like with Jesus – embracing a situation he could have easily avoided

I saw LOVE

 

So yeah, I needed my dad to know this had nothing to do with something he didn’t do

I felt his hurt, but he knew I needed it – he put aside his feelings for my best interest – that’s love!

As I met this stranger, one thing was apparent

The stranger I was facing was looking at me with all the hope in the world

My recent forgiveness had given him life…

But this time, closure really was closure; as answers would no longer suffice

In fact, answers would have done more harm than good

That’s what my Heavenly Father revealed to me

After 28 years of chasing pavements, I ran out of road

 

My forgiveness would not have been genuine the decade before

I didn’t fully understand it before – but that’s why my Dad knew better

My questions would have done more damage, like pouring salt in a fresh wound

Why did you cheat?

What made my mom so easy to cheat on?

Did you ever love her?

How can I avoid ending up with a guy like you?

What made THIS woman someone you have been able to be faithful to?

Locking my heart away behind some serious walls would have easily been the result

That’s why my Dad knew better

 

Just as my dad knew I needed the closure, my Heavenly Dad knew when I needed it

I may have thought it was 10 years behind schedule, but the reality is

I would have lost more than those 10 years if it had happened on my time clock

 

Even though the one who’s DNA I share chose to walk away…

God provided me with a beautiful image

He showed me restoration

In the one who chose not just my mom, but her 2 kids too

 

Though one father said I wasn’t lovely, I wasn’t worth fighting for, and I wasn’t good enough; God sent me another one that thought I was lovely, I was worth fighting for, and I was good enough

 

Though I struggled throughout most of my life with the wounds of my biological father, God’s healing was right on time

He gave me glimpses as I needed them

But in that fateful night coming face to face with my past, I saw it for what it truly was

Though one man wounded, another restored

 

My dad adopting me showed me a love I cannot explain

Not just in his love for me…

But the way his love ultimately reflected my Father’s heart for me

He was willing to let me go; even though it was breaking his heart

The same way it breaks God’s heart every time I choose someone else over him

The same way He hurts when I hide my heart every time someone hurts or disappoints me

His love covered me – as I faced the chains that had been weighing me down for so long; just like God does for all of us

His selfless love spoke volumes as he took on a task most of us wouldn’t be willing to

And in doing so, he made me understand God’s love in a more tangible way than if I did share his DNA

 

I’ve heard it said, blood isn’t always thicker than water and I couldn’t agree more

Each and every year, we celebrate Adoption Day – there is honor in being intentionally chosen

Ironically enough, as I have gotten older, I realized Adoption Day is the first real memory that is mine

I love that God did that – my first memory is being chosen, not tossed aside

Being loved – not passed over

Just like Joseph was young and scared, my dad embraced us as his own and covered us from harm

God sent me a reflection of Himself – and revealed it piece by piece as I was ready for it

He won’t rush the process, but He also won’t leave it unaddressed

That’s what a father truly does

For that, I am forever grateful

1 thought on “A Father’s Love”

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