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It’s June 27th, ten days after Father’s Day. And although I admit haven’t been in a retail store these last ten days,  I’m going to assume whatever Father’s Day cards were leftover have been swept away and made room for…yep, Christmas cards. Then again, it’s not quite July yet, so we might have a couple more weeks until twinkling colored lights and singing Santa’s make their debut.

What I’m trying to say is this.

Father’s Day is so yesterday. We’re over it, right? The bar-b-ques happened. The ties were given. The cards read and pushed aside. And life returned to normal on Monday morning.

It’s over.

And until June 15th of next year, we don’t have to think or talk about it again.

But I do.

I’ll be honest. Father’s Day was hard. Crazy hard. I was grateful to have thought through the day in advance and write most of my plan out here. My plan didn’t keep the intense emotions welling up and out of me—that was never the point—but it did move me forward in healing. I made it through the day because I had a God, I had a plan, and I had you.

You are amazing. You know that right? You really are.

Through you I was reminded the special love between a father and daughter lives on. My heart was encouraged through your comments and simply by watching those of you who share this bond. I watched my brother-in-law wrap his arms around his teenage girl as they smiled and laughed together. And when my nephew held his baby girl in his arms…well, it was a moment I couldn’t touch. I just couldn’t. And it took my breath away. I scrolled through dozens and dozens of Facebook photos that day: Daughters posting pictures with their dad, and father’s posting pictures with their girls. And it was beautiful. And it felt like I was a part of something lovely…something heavenly.

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And then there was Delores.

You remember Delores, don’t you? She is a fellow writer and reader of my blog. As it is with social media, I’ve never met her face to face, but she spurred on something crazy holy in my heart. Her comment alone was the catalyst to my asking you for help. She replied in my next blog post saying she would look for opportunities on Father’s Day to honor my Daddy.

My Daddy. Mine.

Laura, I have to share with you my opportunity to bless someone in honor of your daddy today. I had Children’s Church for older kids and prayed asking God to direct me to whom I could bless in Laura’s daddy’s memory…

 This stranger prayed for a way to honor my Dad.

She went on to share with me about the angry girl in Children’s Church sitting with her arms folded and wanted absolutely nothing to do with the father theme of the day. And Delores knew this was the moment she prayed for. God brought the two together—a woman with a healed heart from the pain of an abusive mother and a young girl who lives in the pain of an abandoned father. And out of Delores’ understanding and compassion she shared her story and God built a bridge to touch this girl’s wounded heart. (Read it in Delores’ own words here)

And as I read through her story…something holy hit me. What if everything—the good and the bad, the joys and the heartbreak—had a purpose?

What if?

Could it be God’s purposes come out of even the most painful moments…even death?

This is not a new thought to me, but it did strike a new depth when I mentally flipped through the chain of events that started with my dad, his death, my grief, a blog post, Father’s Day, and a reader clear across the country who prayed for an opportunity, and an angry girl who discovered she has a heavenly Father who will never leave her.

I can’t help but believe God really does cause all things to work together for good—

All things.

Even. Death.

~

Dear One, there is a purpose to your pain. Hold on. {praying for you—really}

On the journey with you,

Laura

Here or somewhere…be real. Share your journey.

~

Thank you for the fathers and/or daughters who gave permission to use their photo for this blog post. Blessed.

And Delores…thank you.

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