Yes, I have a Heavenly Father. My Mom has always encouraged me to focus on HIM since she was a single Mom. There are many amazing men within our community and our family that stepped up to fulfill the need when I needed a father figure. However, many many years ago, I went to a summer leadership camp, sponsored by Rotary, Camp RYLA.
I got a free t-shirt, some amazing friends, and I got a Daddy!
Yes, you read that right.
Camp was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Did I learn about leadership? Yes, but there was so much more! I went back the next year as an Assistant Counselor. I then went back for the next few years as the Assistant Camp Director. The Camp Director was an amazing man with a genuine heart. He knew all that I had gone through in regard to not ever having an earthly Daddy.
He came to me one day and asked if he could be my father! He said he wanted to care for me like a father would and do all that a father would do for his daughter. What? You want to love me and be my Daddy? That just didn't make sense to me that he would want to love me like a Daddy, but he did for many years.
B even asked him for my hand in marriage and went through the grueling Dad interview with him. I could spend all day telling you how amazing he was. However, his facebook page will tell you that...facebook may explode due to all of the people posting on his wall about how wonderful he is. Even Rotary International honored him in 2006 with their highest award, the Service Above Self Award.
So, this man loved me for who I was, not for who I thought he wanted me to be...this was new for me. A man that loved unconditionally? What?
The Lord clearly brought him in my life to teach me so many things. I loved Jesus with all my heart and wanted to serve HIM. Yet, I didn't truly understand contentment in the Lord because, "how could a man really love me for who I was?" My daddy did and thus helped to show me that my Heavenly Daddy did, too! My relationship with the Lord grew so much after I saw a physical example of Daddy love.
|Us at camp!!! I had a Daddy!|
|My Daddy & my good lookin' groom!|
|...before the wedding!|
|Walking me down the aisle to my Prince!|
|My daddy & my new hubby!|
|Father/Daughter Dance at the Reception.|
|With his beautiful wife who sacrificed so much time with him so that he could be my Daddy!|
So, the story continues that we were leaving for church this past Sunday. I had a missed call on my cell phone from a sweet friend from RYLA. I couldn't think of any other reason for her to call on a Sunday morning, but tried to ignore the obvious and assume that all was fine and she just wanted to talk. Within a few moments of returning her call, I learned that my Daddy was now in Heaven worshiping our Heavenly Father!! How cool for him, how stinky for us!
We are all in shock. This was so unexpected. Surely we will wake up and find out it was a bad dream.
I miss him and want just one more hug from my Daddy! The last message he received from us was a pic of Miss P smiling from ear to ear and telling him she loved him and Happy Valentine's Day.
As we got in the car, I opened my phone to the Bible Verse of the Day and it was this:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
How appropriate. I know this is so true for him. He brought Christ so much glory on this earth. Now, he gets to sit at the feet of Christ and just worship HIM forever! Wow!!!