By Brie Gowen
People are very quick to speak the importance of mothers in a child’s life, and while I’m certainly glad to be appreciated for my efforts, I think sometimes the kudos we give to moms might take some of the well-deserved limelight off of dads. You see, I think dads are pretty special. In fact, without mine, I might not be here.
I got what you would call a second chance as far as dads go, and not a day goes by that if I think about it, I’m not humbled by how special my situation is. My Daddy chose me. He didn’t have to, but he did.
I was born the child of one man, but if time has taught me anything it’s that some men are not meant to be fathers. They can physically create a child, but when it comes down to the real business of making it to ballet recitals, tucking in with a kiss at bedtime or scaring the daylights out of 17-year-old boys knocking at the door, some fellas don’t have what it takes.
When I was three years old I found myself with a missing dad. He had gone to the bank and never came back.
When I was five years old I had come to a place in life where I just assumed everyone’s dad came in and out of their lives like a wayward houseguest rather than a participating member of the family. In my little mind dads broke promises and took off with a backpack when least expected.
By seven years old I just figured financial hardship was a normal thing, that moms had to work all day long, and cry themselves to sleep every night. Wasn’t that just life?
It’s a sad thing to me when children not having a present father seems as routine as looking both ways before you cross the street, or as normal as asking for lemon with your tea. That’s not to downplay the wonderful job single mothers do, it’s just depressing to me that it’s commonplace for one parent to take the place of two.
And that’s how it was for me. My mom was my rock, my stability, my parent who stayed, and while I think she did a tremendous job with the hand she got dealt, I don’t like to think about how life would have turned out for me had I not met my Daddy; had he not chosen me.
I was eight years old when my mom remarried. I was eight-years-old when I learned men kept promises, and that they came home from work every day. And it was at that time that he picked me. A child who felt like she wasn’t worth sticking around for had suddenly been chosen to be someone’s little girl.
Previously broken by rejection, but finally healed by love. I have no doubt that God placed my Dad in my life to show me His heart for daughters, His love for me and how worthy I was meant to be seen. When I think about the path that life was headed for me I sometimes wonder incredulously how it might have panned out had I not found a father’s love. Where would my life have been taken in destructive ways had unconditional love not diverted it?
Look at statistics. How many drug-addicted prostitutes had an absent father in their life? Young women tend to seek a missing father’s affection in tragic ways. Not all, but too many to discount it a coincidence. I am quite certain my Dad saved my life. His love scooped me up like a barrel before it went over the falls, when I needed it the most, and not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for that.
My mom did good in my biological father’s absence, but I believe there’s a special place in a little girl’s heart that only her daddy can fill. Heck, in big girls’ hearts too.
Every Father’s Day I’m thankful, and I’m reminded that a man who didn’t have to take on a child that was not his by birth made the courageous decision to do so. Each time I think about it I smile at the fact that he came in like a knight in shining denim aboard his baby blue Buick, bearing gifts of Freshen-up gum and tickets to Supergirl at the Drive-Inn. But more than that he showed a young girl that she could trust again, that she was lovable and worth choosing, and that daddies did stay always. By choosing me, he saved me from a life of doubt in my self and all of mankind.
Thank you, Daddy. Happy Father’s Day!
About the Author: Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.