I’ve recently started thinking about my father………………..
And by recently…I mean just, like, the last 24 hours.
I have thoughts…
Okay, so OBVIOUSLY I’ve thought about my dad more than the last 24 hours! Did you read my very first blog?! But just being honest, Larry Payne doesn’t pop up in my thoughts very often. However, over the past year (perhaps due to healing/growth OR because I ran to the very end of my thoughts during Coronavirus isolation) I’ve been thinking about him very sporadically…which is more than I can say I have in the past.
I often think about the few times we talked and the few memories I have of him. I wonder what he would think about me now. Sometimes I even wonder what his favorite album was or his favorite sport (did he even like sports?!) or even just his favorite food!? …Well wait. I feel like I MAAYYY have known his favorite food many moons ago…but that memory has likely been replaced with Chingy lyrics.
I guess what I’ve begun to realize is that I missed out on getting to know him. I couldn’t tell you his birthday or his middle name. What advice he would give about finding a new car or looking for a husband. Again…What was his favorite sport…did he even like sports?! (I obviously am really concerned about that LOL)
Listen ya’ll. There is whole half of my family I just don’t know. I could pass my half brother or sister on the street without ever realizing it! I could legitimately go looking for a new car and the guy who sells me the car could be related to me! Or WHAT IF I start looking for my husband and –meh…let’s not go there today. BUT YOU SEE WHAT I’M SAYING!?
I’ve never thought about these things or even cared really until now. For a long time, I didn’t think I needed a dad. When I finally embraced that I did, I still didn’t think intentionally about WHO Larry was or any specifics about him. Nevertheless, over the years the Lord has softened my heart. Now these things have become important to me and it just sucks that his life was cut so short. I don’t have the chance to talk with him, walk with him, love on him or celebrate him today.
And more thoughts…
I’ve also been thinking about George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks’ little ones today, too. How they may experience this same void in their lives at some point. I’m sure both of their families will keep their legacy alive to teach their children all they can– but there’s a difference in learning about your father and knowing your father through first hand experience. There is just something about knowing your living, breathing father directly sometimes.
For these men (and countless others) who have their lives cut so short, so violently–that their kids can’t ever have the chance to talk with them, walk with them, love on them, celebrate them– it’s heartbreaking to say the least. My heart goes out to these fatherless children and the countless others left behind by the evils of White Supremacy today.
I pray that they may know, what I know from first hand experience– that their Father God will comfort them in the midst of their grief.
Then there’s this.
Since we are here, let’s talk about my Heavenly Father for a minute. I am so grateful to Him as He chooses to love me and fill these fatherless voids every day with His presence. He not only reveals Himself through the Bible, but I’ve also experienced Him as a Father through others and through may encounters with Him directly. Every day, of every moment, I can talk with Him, walk with Him, love on Him or celebrate Him because of Who He is.
Not gonna lie to you tho: it’s still so hard to let God be the Father in my life at times. It’s hard to embrace something you’ve never really known.
I think, maybe, that’s why God cares so deeply about the fatherless. Everyone’s parents have an influence on how they see God. (Father’s especially!) Unfortunately, when you have a terrible dad, the Lord has to undo a lot thinking and in order for you to relate to the Father in a healthy way. When you have a good dad you can apply those good traits to how you see the Father immediately. But when you have no dad (at such young ages…) there is almost no blueprint to work off of. Maybe slightly a good or bad one, but overall– Nothing. I’m not saying one is better or worse; or that God cares for one more than another, but I think fatherlessness can negatively impact how we approach Him and it can become just one more barrier for many people to have a healthy relationship with God as a Father. And that’s one thing God hates- barriers in the way of people knowing Who He is! (example: SIN)
Be that as it may, God is still so good and He relentlessly pursues us. He loves, disciplines and comforts us intentionally and eternally. Why? Because he IS a Good, Good Father who loves all His children. And even if I don’t KNOW what a father looks like or acts like, He remains a good Father to me– even when I can’t see it for what it is yet.
That all said… I still wonder about Larry.
Hm. Okay…what’s the point?
I’m not sure what the point or goal of this blog is. It’s kind of all over the place… apologies LOL
Honestly… I think it’s just to go on the record in saying: On this particular Father’s Day in 2020… I actually miss my earthly dad.
