Have you ever stopped to think about the power of a fathers hug? Or how much it means for a little girl to hear her daddy say he’s proud of her? How important it is to get Godly advice from your dad? That encouraging words just sound different coming from your father? Do you know the impact of being prayed for by your daddy?
All of this, and more…I know my girls missed out on for so many years. They missed out on all of this from their dad. But not completely.
Because pastors from our church stepped up and stepped in. Over the last 5 or 6 years, my girls were blessed with gifts like these from amazing pastors God put in our lives.
Many others, but when I think of who stepped in, these are the ones who impacted my girls the most when Rob was so ate up with addiction that he couldn’t.
They are the ones my girls seek out to hug. To tell them their accomplishments. To share their stories with. Their eyes light up when they see one of them. They run to them. They find safety with them. They covet their attention.
When their dad wasn’t around…or just not able…they stepped in. They gave hugs freely. They invested their time. They prayed for them. They advised me. They showed my girls how a dad shows love.
In the beginning, I mistakenly tried to keep my girls from running to them, so worried they were a bother to them. My own feelings of failure prompted me to try to squash the attention they sought from them. But my girls knew better. Their love for these men would not be contained.
When I saw Pastor Patrick talking so easily with Tori. When I saw the joy on Savannah’s face as she would hug Pastor Tyler. When I saw Alex’s eyes light up at Pastor Gary’s fist bumps. And when I saw the tears in Savannah’s eyes as Pastor Brian prayed with her.
Then…then I looked up and saw the love and compassion coming from each of these amazing men. These men who have dedicated their lives to loving on other people’s kids. Who put off their own family when someone else’s is in need.
These selfless men of God who took the time to make my girls feel loved. Cared for. Important. Worthy of their time and attention.
These pastors who model healthy relationships. Who raise their hands in worship and fall to their knees in prayer. Who admit failures biblically. And my girls saw them. And they learned from them.
And now they watch them expectantly. They give and receive love and affection freely. They trust that these men of God will cherish their hearts and their souls and guide and protect them. Be there to pick them up should they fall.
And even now, a year in to their dad’s sobriety…Even now when they have a fully engaged, loving, attentive, supportive father…Even now they look to these men. As more than pastors. I don’t know that I or they could ever convey the love…the debt of gratitude…it’s overwhelming to me just to think about it.
Everything they have given to my girls. It’s not forgotten. It’s not overlooked. It’s never thought of lightly.
It’s cherished. They are cherished. Loved. Appreciated. Prayed for. Held deeply within our hearts. Always in our thoughts. Forever a part of our family.