My father was born on Valentine’s Day. He was a super awesome guy – with the biggest heart and loads of fun personality. He also worked a LOT. He was one of those men who didn’t make an abundance of cash per hour, but he worked a lot of overtime which paid off in the end. He always wanted mom to be able to stay home with us kids, and she did!
But the toll was greater than anyone expected. He had over 20 car crashes in my youth… and we were always looking for a new jalopy that we could use until the money showed up for a slightly better one. I remember going to bed every night begging God to protect my dad… never knowing if he was going to come home alive or not. But I was too ashamed to tell him how much I worried about him. I didn’t want him to think I didn’t love or trust him.
Dad loved me. I know he did. He slaved away doing things nobody else wanted to do- so I could have a better life, even though we lived in a mobile home and there were drug dealers all around, we were cared for. Mom and dad didn’t fight or use substances or hit me. But I also rarely saw my dad. When he finally did get home (he worked 16+ hour days and got home about 5 in the morning) he would fall asleep on the couch waiting for us kids to get up so he could see us off to school. But he almost never woke up. We’d say goodbye as we walked past and he’d nod and wave sleepily.
When I went off to college, I’d fly home from for Christmas break every year. My dad would pick me up and I had his undivided attention for the 45 whole minute drive home. I’d talk his ear off. We’d discuss the Bible and whatever new boy I was crazy over. He’d laugh at my jokes and he’d call me Kara Sue (he was the only one who used my middle name and I secretly ate it up.)
One year, when he arrived to pick me up, he had a funny expression on his face. He said, “You know, your mom told me I don’t show you enough love.” He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and said, “I love you, Kara Sue.” Then we walked to the car. The whole ride home in the dark, tears ran down my face- I was stunned. Shocked. So overwhelmed with the feeling of love that I had for the man I had idolized all these years. He loved me. He really did. And he’d told me so.
Dad died at 57… and that was the only time in his life that I heard those words from him
One day, I was listening to a preacher equate God with our father. It made sense that He is our Heavenly Father, and that we should see Him as our protector and guide… but what if your relationship with your earthly father was messy? What if there were issues? What if he wasn’t everything you’d hoped? Does that affect how you see God? I know that my devotion to my earthly dad was one forged in the fire of sleepless and nervous nights… and reinforced by the sigh of relief when I saw that he was alive the next morning. But, my wonderful Heavenly Father has never left me wondering. He’s always been present in a time of need or fear or anxiety. He doesn’t fall asleep driving, he doesn’t forget my band concerts, he doesn’t work too much. God is the most faithful dad a girl could ever have.
He is here for you, too, as you move forward with your life. He sees the decisions you are making and the choices you are struggling with. He knows your middle name and he uses it all the time when he speaks to your heart in love. He doesn’t ever leave or forsake you- He is exactly who you need Him to be. You’re never alone. He is everything that other people are not. Faithful, loyal, dedicated to you, and powerfully determined to help you make something of your life.
Your Heavenly Father is waiting for you to reach out. He wants to connect with you. Can you trust Him? Love Him? Accept Him and walk with Him? Today is the day.
“ And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
Rev. Kara S. McCoy, an ordained minister from Minnesota has dedicated her life to working with children. She is a licensed counselor, public school teacher, traveling children’s evangelist and horseback riding enthusiast. Graduating from Christian Life College in Stockton, California was a highlight that led her to marry the man of her dreams and start a cute, little family. These days she can be found holding revival all over the country while completing her doctoral studies in psychology and writing humorous Facebook posts.