When I was 13 years old, my biological father died of esophageal cancer. He was an amazing man, with an infectious personality. He loved to laugh; he loved his family; he loved to tell a good joke; he loved fishing; he loved oysters; he loved the beach and he loved God. He was the kind of person that people were drawn to and wanted to be around. I was blessed to have him. I know that I had more of an earthly father in those 13 years than some people experience in a lifetime.
Here is the amazing part. I now have a second father who is equally remarkable. He has been my father since I was 16. (The poor man has been putting up with me for 29 years. I think he deserves a medal!) He loves to laugh; he loves to cook; he loves to travel; he loves to read; he loves his family; he loves to garden, and he loves God. He, too, is the kind of man that people want to be around. I currently have more of an earthly father than some people experience in a lifetime.
There were several years when I resisted loving my second father. I was so afraid that he would try and take the place of my first father. What I didn’t realize was that he just wanted a place in my heart. And God made our hearts big enough for all kinds of love. We simply have to put fear aside.
Now, are you ready for the UNBELIEVABLE part? My Father in heaven orchestrated all of this to His Glory. You see, He knew that one day I would have a daughter. And He knew that cancer would have touched her life too. And that the loss of a parent was part of her story. He knew that my love and respect for my second father would grow to new heights as I, too, navigated being a second mom. God knew that I would understand a little more the capacity of His heart and the kindness of His nature. He knew that I would encounter grace in ways that only He can orchestrate in our lives. And how God can weave brokenness into beauty in ways we will never fully understand.
I have the extraordinary privelege of having three amazing fathers. Except I think I may have muddied the order here. God is my first Father and He blessed me with two more. I am one lucky gal!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 (American King James Version)