There are two times a year when I know a significant someone will call me. My sweet cousin Beth calls me every January 11 to let me know she is thinking about me on the date my daughter died. And, every year on Father’s Day my old pal Ron calls. He always insists that I had filled the roles of both mother and father as a single parent of my two sons.
Now that my sons are grown up and moved out, one with a family of his own, and the other in Bible College in Chicago – I realize more than ever that I never really was a “father.”
Moms can’t be Dads. They can’t; and any child raised by one parent can tell you that. I was simply a Mom with twice as much responsibility. But a Dad? No, I was not a Dad.
My sons had an incredible grandfather, who in the absence of any real male role models, and a completely absent birth father, taught them many things. Many of those things they remember today, even though he passed away when they were still very young. During the teenage years, there were a few men from church who poured into my sons on a daily basis, and are still very close friends to them. While none of them could have, or did, fill the role of a father to my children – they did contribute in ways that I as their mother, could never have. I will forever be grateful for each of them, especially for their example of humility – because what I remember and admire most about each of them, is that they never pointed to themselves. They never attributed anything good in my kids as something that they contributed to. They ALWAYS gave the glory to God, for using them in my sons’ lives. Always. And to me, that spoke (and continues to speak) volumes about their character. That same “character” continues to be displayed today in their interactions with my sons. I am so grateful for them!
On days like Father’s Day, and on days like today when I’m up late in my quiet, peaceful home, I think about where my sons are. I don’t worry. I think about who they have grown up to become. I think about the way that they treat people, and how God is using them both. Their lives put Christ on display for ALL to see! And their lives impact those of the younger generation behind them, as well. I am so proud of them both!
I think about how they are more concerned with being obedient to wherever and however God calls them to serve, than just making a good living, having a lot of “stuff,” and pleasing or impressing others. It’s really easy for me to sleep at night knowing that they are both following Jesus whole-heartedly. They have turned out to be an example for ME, as their Mom, to follow – and I know they serve as an example to many others as well.
On this day, the 12-year anniversary of my Dad’s death (and Rory and Ian’s Papa), I cannot be sad. Having been present for the months, weeks, days, and even hours preceding his death, I am confident based on a few things that my father said, that he was not only saved, but that he arrived safely in heaven to hear the words, “Well done.” And THIS brings me great joy!
Scripture says that God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (See Revelation 21:4)
This means my Dad cannot see the sad state of affairs that is going on in this world. (To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord). So, according to Scripture, he is forever in the presence of His Savior, Jesus, unable to be anxious, sad, or lonesome, ever, ever, ever again. So, although I miss him every day, how can I NOT celebrate his heavenly citizenship ??
I am celebrating Dad’s life tonight – his ETERNAL life. And I am also celebrating the fact that my sons know their heavenly Father, who is far more to them than any earthly father ever could have been, which is where each of the men in their lives pointed them to. I have so few reasons to be sad, and so many reasons to be over-joyed!
Rory & Ian – Papa would be so proud of the men both of you have grown into. Thank you, thank you, for reflecting Jesus to everyone you come into contact with – ESPECIALLY me. I’m proud of you both, and love you the most! xo Mum