When I was a little girl I nearly idolized my dad. I found him to be the funniest, smartest, most interesting man ever. When he’d go jogging around the neighborhood I’d tag along. When he would do his sit-ups I’d sit on his feet and help him keep count. Try making fun of him and I’d tell you a piece of my mind faster than you could finish your first insult.
Through the years I began to look at my dad in a darker light. Instead of seeing him for all he did for us, I saw what he didn’t do. I started to judge him. I didn’t realize how much this hurt me as I was placing that wedge in my heart between me and my dad. I began to build a wall I never thought I could climb over and never saw it coming down.
Then I got to experience being a parent. I got to see what it was like to make the tough and easy decisions. I got to see what it was like to be concerned for my child, and learned how to accept news about my daughter’s well-being. It took some hard knocks to get me to open up my eyes and heart again to my dad. Eventually, little by little things began to change. I started having compassion for my dad. I started empathizing with him. I put myself in his shoes and tried to see life through his eyes. What I saw was not a man who was falling short, but a young woman who had judged her father much too quickly.
Thank God for second chances and forgiveness. Because of this, I was able to enjoy the rest of my dad’s years here on earth. Boy did I enjoy them! I saw even more how cool he was, how funny he was, and how wise he was. My dad did all he could to be the best dad he could be, even until his dying breath he was encouraging me. Now here I am thankful as I reflect on the man I called “Dad.” My dad never stopped loving me no matter how distant I was with him. He never stopped praying for me, and he never stopped pointing me towards Jesus. Dad was such a wise man to place his daughter in the safest place he knew, in his heavenly father’s hands.
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