Today is the day that we celebrate fathers.
We celebrate all that they do for us. Fathers are unsung heroes. They don't always get the praise and love they deserve.
My father wasn't there. And for a long time, that really bummed me out. It took a while for me to realize that the Lord knew that I didn't have an earthly Father figure who was biologically connected to me.
So He put so many men in my life to teach me that which I needed and wanted.
My Mom, who was both mom and dad. She taught me so much about making your own future and not getting stuck in self pity or worry. To trudge forward and do what needs to be done.
Uncle Johnny. Mom's youngest brother. He and I have always been close. Our relationship has always been special to me. He is the man that I never want to disappoint. That I always want to impress and who will always be there when I need a leg up in the world. He is one of my favorite people in the entire world.
There have been many surrogate father figures. Friends' fathers. People who have genuinely cared. For them I am grateful.
But the blessing of Fathers has reached beyond that. I work in a male-dominate career where I am both smaller than all my coworkers but not as strong. And each partner I've had, has shown me a little more about men.
Most recently, my last two partners have shown me not just how loving fathers should be, but how loving men should treat others. And how husbands should talk about their wives, when the wife isn't around.
It is a true testament to me about the love of men when I see how kind and loving men are to those around them.
So. Thank you men. Thank you for stepping up without even realizing it. Thank you for being so amazing and being such examples as to what a good man is and what a good man does.
This fathers day, I honor the fathers in my life. And I honor the men who aren't yet fathers.
Finally, for the Father in Heaven who has loved me, when I wasn't lovable. Who answered my prayers, when I had no idea what to ask for. Who never gave up on me, even when I had given up long before. For my Heavenly Father, who offered His Son, who in turn walked with me through hell, and saw me safely through to the other side (and then healed the traumas, the broken soul and the terror.) For my Heavenly Father whose only desire is to see me succeed and see me again, and offers me the path to do so. Who forgives me when I don't deserve it. And who "wastes" time on someone like me. It's hard to believe that God, the most impressive and powerful and incredible being ever, would spend even a second on someone that doesn't matter. With that logic, I must matter to Him.
I wish "thanks" were enough. Today, when I'm sorely tempted to feel sad that my father wasn't there, or that now he's dead. When I'm tempted to feel hurt that my grandfather is gone, I can't help but feel so loved by the Father who never left. Who never hurt.
I am blessed.