Yep. It took 31 years, a pandemic and years of heart surgery from the Lord, but I can honestly say I miss him today.
On the other hand, missing Him doesn’t negate all the amazing things my Heavenly Father is to me or has done for me though. In fact, it’s quite the contrary! This moment actually shows the life changing power and transforming grace that the Lord has bestowed on my life. Never in a MILLION years would I conceive that I would EVEN think I would miss my dad. Still, this prideful, people pleasing, hard hearted, “I’m good…I don’t need no dad!” woman over here has been remarkably changed by a loving, forgiving, grace-giving, redeeming Savior named Jesus. My heart is soft and I have been freed to be humble and vulnerable before you, folks.
So, here it goes:
I miss my dad.
I miss what I do know about him and what I don’t.
I miss learning about him and seeing what parts of me are just like him.
I miss celebrating this Father’s Day and many others with him.
I miss his silliness and good heart that I’ve always heard about.
I miss everything he was and everything he was supposed to be.
I miss Larry Payne.
And as I type (of course, wiping tears from my eyes because I’m a BIG MUSH now), I am comforted knowing that it’s both okay to celebrate God as my Father and to miss Larry at the same time.
SIDE BAR: You might be reading this and thinking “wait! but if God is good and He is your Father…shouldn’t you be HAPPY right now and always?!”
Solid “not necessarily” on that one, Cleetus. I do have a constant state of peace and joy in Christ.. but that doesn’t mean I don’t get sad sometimes! And it’s BECAUSE of God’s goodness and kindness that I don’t need to put on a happy face or numb my feelings (like I used to do). I can mourn Larry, genuinely, because I have my Heavenly Dad Who loves me and grieves with me. He brings me joy in the midst of this weeping and He allows me to be free in my feelings because He holds me together, regardless.
Now, will I or should I stay here forever? No. Do I allow my freedom in my feelings to direct my steps and/or give me permission to do crazy or sinful things? No! Yet, do I bring all my feelings, joys and sorrows alike to the Lord and let Him work? Yes! Yes and YES.
Let me get of my soap box.
So, in conclusion…
Here’s a few things I’d like to end with:
- To my many friends and family out there without dads (or who have bad experiences of dads) : Please know you’re not alone. Your Perfect Father is with you and has always been there with you. He is eager to show you what a Good Pops looks like!
- To those who know God as a Father: Please also know that it’s okay to feel the anger, hurt, frustration, disappointment, depression etc. today too. Dads can be absent or just very cruel. It hurts. Your Heavenly Dad is with you, grieves with you and wants to mend those voids in your heart that are causing that pain.
- Let Him work.
- Let me say it again: LET HIM WORK. Let your Heavenly Father wipe those tears, comfort the pain and take away the hurt that you’re carrying. Weeping lasts for a night, but there is joy for the taking that only He can provide in the morning.
- Let God give you the strength to forgive. I didn’t talk about this much today, but forgiveness is key to healing from hurts from your dad, lack of dad or whatever else.
- To those with good dads to celebrate today… for real celebrate them! Even if they get on your nerves–still celebrate them! Savor every moment that you get to talk with them, walk with them, love on them and celebrate them. Not everyone has that luxury.
- Please pray for the families and friends of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and thousands of fatherless homes caused by police brutality and racism in this country. Also pray for the parents of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and thousands of other moms and dads that had to prematurely bury their children due to the evils of White supremacy.
- No matter who you are, or what your circumstance is… You aren’t alone. God is sincerely a good, good father Who is aching to support, encourage, uplift, transform and love on you in unimaginable ways.
- Just as a personal favor: Keep it in your thoughts and prayers that whoever I buy a new car from OR marry isn’t related to me in any way shape or form LOL But for real.
- Happy 2020 Pandemic Father’s Day!
To my earthly dad, Larry Payne, know that I am thinking of you today and miss you.
Until next time,
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
~Psalm 34:18 NLT
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
~Psalm 147: 2-5 NIV
Sing praises to God and to his name!
Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.
His name is the Lord—
rejoice in his presence!
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
~Psalm 68: 4-6a