This year, I finally got brave enough to share the emotional struggle I face each Mother’s Day.

Though Father’s Day is not as personally emotional for me, it is on Father’s Day every year that I take time to marvel at the two men in my life that I call “Daddy”–my own father and the father of my children.

Both of these men in my life were abandoned as toddlers by their biological fathers and were left to be raised by single moms.

As young boys, they never had a daddy at their school activities to hug them and tell them they were proud of them.

As boys, neither of these men in my life had a daddy that took them to church or tucked them in at night.

For them, there was not a daddy to make a craft for at church on Father’s Day.

The odds were stacked against my Daddy and my husband.

No Dad around in their younger years to model for them how to love their wives through the ups and downs of life.

No Dad around to teach them about the forgiveness, grace, and discipline  of the Lord when they made a mistake.

On most days of the year, it is easy to take these two men in my life for granted.

Some days I forget to stop and thank God for redeeming them from situations that left them fatherless before they even had a chance to know their biological fathers.

These two men in my life are true heroes not only in the lives of their own children, but both my Dad and my husband have dedicated their lives to reaching out and filling that void in other children’s lives.

Each year my dad takes a load of bicycles to girls living in a Children’s Home.  Though I have never gone with him, I have no doubt that he spends time hugging them and playing games with them.

And…if I had to guess my tenderhearted Daddy fights back the tears every time, longing for these girls to know the love of an earthly father…something he never felt either.

My sweet husband  has devoted his entire career life to working with kids who grow up in poverty, many who are fatherless.  Over the years, I have listened to his stories of these kids.

The stories are heart wrenching, yet I always listen in amazement and realize that Joe was redeemed from his own situation so that he could offer hope and redemption to other children who are left fatherless.

As we were driving home from church today, Caleb informed me that he wanted to use his money to take his Daddy to see Superman at the movies.  We had taken separate cars to church, and I let Caleb know that Daddy may just want to rest at home for Father’s Day and not to be disappointed if he didn’t feel like going today.

After all Joe had given up last Sunday afternoon at home to go be with Brooklynn at her church camp.

When we arrived home, Caleb ran out of the van to go make the proposal to Joe.

I saw Joe’s face light up with joy.

I knew he was tired.  I knew that deep down he likely would rather stay at home.

Yet Joe rushed to the computer to check the showtimes.

This afternoon as I watched Caleb and Joe rush out the door to go to the movies, I took time to thank God that my entire life I have had a front row seat to seeing God bring redemption….being a Father to fatherless and teaching them how to be a Daddy.

 “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.”  Psalm 68:5 NIV

My daddy jumped into fatherhood feet first having 3 kids in four and a half years.

My daddy jumped into fatherhood feet first having 3 kids in four and a half years.

From amuzement parks to days at the lake, Daddy always made sure we had fun.

From amusement parks to days at the lake, Daddy always made sure we had fun.

I watched my Mom and Daddy entertain countless kids in their home...our home was a safe haven for them.

I watched my Daddy entertain countless kids in our home…our home was a safe haven for them.

Joe's first days of learning to be a Daddy.  Many of them were spent in this position.

Joe’s first days of learning to be a Daddy. Many of them were spent in this position.

I will never forget the joy on Joe's face the first time he gazed into the face of our kids for the first time.

I will never forget the joy on Joe’s face the first time he gazed into the faces of our kids for the first time.

Not a night goes by that Joe doesn't kiss the kids goodnight...something he never had from a Daddy.

Not a night goes by that Joe doesn’t kiss the kids goodnight…something he never had from a Daddy.

Helping Caleb be brave on his first day of Kindergarten.

Helping Caleb be brave on his first day of Kindergarten.

Because there wasn't a Daddy there to cheer him on, Joe wouldn't miss a game for anything.

Because there wasn’t a Daddy there to cheer him on, Joe wouldn’t miss a game for anything.

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