My very first love letter that I ever received was from my daddy. He wrote it to me when I was a few months old as I was sleeping in my baby bed. After a long hard day at work, he came in, washed up and rocked in the rocking chair as he wrote to me. The words on the page can still make me cry. He told me that my mom had two miscarriages before me and the doctors were very skeptical that I would even make it. She was placed on bed rest, and they had a few scares before I was born. He loved coming home to find my toys strolled along the floor and my little shoes on the dresser. He told me he would stare at me for hours, and he just couldn’t believe that I was his. He didn’t give me this letter until I left for college. I re-read the words often and still have the letter today. Each time I read it, I know my daddy loves me.
He’s truly one of a kind. He is gentle and meek. Slow to speak and slow to become angry. He knows how to comfort when you are sad and just be present when there are no words to share. He was in the army and went to Vietnam right out of high school. He flew in the helicopters and wrote love letters home to his mom often. I still have some of those letters too. He has a work ethic that no one can beat. Sun up to sun down whatever the job requires he will get it done. When he is not at work he is a carpenter and loves to build and work with his hands. He’s gone over every scar on his body with me and has told me the story behind each one. My dad is a strong and amazing man.
I never really realized the depth of what he was feeling when he wrote that letter until we had children of our own. When my husband and I lost our first daughter, I realized that the man I chose to journey through life with loved me just as deeply as my dad. He would wipe my tears and hold my hand as I would drift off to sleep. When we learned we were expecting again, worry and fear would almost paralyze me. Ryan would reassure me that everything would be okay when he had some of the same fears as me. I will never forget when our oldest was born. She was perfectly healthy. As they placed her in my arms, I looked over at Ryan and tears were falling down his cheeks as he counted all of her fingers and toes. He knew what my dad was feeling…he couldn’t believe that she was his.
These two amazing daddy’s are unique in who they are, very different from each other, but their love for their children runs deep into the marrow of their bones. Ryan is a natural born leader that leads his family with strong convictions. He teaches his children by example. He has a generous heart that serves others before himself. There is nothing he won’t do for his family. He will face whatever giant that stands in his way of protecting his family at all cost even if all he has is a sling and a stone. He is fierce and bold and speaks truth in love including disciplining our babies. My girls are like me in that they want to please their daddy and don’t like to disappoint him. Their daddy is like mine in that he is a strong and amazing man.
So what makes these two strong and amazing men love like they do?
The answer is simple, “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
John shares with us in 1 John 4:7-12 about God’s love and ours. It’s a guiding light for all of us. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because GOD IS LOVE. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
I love this love letter to us from John. He tells us the truth in love. He tells us that if we love one another God will live in us and HIS love is made complete in us. The power of God’s love passes on to those that receive the love. These two strong and amazing men were shown love by their own father’s. It passed down to them and remained in them. They are now teaching their children how to love and it will continue to pass down from generation to generation until He comes again. Love is a powerful thing!
In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, reach out and tell the “daddy’s” that loved you thanks. Your daddy probably looks different than mine, he too is unique and different, but yet the love is the same. Some of us have daddy’s that stepped in to fill the role of a missing dad. How beautiful for God to send other men into our lives to show us love. They can be step dad’s, Uncles, neighbors, friends, coaches, teachers and the list goes on. Don’t miss out on thanking them and appreciating them for pouring into your life. And don’t forget that when we receive love from someone, you see God, because He LIVES within the one loving you! He is near, His love is PERFECT and He is completing that perfect love in us! Love well sweet friends, it’s powerful and it passes on!
Happy Father’s Day to ALL of the STRONG and AMAZING DADDY’S!!!