Daddy, I love you.
I remember the excitement in my heart when mom told my brother Adrian and I that Pa’s plane landed in Chicago. We would jump up and down because that meant he was only two hours away from knocking on our front door. Once he arrived we would jump in his car-laughing & giddy- and of course, the usual fight over who got the front seat to ride to McDonalds. After that we would take a trip to Walmart and search for treasures in the toy section (I’m sure ONE of those times was when I got my very first Giga Pet). We anticipated...we screamed with joy... just to spend those two, maybe three hours with Pa. And then the moment would come when the sound of keys shuffling in his pocket only brought anxiousness and tears of pain. I stood outside holding onto mom's waist so tightly as tears rushed down my face uncontrollably. There he went, in the rental car, driving two hours back to Chicago with enough time to catch the last two hour flight back to Texas. He would do this over, and over, and over again because he loved us and wanted to be present in our lives.
I love every chance I get to talk to my dad. Truth is, my father didn't have his father around growing up. In fact, he didn't even meet him until the age of thirty-six. He was raised by Tito & Tita my grandparents in Mexico. At twenty yrs old he took that step of faith and chose to come to America to find opportunity and live a different life. He could've chosen to fall into the same footsteps as his father and be absent from our lives. But no- this man, my father, has always worked so hard and continually gives so much of himself. I see the way he loves and sacrifices for my niece and nephews the way he did for all five of us kids growing up. So many things I have learned, so many hours spent at the kitchen table soaking in all my dad's "life talks." There's not one moment I take for granted when I get the chance to hear him on the other side of the phone. Better yet- when I get to spend quality time with him.
Do I wish some things could’ve played out a little differently? MAYBE…or at least enough to have eased my emotions a little bit. That’s all temporary… but still, that’s not the point. Never once did I doubt or question his intentions towards me & even two thousand miles never felt distant in my relationship with him.
The point that I am trying to make: I look at my dad and I see my heavenly father woven through every piece. The way my dad made every effort to keep that relationship alive. The sacrifice it took to just see a smile on my face as I sat on his lap in McDonalds trusting his heart and his commitment to my brother and I. That even though I may have felt like there was a missing piece at times, my dad always came back for me. How he was consistent in showing up and being present in my life. Here is the greatest truth… even though it was hard… and even though circumstances were not “ideal,” I know that Romans 8 says,
[And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.]
Life circumstances will never be perfect. No- my dad will never be perfect, nor anyone else I love on this earth. My dad living 1 mile away from me wouldn't have changed anything because that's not what it's about. As much as I love and adore my earthly father and would have loved for him to fill that “place in my heart” I know that no one could ever fill the spot that God ordained for Holy Spirit to be in. My dad-like all of us- is only human who has made mistakes and will mess up at times. Either way, God could have chosen a completely different circumstance for my life but the greatest peace that I carry with me is that I am in need of a Savior. I cannot do anything apart from Jesus. His faithfulness towards me is everlasting. He is the perfect Father. His grace is abounding and his love is steadfast. He always welcomes me home however “far” I may feel I am. He desires for me to sit on His lap and let Him teach me new things.
If I put my hope in man I will be a mess and my foundation will always be destructible. But that is not my reality and I know freedom because of it.
Anyways…. that was just some reflection for Friday. And here is a portion of one of my favorite songs that reminds me of this.
“In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love
What depths of peace
When fears are stilled
When strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand…”
P.S. I love you Pa. I Thank God He gifted me you.