Father’s Day is nearly here and I was thinking about you. I was wondering what this day is like for you.
You might have a really good relationship with your father.
He might be fully present and invested in your life.
He may be supportive and encouraging and attentive.
He may be generous with his affection and effusive with his praise.
He may be your most passionate defender and your loudest cheerleader.
But I also know that he may not be all of any of those things.
There may be geographic separation or emotional distance since you’ve come out. There may have been terribly wounding words spoken to you in haste or fear or ignorance.
There may be radio silence between you two because of it.
He may have passed away before ever making peace with your truth or reassuring you of his love for you or putting words to the contents of his heart.
And so Father’s Day may bring mourning.
It may be another occasion to grieve, another reminder of the distance that exists, another day to feel the weight of the loss.
This day might exponentially amplify the hurt you feel every day.
I know I can’t erase in a few minutes the damage you may have acquired over a lifetime.
I know I can’t change your everyday reality with any magic words right now.
And most importantly, I know that I am not your father and so there is probably only so much that I can do to renovate the broken places in your heart.
But I wanted to try.
I wanted you to hear from another father, words that if you haven’t heard from your own—you deserve to hear:
You are loved.
You are not a mistake.
You are not a disappointment.
You are original and beautiful—and just as you’re supposed to be.
You are as God intended you.
You are doing amazing things to alter this place every single day.
This world is better, kinder, more wonderful because you are here.
I wouldn’t want you to change a thing about yourself.
I am proud of you.
No matter who we are or what we become, none of us ever stop craving our parent’s approval. And no matter how old we get or what we achieve or accomplish as adults, we will always be striving, unsure little boys and girls who only want to know our daddies love us and that we’re safe.
I hope you know this assurance.
I hope you’ve heard the words.
I hope you’ve felt the embrace.
I hope this day finds you resting securely in the knowledge that in your father’s presence, you are welcomed, you are adored—you are home.
But if not, I pray that these words from another father give you a small measure of solace, a bit of hope, enough comfort to carry you through this incredibly difficult day.
And maybe a year from now, there will be reconciliation and restoration and reunion. Maybe there will be a proximity you don’t have today. Maybe a year from now you will not be hearing these words from a stranger, but from the man you most deserve to hear them from.
Love and peace to you on this Father’s Day.