Father, Dad, Daddy, Papá…Just a few names that I’ve called my own Daddy. It’s funny how you call your Dad a different name according to your mood…kinda like when I would get in trouble and my parents would yell out, “Amy Denise” get in here RIGHT NOW!!!” For the times I feared trouble, I would say “Father.” For the times I was too grown up to say ‘Daddy’, I would say, “Dad”. The time of living overseas, I would call him “Papá” mostly in jest. But my favorite name for my father is “Daddy” because in it holds safety, security and comfort. He becomes the man that has the answers, tells me it’ll all be OK and the teller of the best jokes (“Oh, Daddy!”).
I’ve had the benefit of having a lot of strong fathers in my life. My own Daddy led our family with conviction, sacrifice and deep love. He modeled for us how to be a person that cared for others. He gave up a lot to see that we had the best. He drove my sister and me 12 hours away to boarding school in Venezuela to make sure that we had the best education and social experience for our high school years. He let someone else – our dorm fathers- have care over us and he accepted only seeing us every 9 weeks when we would go home. He let us grow up before we really had to grow up. To some, that would seem a little extreme, but for us we saw a Dad with great character, committed to a calling on his life, and still doing what was the best thing for us. Sometimes, being a dad requires tough decisions.
I’ve had two extraordinary grandfathers in my life. Both of them taught me to smile. I don’t remember one memory that doesn’t include laughing with them. They worked hard, but they played hard, too! They were men that were loved by many.
I’ve had uncles that had to be my Dad for a season of my life. I have lived with two of my aunts and uncles. While my family still lived overseas, they took care of me when home from college. I look back over that season of my life and I see both uncles that worked very hard, reminding me how important a good work ethic is. I have memories of walking in the door to one of my uncles pouring over his Bible. I’d never seen anyone soak it in like him. That changed me alot. When I returned to college, I remember digging in to the Word for myself and it became more alive to me than any other time I can remember. I’m thankful for two men that gave me a place to live, but more than that, a sense of home.
Then I married, and I don’t know of another gift I’ve been giving in my life than to see my husband become a father for the first time…and a second…a third…and a FOURTH! I get to share my life with a man that loves his girls deeply, points them to Jesus and genuinely shares his life with them. As a result, he has four Daddy’s girls that worship the ground he walks upon. They call him “Daddy” most everyday, or “Da-da” when they are feeling particularly child-like, and “Dad” has even begun to make an appearance, making that day they all grow up seem even closer.
The Father of all Fathers is seen in each of the men with whom I’ve been blessed to share my life. They’ve each pointed me to the very heart of who God is….LOVE. Today, I honor each of you that I’ve at some point felt like your daughter. To my Daddy, thank you for loving me enough to give me a life that compares to none other. For being a man that would follow God’s calling everyday of your life, I am so grateful. For my husband, I fall more and more in love with you just by watching you be a Dad. Thank you for all you do to take care of us, but most of all, for loving us with a love deeper than we’ve ever known. Happy Father’s Day!