a good father

I love my Daddy so much. But, man, have I been terrible at showing it.

Growing up, we got into some nasty, screaming fights. Well, he really didn’t scream- I did. I was going through depression and anxiety, unknowingly, and felt as if I was out of control. Literally, like my emotions were in control of me. I did things I didn’t understand. I laid on the bathroom floor quietly sobbing one minute, and the next I would be hysterically laughing. I would quietly excuse myself from dinner to scream in a pillow.

I don’t know why I took so much of this out on my dad. The only thing I can think is that I loved him so deeply and wanted desperately for him to make me better, to understand. And so, I yelled at him, I told him terrible things, even said I hated him. And he took it all in stride. He would hug me when I didn’t want to be hugged, somehow knowing that it brought me comfort no matter how much I fought it.

It’s funny - there’s a lot that my fiance does that reminds me of my Dad, but that’s probably my favorite: knowing I need to be held even when I’m being awful and fighting every second of it. I’m grateful to have these men in my life, laying down their own comforts for me, the same way God laid down His life for you and I.

I know not all of your have fathers in your life, or maybe your father was the opposite of what a father is supposed to be. And truly, I’m so so sorry. That was never God’s intention for your life. He never wanted the word “father” to spark feelings of fear or disappointment. Please know that there is a REAL Father in heaven that loves you infinitely more than you could imagine. And He is chasing you down, trying to show you that He is a Good Dad, begging you to let Him hold you.

For those of you that do have present fathers…. take the time to tell them. To recognize the sacrifices they made for you, to thank them for loving you even when you didn’t want to be loved. It’s easier to get sentimental with our mothers isn’t it? For our dads, we usually gift something practical, or funny, which is great in its own way. This year, I challenge you to go against the norm. Be vulnerable with your Daddy, give him something intentional and meaningful. Watch him tear up or maybe even openly cry. They need to hear you say “I love you,” more than we like to recognize.

Photo by Nick Wilkes