On the radio this week, I have heard a lot of people calling in with memories of their fathers. This always leads me to think about my relationship with my father. To be honest, my first thought about our relationship is often “What relationship? We don’t really have a very good relationship.” I try to think of special times and things that meant a lot to me growing up, but I can’t seem to dig them up. All I seem to remember are times of conflict.
You have to understand that my childhood memories don’t really begin until I was about 8. There are a few here and there before that, but not much. When I was 8 my little sister was born. So I figure, if I was close to him, that ended when Kristyn arrived. (Just a thought, I’m not sure it’s accurate.) 🙂
Even though when I think of my daddy I have a hard time pulling up fond memories of special father-daughter time, there is one memory that I have that will live with me forever, and that pretty much sums up my relationship with my father.
Only living in New York for 4 years, most people here don’t really know “my story”. They don’t know anything about where I’ve been or who I really am. Recently I have shared with a couple of people and it has brought this memory closer to the heart and has really allowed me to look at it with new light.
My father was the pastor of our church and I was the good little girl who tried to follow the rules, mostly out of fear of getting in trouble. I helped out at home and loved working at the pretzel shop that my parents owned. I was the boss’s daughter at work, the pastor’s daughter at church, and the oldest child in my family. My life pretty well centered around me, or so I thought. I couldn’t have been happier.
When I was 16 years old, I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified! I had never been so scared in all my life. Here I was, the pastor’s daughter…16 and pregnant.
The first thing people ask me is “What did your dad say?”
I didn’t actually tell my father, my mother told him. When I first saw him, I got out of the car, he walked over to me, gave me a hug, and said “I love you”, just like that. No lecture, no yelling, just “I love you”.
That is my fondest memory of my Daddy. It is one that I will never forget. I was so scared! He loved me through ALL the things to come over the next couple years. What an amazing example of a Godly father!
The love that my father has shown me, has given me a glimpse of the love that my Heavenly Father has for me. A love that I cannot even fathom. To know that my pain is his pain. To know that no matter how badly I mess up he will always love and accept me.
I have heard of so many fathers who push their children away during times like these, due to embarrassment or anger. I am so grateful for my Daddy’s relentless love for me, for all the time and energy he has spent on me, for all the tears he has shed and the prayers that have gone up for me. He was persistent even when I pushed him away. He never gave up on me. If not for him, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Thank you so much Daddy for showing me what love truly is…real, true unconditional love. I love you so much! You are my hero!