I know Father’s Day was a couple of days ago, but my post from Facebook got a response I wasn’t anticipating. I love social media in the sense that it literally connects everyone around the world. It’s powerful. I love that movements are born on and spread through social media.
But it’s also manipulative.
Life isn’t always picture-perfect.
As I scrolled through my Facebook and Instagram on Father’s Day, I was overwhelmed with the number of happy posts and photos of people with their dads. Naturally they were happy – I mean, who posts about the bad stuff on Facebook?? No way…that would tarnish your representation that everything is perfect.
That got me thinking about all of the girls (young and old) whose hearts were breaking as they scrolled through their feeds. Because they didn’t have what all of their friends had. Either because their dad passed away or just simply wasn’t there.
Like I said, life isn’t always picture-perfect.
So…I felt like God called me to post my story. It isn’t pretty, but it also isn’t as bad as others’ stories. But it’s mine; my testimony. And if it helps one girl realize that there’s hope and that she’s not alone, then it’s worth the revelation to the world that my life isn’t perfect.
And that’s totally fine with me – I never want to portray anything different.
Here’s my Facebook post from Sunday:
I’ll just preface this post by saying this: Father’s Day has not always been easy for me.
Looking back, I never allowed myself to be open about that. I always shrugged off today and shoved whatever bitter feelings I had deep down and went through the motions. I would call and say, “I love you,” and, “Happy Father’s Day,” but it was never authentic. I feel like I can finally be honest about that now.
With God’s love and grace, and ONLY because of that, my dad and I have been able to mend a wound I never thought my heart would heal from. It didn’t happen over night, though – far from that. Even to this day, my heart is still healing.
I remember the evening I sent an email to my father, explaining in detail everything he had made me feel over the years. He had invited me to do so, so it wasn’t out of the blue. I remember it because I was living in China at the time. I had met a friend there who told me that I sugar coat a lot of things in an effort to not ever hurt anyone’s feelings. I told him that was intentional – if I never had to tell someone exactly the way I felt, it would spare their feelings. Even if it came at the expense of hurting my own. So, he encouraged me to be real with my dad. That this was an opportunity to let him in and to know everything. He encouraged me not to sugar coat anything. And I didn’t. I thought for sure that email had done it – that it had pushed him away for good.
But guess what? It didn’t.
We went a while without talking, but I could feel God working in my heart. And eventually, I came to forgive him. The years of bitterness and anger literally vanished. That feeling is one I’ll never forget.
Today, seeing my dad selflessly serve me by helping me with yard work – on a day set apart to celebrate him – that was special. I know full well that I don’t deserve the grace God has shown me with this healing, but it’s a gift I guarantee I’ll never take for granted.
So, to all the amazing dads out there who stick it out even when things get hard, to the fathers who point their children to the real Father, and who continuously lead by example: Keep up the good fight. And to all the hearts that are breaking today – know that you have a perfect Father in heaven who loves you So much. Lay your burdens at his feet. He wants to heal your brokenness. That brokenness that you have let define you for far too long. Let Him in.
Happy Father’s Day