Tag Archive: Healing

What it Means to be a Father

When I was a little girl, my Dad told me I could be anything, do anything I wanted. He helped me dream. He bragged on me. He teased me–especially the time when I was about three and we were at a Sunday School picnic. They had a spike-driving contest every year to see who could hammer a railroad spike into a square piece of lumber with the least strokes. Dad always won, hands down. Three hits and that baby was embedded! I was so proud of him!

So this particular Sunday, feeling shy, I walked over and put my arms around his leg. Suddenly I heard his gentle voice. “Carrie, I think you have the wrong daddy.” I looked up and, to my chagrin, realized I had hold of the leg of another man, one I was sure at my brilliant age wore a toupee. I quickly released this man, who was smiling while the other men chuckled, and I ran to the “right” daddy!

As I grew, I didn’t always like my father’s instructions or correction. He didn’t often raise his voice, but a quiet “Carrie” along with “that look” could stop me in my tracks.

But he didn’t just correct. He spend time playing on the floor with my brothers and me. Made time for Daddy-daughter dates as I grew. Cheered on my accomplishments. Prayed fervently when I ministered in the ghetto. Encouraged friendships with others who also trusted my Jesus, both my own age and his and Mom’s age. I always knew Dad loved me. I figured I’d still be “Daddy’s girl” at 80, although he passed twenty years ago.

How I treasure the love, presence and security of my dad in my life.

My husband, Don, has five children, four in-laws, ten grandchildren, and two greats! He dearly loves his family, watching out for their needs and supporting their endeavors. He also loves my family (they’re all ours!), as evidenced by the way he cared for my mother during the years of our marriage, and by his love for my siblings and their children. In many ways he is like my father. Gracious, hospitable, discerning, godly, quiet, and wise.

To read four recommendations for helping your child feel safe, seen, soothed and secure from the beautiful photo at left, see Kirsten Russell’s Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/CeEgDSqpT7M/?fbclid=IwAR3Dr4HgTC4Pm6mPa1J0AuUI8j8bxrdZBLA8Fb6F3n6LSkNeReBk5qFrREw

…is if a child has at least one person who they feel securely attached to and who shows up consistently.

I know many have not experienced the love of a righteous father, as I have. My heart grieves for these, as a father’s love is foundational to who we are and become.

Good fathers are present. They listen to their children and take their concerns seriously. They build up, affirm, challenge, and correct. They make home a safe haven for their children. Fathers impact the future of their children in significant ways.

Prager U says “Statistically speaking, a child who grows up without a father in the home is more likely to experience homelessness, commit crime, serve time in prison, abuse drugs, drop out of school, be obese, suffer from poverty, and so much more. And the United States has the highest share of single parenting in the world.”

And yet, there is a Father who reaches out to us, through the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who says “I am with you. I will be your father. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Bring all your burdens to Me, because I care for you. Confess the ways you’ve walked away from Me, and receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.” (Paraphrased from Psalm 68:5, Hebrews 13:5, I Peter 5:7, and John 3:16.)

The apostle Paul had wise advice for both children and fathers when he wrote,

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:1-4, NIV

If you’re a father, spend intentional, loving time with your child.

Whether you’re a child or adult, treasure the moments you have with a loving, imperfect father. One day he will be gone and you will miss those moments, as I do!

A righteous man walks in integrity; blessed are his children after him.

Proverbs 20:7 –

4 am Lights and an Object in the Road

4 am Friday. I got up to use the restroom and crawled back into our cozy bed.

person standing beside car
Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

“Thwack.” I didn’t know where the soft sound came from. Was it inside? Then another soft “thwack,” and another. I realized the sound was coming from outside, so I walked to the window and looked through the blinds. Oh no! An ambulance at the home of our neighbor who has a brain tumor. Doors opening and closing. Going outside, I asked her husband what had happened. Evidently she suffered some sort of seizure.

Thankfully, our friend is home from the hospital today, worn out, but no new news from an MRI.

Later that day I received a text that the husband of one of my best friends had been in a serious bicycle accident and was airlifted to a local trauma center. Medically sedated, he became agitated during the night until doctors inserted a chest tube to help his bruised lung recover. Don’s and my prayers and tears were flowing – for both injured friends, for both families.

flying red and white helicopter
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

How do we respond when such sad news enters our lives? I can’t imagine what it would be like not to be able to talk to my loving Father, Abba (“Daddy”) about these dear friends’ suffering. So often I want to DO something – whether it’s sitting beside a person, listening to them, flying to another state to support them. And each of these can be important and helpful.

But healing is not in my hands. It is in the Father’s, and He tells me to come to Him with all my cares, because He loves me. (Hebrews 11:5) And He has provided medical personnel to operate, assess, diagnose, watch closely over those in their care. And I can pray.

Saturday I called a dear friend and asked her to pray with me for these two and their families. She shared a hurt she and her husband are going through for a close friend of theirs. What a privilege to be able to come to God together, in tears, to beseech His watchcare over those we love.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

Matthew 18:20, NIV

I’m amazed at my girlfriend’s strength in the midst of her husband’s bike accident and injuries. “The thing is,” she said, “we know we’re going to be taken care of, one way or another.” Thankfully, it doesn’t appear this is the end for either of our friends, but, because of our trust in what Jesus did on the cross, in taking the penalty of our sin and granting us life with Him, we know that “the end” here on earth is really “the beginning.”

Jesus died the death I deserved so I could live the life of freedom He has for me.

The great scholar and “reluctant convert” to Christianity, C.S. Lewis, found love late in life with Joy Davidman. She was diagnosed with cancer shortly after their marriage. He wrote about the great blow her death was to him in his book, A GRIEF OBSERVED. While he went through a period of turmoil and questioning God, he later was able to say the following.

Sometimes the pain is to awaken us — to the realities of life and death, to awareness of our priorities (as it did for me during the illness and death of my first husband). Sometimes it’s to awaken others as they see the faith with which we respond during suffering, the grace God gives for the long haul.

What’s on your heart this week? Family, friends in need? I’d love to join you in prayer for them.