Who I am in Christ, I trace back to my relationship with my Father. It is how my blog’s persona, GwenByFaith was born; it derives from that relationship. Since the sudden death of my father when I was 12 years old, I never thought much about “Father’s Day.” This day always left me feeling numb for I reasoned, I have no father any longer so what’s the point? Today I have formed a renewed relationship with the Lord and this relationship compels me to honor the Father who introduced me to my Heavenly Father.
Daddy worked for the rail roads as a porter/cleaner. He was well over six-feet and seemed like a giant to me. He had a strong frame, curly/wavy hair, light-brown skin, a dazzling smile, a booming laugh and dark piercing eyes that twinkled when he was happy and were like black diamonds that would stopped your heart when he was angry. My Daddy instilled how important it is to serve and honor God through weekly church services, youth fellowship activities, home Bible study, singing songs of praise and daily morning and evening prayer. My father was not one for using many words. He was soft-spoken with a no-nonsense attitude.
My parents were not physically nor verbally affectionate. Despite that, my father taught me about love and how to love through his relationship with God. My earliest and most profound memory of my Daddy is when I recall his respect and treatment of my mother. It left me in awe and filled with pride. By example, it shaped how I thought of men and what kind of man I wanted to marry. He pointed out to us in the Bible this principle and would read to us this passage “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:25-28 NKJV).
My Daddy stressed for us to be thinkers, not to blindly follow others just to fit in. To honor our word when we give it to another, to use common sense, to be true to God and self and to choose our friends wisely. He encouraged us to have integrity and to cherish family values. He pointed out to us in the Bible this principle as he read these passage to us “For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding, He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him..” (Proverbs 2-6:8 NLT)
I struggled through my teens being raised by a distraught, full-fledged alcoholic mother whom I discuss in more details in my blog (A Letter To Momma); I no longer felt God’s love and with my father’s death, I felt cheated out of a chance to experience a lasting sense of love with my father. I abandoned what he taught me and doubted this heavenly father any longer existed nor gave a damn about me. I looked for love and mistakenly believed I found it in all the most destructive places. I met a young man who showered me with physical and verbal affection. This drew me to him like a moth to a flame. I had a child and I raised my son as a single mother. My son has had no relationship with his father since he was 5. By choice, he walked away and once again it caused me to reason, why bother with Father’s Day?
Years later after an attempted suicide at 17, a continuous broken heart, oceans of tears, countless wasted opportunities, a life filled with all manners of sinful behavior and developing serious health problems, the prodigal daughter returns to the place where I felt sure of myself and certain of where love lived. I could blame the death of my father for all the troubles of my life, but that would not be true. I willfully went down these paths and my heavenly father, just like my earthly father did when I was a child, let me travel; patiently and lovingly waiting for me to find my way back. I was lost; my Daddy and God were right where they should be. It has taken me a lifetime to honor my Fathers in the way they so lovingly deserve. From this day forward, this is why I bother with Father’s day. With a humble, undeserving yet grateful heart, I give tribute to my Fathers.
To the man who raised me and taught me through examples the ways of God; to my Heavenly Father who has brought me through the storms, welcomed me home and is my true north; “Happy Father’s Day to you both for I love you with every beat if my heart.”
From your daughter who walks in faith,
Side Note: My Daddy loved collecting hats and he looked so handsome wearing them 🙂