I admit that I have a skewed sense of what “Father” means.
When you grow up the way I did …men were disposable. None of the men that came my way were worthy to me called “dad” or “Father”….they all abused us…some in different ways than others.
When my mother spoke of men it was never in a positive way. She had “any man is better than no man syndrome” ( that’s my term for it) and she always had to have a man around and it didn’t matter what he looked like..or the actions that he has as long as he paid some bills and fixed some things around the house. She had to have someone to blame for all of her problems..so if it wasn’t her kids ..it was her boyfriend or man of the hour. It also didn’t matter how the bills were paid. The step dad I had the longest was a drug dealer…who to this day still thinks he had no impact on our lives. He abused us in more than one way…..but I digress.
She also had a sorted relationship with her own family so my grandparents were in and out of our lives…they felt helpless when it came to us because we were currency for her to use ->us against them. Anyone that would try to hold her accountable was just stolen from our lives…..until she needed something from them. But she might find another source…so some people were never brought back. So basically, anyone good was taken from us.
I remember that on Father’s day the only cards and gifts we bought were for our grandfathers because their typically wasn’t a father figure around or a “dad” that we wanted to do anything for. Maybe she did…but we didn’t.
As a girl these messages about Men have/had me screwed up. I can’t imagine being a boy and being raised with these messages. It’s no wonder I have one brother in and out of prison and the other is highly sensitive and surviving life….( not thriving in life). They were constantly around someone saying “men are worthless…or good for nothing” …if you are to grow up to be man…..how do you do that with confidence and leadership skills?
I remember when I truly came into Christ and I wanted that “experience”…of truly knowing and understanding and wanting to trust fully. The issue was that my fellow Christians called him Father. I didn’t know what it was like to truly trust a “father” I had nothing to compare that to. I didn’t even have a mother I could trust. I had no good parent to associate a good relationship with Christ. So when you are denied those foundations in the beginning it is very difficult to understand them later. I had to fight through that. I had to start changing my mind set against men. For several reasons. 1. I was already divorced from 1 man and married to another ( when this realization came) 2. I was raising 4 boys & 2 girls 3. I knew I wouldn’t get through any of these things without help from God, My father. 4. I knew I wanted a different life.
I knew I had to learn to trust. I knew I wanted to have a mother & father that loved me. I knew I wanted to raise my kids with a better foundation. I don’t have a relationship with my mother ( upon her request..she never bonded to me and she hates me) and I do -within the last several months- have a relationship with my birth father. But it’s not a typical relationship because he is incredibly ill and it’s superficial relationship. I hate to identify it like that….but it’s the best term I have for it off the top of my head.
So if I were to raise up good men and women who could trust-> I had to do my part which was let it all out. I had to be vulnerable to be open and trust…but I also had to be open to accept all that was coming. It is very vulnerable to trust. The only experience i had with “trust” is with humans and so far in my life -up to that point- I had been hurt. So how could I just bare my soul to a God that knew everything and was all powerful? He had so much control?
What I learned is that I don’t have control. it’s a false sense of control when we think that we do. It has been best to just listen and follow and he truly does take care of everything. When I have a wounded heart he mends it. When I have a worry he takes care of it. I was looking and waiting for the other show to drop each time and I was amazed every time that I trusted and he just came through for me. I realized that I had a Father all along that loves me, unconditionally. I truly can get lost in that. I sometimes take it for granted…and I have to be brought back to center. This “training” didn’t happen over night, obviously. God also brought specific teachers into my life at critical times to show me the way. He is good like that.
I will forget how much he loves me….I hate it when I do that. But I must admit that I do. I hate it because I sometimes learn the hard way that I can’t expect a human to provide that same sort of love. A human father will always let me down. ( I say that as a general statement). I don’t think it’s on purpose by any means….I know that I let my kids down regularly. It’s life….and in my defense-> I have teens. Everybody lets them down with a hormone shift.
I am always so grateful when I am brought back to my Father and he accepts me with open arms and forgives me. I can’t even compare to the parent that he is….and often when I am praying to him I confess to him that I have no idea how he does it? How does he watch us flounder and fail? It’s so painful to watch our kids do that.
So On this Father’s day I just want to remind everyone that we do have a father…all of us. We just have to go to him…he will always welcome us with open arms. He will never let us down and he only wants the best for us. That is a father.
But since it’s father’s day …I think I should also mention earthly Father’s ….I have 2 men in my life that have helped me raise 6 beautiful children.
Landon was my first husband and father of 3 of my boys. He and Rob have worked together side by side to raise up these boys and I am ever so thankful. They put aside pride and taught them what it is like to be men and to love their kids more than their pride. Landon has stayed a constant in the boys’ lives and been there when we needed him.
Then there is Rob. Rob is a beautiful man. He has loved all of the kids as his own. He biologically has 2 kids…but he has gotten up everyday to break his back and body to support 6 kids. He has never defined those lines…and he wouldn’t. It’s not in his nature. he has done everything from fishing, bike riding, roller skating ect to be with these kids…and meet them where they are. All while being a Rock for me and protecting us. If not for him I think that I wouldn’t be as far in my journey.
So here’s to all Fathers!
Happy Father’s Day!