Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day

I know yesterday was Father's Day but this post is just a bit of reflection upon the day. We were at church yesterday and this was the first Father's Day that my husband has not been the pastor. The pastor of the church where we are attending called for testimonies about the spiritual influence your father had on you. Then he followed that up with the statement "If your father did not have a positive spiritual influence on you, please hold your comment." That was met with laughter from the congregation. But when you think about it, isn't that sad. I noticed that none of the younger men in the church stood up to talk about their dads. My husband stood up to give a testimony concerning his grandfather, Bill Overton and how his influence helped shape him. But it got me to thinking- Is there a missing generation of men who have neglected to lead their families spiritually?

Father's Day has always been a very stressful day for me. I always dreaded it as a kid especially when made to say those acrostic poems about how great and wonderful your dad is and how he is always there for you. My dad was who he was. He was an alcoholic with a mental illness. Father's Day bothered me because I think I focused on the negative things associated with my father instead of trying to remember the good things. My dad kept everything we ever made him in a little box, you know those little salt dough Christmas ornaments and cheesy cards. My dad loved a good joke, would hide under the bed when playing hide and seek so he could grab you as you walked past. My dad loved hippie 70's music and I cannot hear " bye bye, Ms. American pie, drove my Chevy to levy..." without thinking of him. He was the only person who enjoyed playing Trivia Pursuit with me, and would always beat me. When he died, I found poems he had written about me and our family. I came to grips with the fact that my dad did love us. I realized that he lived everyday with the guilt and anguish caused by bad choices some of which was forced upon him. Don't get me wrong, I am not making excuses for my dad's behavior but I am learning that we need to be more understanding of other people. We need to learn to look at people through God's eyes. Instead of counting their faults recognize how valuable they are to God.

Throughout the years, I have had other men who stepped up to fill in the gaps my dad could not. My mom has dated a man for close to 17 years now. He has always been good to us and treated us like his own kids. He takes good care of my mom, which my brother and I are so thankful for. Thanks Fred. My brother and I have had numerous men take us under their wings and treat us like family- Bro. Jerry, Bro. D, Aubrey and many more. I thank the Lord that He knows what we need and sends such wonderful people in our paths.

When I think about how great a father my husband is to our children, Father's Day loses its sting and is filled with joy. Now that I am older and wiser, I am learning to let go of my childhood and embrace it as a learning experience which made me who I am. I have also learned that God is our Heavenly Father without comparison to anyone on this earth. When we feel let down by men, God never fails us or lets us down. He is there and will never leave us nor forsake us. So instead of feeling depressed on Father's Day if your father was less than you wanted him to be, let's remember that we have the most awesome Father in heaven watching over us every minute of everyday.


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