A Difficult Father’s Day

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. Are you a dad with a broken heart? Are you heavy-burdened, full of pain and worry,  dadandkidsfear and rejection? Father’s Day can be a really hard day for you. Memories of when your children were small flood your mind. Emotions are stronger. Tears are close – and you never cry.

You wish you could skip the day. Your friends have planned special events. Their children will all gather to be with them: cookouts, camping, theme parks . . . except not for you. Maybe you have other children who will be present, but not them.

Your neighborhood may be full of happy family activities. Friends and relatives may ask, “What are you doing for Father’s Day?” Or Monday morning at work co-workers will inquire, “How was your Father’s Day?” That’s your open door to brag on how thoughtful your children were; what they did to show you much they love you.

Not! Your biggest wish might be that you knew where they were or if they’re even alive. It’s a terrible spot to be in.

I remember how hard it was for my husband. If we didn’t hear from our daughter on Father’s Day I’d feel so bad for him. He tried not to show it, to hide it, but I knew he was hurting. It hurt me, too.

What a hard day. You want to crawl in a hole and make it all go away. It’s just a painful reminder of what you don’t have anymore. It makes you long for the past when your child actually wanted to be with you, back when you were their hero. What happened?

Drugs happened.

Alcohol happened.

Bad friends happened.

Depression happened.

Self-injury happened.

Suicide attempts happened.

Arrests and jail time happened.

Same-Sex attraction happened.

Pornography happened.

Anger and resentment happened.

Arguments and words you can’t take back happened.

Rebellion happened.

Lives changed.

Everything changed.

Nothing’s the same.

This message is for every hurting dad out there whose hurt is compounded on Father’s Day. I hope your son or daughter will at least call to wish you a Happy Father’s Day, even if they aren’t ready to say,”I Love You”. But if not, remember, this is one chapter in their lives. It’s today. It’s not the end of the story – not yet.

It’s very possible that one day your son will come to his senses, turn around and appreciate you again. Your daughter may even say, “I love you. Please forgive me, dad. I’m sorry I was such a jerk”.

That may not be today. Your wait may be long. You may wonder if it will ever end.

Please don’t despair. I like what my friend says, “As long as your child’s still breathing, there’s still hope!”

Keep believing, dad. Keep trusting God. Thank Him for what you do have to be grateful for today. Limit the amount of time you allow yourself to fret and obsess over your wayward, troubled child. Get busy helping someone else it will help take your focus off your situation.

I really like this Bible verse. It gives a tremendous amount of hope:

 “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of  Eden” (Ezekiel 36:35).

And two great books that give hope in life’s severe trials are Holding on to Hope and The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie.

Heavenly Father, please comfort every hurting, disillusioned dad who reads this blog today. Remind them that You see their pain. You understand and You care. Renew their hope that better days may be ahead. But if not, help them continue to trust and keep their eyes on You. In You they have everything they need.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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