This man, he pursued her halfway around the world. And back. Just because Father told him to while he was driving long hours through Nebraska. Pursued her even though it wasn’t in his plan, even though it didn’t make sense, even though he was perfectly content with four. And his strength got me through that first day and night, when the father of lies was whispering that it was all a mistake. Lying to me about my capabilities and her abilities and how the two would marry. This man, he looked me in the eyes when I questioned his calm and said this, I committed to her and the worse case scenario back in August when we signed the paper. I’ve been planning for the worse case scenario ever since. This is just what I expected, and it’s not more than we can handle, I know that.
And that calm bade me sign too, tears running into her sweet black hair. I watched those hands I’ve memorized over nearly nineteen years sign with confidence, then lift her up and walk out. This, then is what fatherhood really boils down to: the absolute willingness to go to the limits for your Smalls, no matter the outcome, no matter the cost. It’s what Father did, what He does every minute of every day. Fatherhood is the safety of arms bigger and stronger and holding tight. Across oceans even.
So thankful for my Dan. Mumsy, you would have been so proud to see this boy you birthed. He was, is, a man in every important and deep sense. You would have cried joy to watch him stroll in and snatch her up. To see him with her mere hours later, her sweet, weak self just utterly depleted on his chest, her drool mingling with the graphics on his shirt and to hear him claim, without doubt, her as his. You would have been so proud.
So thankful for his father and mine, who have supported us beyond what we deserved. Who have led by example and have blessed us deep. Both unashamedly in tears two weeks ago today to watch us walk off the plane with their newest, already in love with someone they’d never met, but prayed into family.
And so especially thankful for Father. My Abba, who tethers me to Him through anxiety and other struggles large and small, but also through joy deeper than I imagined and far more than I deserve. Far more.
So here’s to fathers. Honorary ones who are standing in the gap for the fatherless, those made through birth of their own Small, those who have traveled thousands of miles to become father, those who are longing to hold babies in their arms. I honor you. The job you do is vital. I implore you, even on days when the prizes of this world lure you into dark places, when you feel bent by the weight of burdens both real and imagined, I implore you to carry on. The work you do cannot be done by any other, not really. It is Kingdom stuff. We need you to be passionate about your family, committed to your Father and at war against sin. Please. Carry on what you do…it matters and we notice, even when we forget to tell you. It matters. Carry on and commit to always be doing better. Lead us as wives and children. We are yearning for it, no matter what you have been told. We yearn to be led by Godly men. Be him. And be a better version of him than you grew up with.
Surrender only to God; if you do this we will trust you and we will follow, Lord willing. Because putting aside the lies this world has sold us, that the key to happiness is found in acquiring money, sex, things, fame, numbers on a scale, prettiness, well mannered children, putting aside all that crap and blather, this one thing remains: Father is sovereign and He has anointed you to lead us. To be totally sold out to Him and leading us there too. Commit to this imperative. And we will pray you down the road, we promise. Will promise to be your greatest ally, support, cheerleader (might even wear the dress if you ask nicely). It is after all, what we were made for. And don’t just do it for us; do it for the fatherless in your life. They need you too. More now than ever, when the world calls so loudly and sometimes it’s the only voice we can hear. And this will not win me friends with the feminists, but I never set sights on that anyway. Only to be me. Being real.
This is me being, you know, real. And hoping your Father’s Day finds you going out of your way to bless the argyle socks off some man who needs to hear it. And that it involves Montellos brats and a mess of american fried potatoes eaten on the deck with a rag tag bunch of folks you call family.