For Dad

It’s not easy being a dad.
The older our kids get, the more I realize this. It’s not an easy task. Provide. Protect. Lead the home. And manage all the everyday stresses that come along in a way that doesn’t exasperate your children.
We had no idea what laid on the shoulders of our dads until we entered parenthood and started carrying the same burdens. The delicate balance of giving our boys the freedom to fly and preserving their lives.

It’s not easy being my dad.
The further I get from home, the more I realize this. 13 years ago, they gave their blessing to their baby girl marrying some boy out of the jungles of Brazil. Knowing it could mean their grandbabies could move to the jungles of Brazil someday. My parents still live in the same red-brick house they brought me home from the hospital. And yet, they gave me wings to explore the world. Sending their high schooler off to a Navajo Mission in New Mexico. Then on a summer mission trip in California. Their college girl to be a camp counselor at an Inner-City Camp in LA. Then to Berlin, Germany. Papua New Guinea for the summer.

I never realized what sacrifice and courage that required.
For my dad to let go of his baby girl. But I do now.
And I just have to say thank you.
Thank you for loving me enough to learn that delicate balance of protecting and leaving in the hands of our Protector.
Thank you for always welcoming me back into that red-brick house with hugs and home-made apple pie.
Thank you for your example of trusting our Almighty Father, casting your cares to Him because He cares for all of us.

It’s Father’s Day, and I am thankful for my dad. I am amazed by my husband who just got back from taking our boys camping, for all the ways he loves and serves and loves and serves. And I am blown away by our heavenly Father who has given all He has for His kids.
He gives good gifts.
My cup overflows.
And the tears fall.
Knowing this not the story for everyone. I weap for the fatherless. For those who cringe at the idea of a day to honor fathers. “Dad” means abandonment, betrayal, disappointment, abuse.
I pray the deep layers of pain this day may provoke brings you to an understanding of One who never leaves, never lets go, never gives up, never loves less. God, our Father! Our generous, lavish-loving, gracious, dependable Father. He knows. He sees. He hears. He cares. And you know what? He is near.

I look up to the mountains–does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!
He will not let you stumble and fall; the One who watches over you will not sleep…
The Lord Himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalm 121


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