Our time lines are about to be flooded with awesome photos of the best dads out there. The ones who work hard and provide. The ones that show up.
And I love that. I have that in my life, too.
But I’d like to take a moment to say to those of you who don’t have that kind of relationship with your father that I see you. And God sees you.
This month in particular is bittersweet for me. It brings the joy of both my sons birthdays. And it brings the anniversary of the day I became a widow. And then in the midst of all that is Father’s Day and my late Father’s birthday.
June and I have a complicated relationship. Kind of the like the relationship I had with my father for the first twenty years of my life.
And let me just say that forgiving him and reconciling that relationship was one of the best decisions I ever made. God taught me so much through that relationship. I’m so glad I reached out to him all those years ago.
It was hard. I was scared. I wasn’t sure how he would react to me calling him up out of the blue. I mean, he knew where I was and I knew where he was… and for alot of years we had people communicating on our behalf. Isn’t that ridiculous?
So much wasted time. Every situation is different. I’m not saying that you should reach out to someone toxic or dangerous. But my dad was neither of those. He was just a really nice guy who was trying to do the right thing.
He stood back and let another man raise me. A really good man by the way. He didn’t want to come in and out of my life. So he made a decision or maybe the decision was made partly for him, and he stayed out of my life.
Now no one ever asked me what I wanted. And I never got a choice about it until I turned eighteen and started to realize that I wanted a say in it. I wish I could say that I immediately reached out but it took me a couple more years to muster up the courage to call him up.
But one night I did call him right up out of the blue. It was fall and I remember standing on the porch in the chilly night air and saying “I’m just gonna call him and see what he says.”
I won’t go into a lot of detail about that first conversation because it’s so very special to me. But I will tell you that it was clear that he never expected that phone call from me to ever happen.
I remember that once I told him who I was it took us a both a few minutes to get our bearings. If you’ve never had to call a stranger and say, “This is your daughter.” You won’t understand the magnitude of waiting for a response. I remember my heart almost pounded out of my chest.
I can still hear his voice say “Oh, wow, Cassie. I’m gonna need just a minute.” And I remember saying, “Yeah, me too.” I still tear up when I think about it.
And he was so awesome. And that just made me like him so much… and later it made me so mad at him. I know that seems crazy but it’s true. See, once I realized that he was so awesome, I was really upset that I missed out on having him in my daily life growing up. It would have been so different if he was awful. But he wasn’t.
And we worked on building a friendship and it wasn’t always easy. He was over 1200 miles away. He was on the road with his band. He had a life. I had a life.
There were lots of tear filled conversations, mostly me crying and trying to work out twenty years of feeling abandoned. And him trying desperately to figure how to make up for it. He couldn’t. I learned eventually to release him from the responsibility of making up for it.
I hope he eventually stopped feeling guilty about it. But I never asked him, so I don’t know.
A few months after that first phone call, I found myself standing in front of him one night before his show. It’s something I’ll never forget. I had pictures of him growing up. But I had not seen him since I was about two and I couldn’t remember him at all.
So there we were. It was surreal. Music was the thing that took him away from me. But somehow it was also the thing that connected us. I watched him play that night and I couldn’t believe how talented he was.
I wouldn’t take anything for the fifteen years or so I got before he passed away. They weren’t perfect. There were times when we both could have tried harder. But I got to have a relationship with him.
He passed away about five years ago. And there are some things that I didn’t say. There are some things that he didn’t say.
But there are so many things we did say.
So, if you find yourself wondering if you should find your father, call your father, forgive your father. My advice is to do it. Life is short. And we can’t always be without regret, it’s part of life. Maybe it will go well, maybe it won’t. But at least you can say that you tried.
My dad was awesome and talented. He was so intelligent and such a deep thinker. He would give me such amazing advice. I grew up drawn to music. Before I even knew why, I had and still have a love and appreciation for it. It’s because of him. It’s the thing that always reminds me that I’m my father’s daughter.
I’m so thankful that God opened my heart toward him. I’m so thankful I forgave him and had the chance to get to know him for myself.
I don’t know if you think you want to do the same thing. I don’t know your situation or what kind of person you would find yourself dealing with… but I will tell you to pray about it and let God lead you. Forgiveness is such a gift. It’s a beautiful thing to forgive someone. It’s so beautiful to say it to someone who feels like they don’t deserve it. It’s beautiful to watch them accept it. 💙
It’s a reflection of God’s love. He forgives us when we don’t deserve it. And forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation. Sometimes you can’t have a healthy relationship with people, even if you want to. But you can forgive them and you can tell them.
Because one day you’ll wish you said what you wanted to say before it was too late to say it. I know this to be absolutely the truth. 💙
I’m praying God will lead in the direction and that you will be able to do whatever it is you need to do.
Love in Christ,
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” Malachi 4:6|niv