My kids are pretty excited about Father’s Day. They have made cards, written notes, and painted random things on felt that somehow translate into meanings of love for Tony. I haven’t picked up on any extra longings for Dave as Father’s Day approaches. I, of course, never know what to do. Do I do something special related to Dave and make sure that they remember him? Do I just let them lead? Do I make sure to encourage their relationship with Tony as their dad, by not doing anything special related to Dave? Do I just hope the day passes without any emotional meltdowns? (That ship as already sailed for me). I just don’t always know what to do. It is difficult to honor Dave and honor Tony, at the same exact time, on the same exact day. Actually, in my mind, it is easy to do that, but there are a lot of feeling and emotions that swirl on days like these for me, Tony and the kids, so it just doesn’t typically turn out the way I wish it would.
This post has taken so much longer to write than my typical post. I have been sitting here writing and rewriting, which is not like me at all. I continue to write and then have a little check in my spirit that says, nope. This is not where it is at, Holly. I know that I am incapable of making things sound better than they are, so I can’t do that, but I also know the power of the Holy Spirit, so nothing is hopeless or so complicated that God can’t find a way. My own fleshly spirit feels very critical and self pitying this morning. I continue to want easy and uncomplicated. So, as I sat here trying to write critically in a gentle and cryptic way, the answer came again. It is the same answer over and over and over again. Grace. Until me and Tony let these days and every day just be fully washed in grace, we will never be able to experience freedom and true celebration and true redemption. I can see it in the last sentence of the first paragraph. I seriously think that I can orchestrate a day that would be perfect. Who am I kidding? I can’t do that!
So, I’m keeping this post short, to not allow my critical spirit back into play here. Instead, I’ll leave you with what I think is a powerful truth. Last Sunday, I heard a story from three different adults (with tears in their eyes) who were with Spencer and Braden at Camp Elim. Evidently, there is a night around the campfire where kids share what God has been teaching them or something along those lines. Spencer, was the second person to get up and talk. What he said was, “My biological dad died a few years ago, but God has provided me with a new dad and new brothers.” And there it is . . . “BUT GOD . . . “ I wonder how many “BUT GOD’S,” there are in the Bible, like the one in Genesis 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, BUT GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” How is it that my sweet son is such an anchor for this family and yet he has no idea?
That Spencer…God has continued carving reservoirs of wisdom into his little soul day by day. Isaiah 30:18 paints this picture of God reaching out to be gracious to us when we are in relationship with Him – and I see that in Spencer. The pain and loss that Spencer is experiencing is not wasted…it has become a testimony to others of God’s power.
And wow – if we can glean inspiration from our children about how to walk this road of faith…unbelievably humbling.
I love your family and all that you teach us as you live life together.
And Tony: Happy Father’s Day!! You’re a wonderful, hardworking daddy.
I’m sitting here attempting to share my take on my phone with spotty wifi at the end of a mission trip with high schoolers in the Dominican Republic. Pretty surreal to be a world away, experiencing something totally different and yet the miracle of wifi keeps us connected! Crazy.
I’ve spent the last week in a country where 95% of households are broken. Meaning, it is EXTREMELY rare to find an original set of married parents. Kids are growing up, often in dangerous and fractured places. It is astounding to watch the Young Life (Vida Joven) leaders come alongside these kids and show them the very tangible, desperately needed love of a father, both earthly and heavenly.
The numbers of kids coming to Christ is astounding! They are ready to receive the love of the Father. I pray their faith, as well as that of sweet Spencer, will inspire me/us to continue to press into that love and receive it as the gift it is!!