I don’t go to church on Father’s Day. Like many others who have had a lousy Dad I don’t want to hear all the beautiful stories of what others had that many of us didn’t. I don’t need the reminders of what I should have had, but didn’t.
There are those who had mean, alcoholic, abusive fathers. There are some of us that were abandoned and left to never know a smiling face of a father, or share the laughter and shouts at a ball game with Dad, or hear how pretty we are without roaming, pawing hands.
There are some of us that knew the harsh words and the sting of a belt across our back, legs, or butt. Some of us may have known all of the above as well as violent sexual encounters over and over and over with this man who was to love us, protect us, and grow us in the ways of the Lord Almighty.
To hear the loving testimonies can bring anger from deep within for some of us because those testimonies of love, security, and cherished memories only bring up the pain of not having had that love and sharing. We were cheated of what so many others had, and still may have, that they are honoring.
Even with healing we can still grieve that loss and feel the sadness deep within us for the day and then move on. Oh yes, we forgive. Some of us do anyway, but forgiveness does not erase the memories. It eases the pain but it does not render us with amnesia.
To hear the loving testimonies being spoken, we try to forget but it doesn’t always work. Some of us whisper to ourselves, “I’ll celebrate my Father in heaven,” that is if we have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ as our Savior. But what about those who haven’t? Who and what do they celebrate? Most probably don’t celebrate. They probably try to forget the day society calls Father’s Day. But it’s plastered all over T.V., stores have reminder banners. It’s in our face for weeks before the dreaded day.
Many do not realize that even though we have a Heavenly Father that loves us like we have never had before, that we still have, or had, an earthly father. Some may not understand this and some may take offense but no matter it be a step father, a father figure that was in our life or God Himself, nobody can replace a biological father! Even if he was never known. Why else do some want to know about their biological father? It goes deeper than curiosity.
Others can step in and love us but it’s like having a pet that we love deeply and lose, we can get another one but it never replaces the one we lost. There’s always a special place in our heart for the one lost. No matter the cruelty, abandonment, or suffering we have experienced from a biological father he cannot be replaced. God placed an in-born love for our parents within us, whether we acknowledge it or deny it or never really felt it on a conscious level, it’s there, waaaaay down deep. If it weren’t – why does it hurt so much? Why the curiosity?
God, through His Son, will give us the love we never had. He will nurture us, care for us, meet our needs, and hold us close. He is like no other father, but – He was not the one who was supposed to tuck us in our beds, He isn’t the one who was to take us to the ball game or the one who was supposed to walk us down the aisle on our wedding day. He isn’t the one who was supposed to read us a night-time story or kneel beside our beds with us in prayer.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, the Lord Almighty was at all of our various events! He saw what was going on and cried with us, laughed with us, and knew our deep seeded anger and hurt. Did we know He was there? Did we know He saw all we did and felt all we felt? The Bible says He did, and still does, whether we are aware of it or not.
So as many celebrate their earthly fathers they love, and laugh about silly incidents, and recall favorite stories there are some of us that want to wipe this “celebration of fatherhood” off the calendar. I hear the gasps and the “oh that’s so sad.” Don’t feel sorry for us!
As Christians what we celebrate is having a Father in heaven that helped us to survive all that was done to us and not having the love, care, and nurturing of a biological father. We survived and it was by the Grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father that we did!
So while you that were/are blessed with a loving and caring biological father I’ll stay home and thank God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for helping me and many more survivors to survive the atrocities, to be able to deal with a painful past, to seek counseling and heal from our abusive fathers, and to grow to be adults that can laugh, cry, shout, and love others.
We may feel sad for a day but His mercies are new every morning and we can still rejoice and move on.
Happy Father’s Day to my Father in Heaven.
Blessings to you.