For a long time, it was really weird to use that word. ‘Dad’. I had forgotten how that sounded and felt like since I was 16.
I’m sure You remember that day in the hospital when my dad passed on. I stood helplessly as I watched the heart rate monitor go flat.
I was sure that You were in control and things were going to turn out great. But returning home to an exceptionally quiet house with an inexplicable heavy heart wasn’t what I considered ‘great’.
I was never the same. The memories of that year were a blur to me. All I could remember were the intense feelings of pain, grief, loss, and sadness. I couldn’t reconcile the idea of a Good God to what had happened, just two weeks before my major ‘N’ Level exams.
Growing up, I had often wondered how life would be like if my dad was still around. Would family breakfasts and dinners still be a thing? Would I have done better in my studies because I didn't have to worry about finances? How would it have felt like to have my dad walk me down the aisle? What would he have said during my wedding? Would he have cried? How would the relationship with my dad have looked like as an adult? What kind of career advice would he have given? Would he have been proud of this school, this course, this job, this man, or this decision I made? How would it have felt to use the word ‘dad’ again?
It’s been 14 years since. And You, my heavenly Father have given me a reason to use that word.
Dad, You were relentless in Your pursuit of me when I was relentlessly running away from You.
I ran to alcohol, cigarettes, and bad boys to numb the pain; to try and fill the void in my heart. I buried myself in work and school. I worked in a pub till 3am every day, then went to school at 8am. Perhaps just so that I’d have no room to think about my relationship with You.
Yet You were so consistent, so constant.
You showed up at my workplace in a form of a good protective boss. You protected me from nasty (and drunk) customers and ensured that I reached home safely each day.
You dropped reminders of Your love in the form of church mates who texted me here and then to check in, just when I needed encouragement.
You displayed grace in the form of non-judgemental mentors who refused to give up on me when I refused to give up my lifestyle.
You taught me the difference between lust and love. You sent godly men my way to show me what pure brotherly love looks like.
You demonstrated Your tremendous amount of care for me in the form of provision. I have lost count of the number of times I received random meal treats, having random people give me gifts no one knew I wanted, and having money mysteriously appear in my bank account.
You were patient and gentle with me when I was angry and bitter at You.
You sang over me when I couldn't sing the words ‘You give and take away, but still I will choose to say, blessed be Your name’ or ‘I sing for joy at the works of Your hands.’
You were protective when I was destructive. You gave me space and let me wander in the wilderness to learn that You are real.
You told me that You understood my pain when You showed me Jesus on the cross, over and over again, and how Jesus, too, lost His Dad. That moment on the cross when He shouted ‘Oh God, why have You forsaken Me?'
You healed my heart when You placed me in families.
Dad, I was such a broken and lost child. But You restored my faith when You patiently fathered the orphan in me. You never grew tired of reminding me that You will never leave nor forsake me, regardless of how I whined, complained, or tried to push You away.
I used to avoid Father’s Day, or in fact, anything father-related.
I still miss my earthly dad, and I know You do, too.
But thank You for giving me a reason to celebrate again.
This year, I hope that someone out there - someone who lost a loved one like I did - will find in You a Good Good Father.
I love You, Dad, and here’s wishing the best Dad ever a very happy Father’s Day.
Your beloved child,
/ This article is also featured on thir.st. /