On Being Dad

IMG_3509First off, this is a week late.  Forgive me.  Second, last year, I did a series of posts title “Thoughts on Fatherhood”  (if you’re interested, you can read them here).  I haven’t even had time to write a post in the last few months!  But recent events stirred up these thoughts, so I hope they’re a blessing to you.

A few weeks ago, my middle child, and youngest girl (that’s her up at the top) started feeling bad.  She complained about her tummy hurting, and before long, she was vomiting.  My wife and I figured it was the flu.  So we did what most parents would do:  we put towels by her bed, gave her a trash can, and tried to keep fluids in her.

Fast forward 48 hours, and we’re in the hospital waiting room while my little girl undergoes surgery for a ruptured appendix.  We then spent a week at the hospital while she recuperated from the surgery and infection caused by the rupture.  Praise God, they took amazing care of her and, other than being much lighter than she was before, she’s back to normal.

But while we were there, and since, several things have come to mind:

  • It is not easy to comfort your child while doctors/nurses do various things which, though they are for her good, cause her great pain.  I don’t know if anything has ever been that hard on me, but I also don’t know that I’ve ever gotten so clear a picture of the Father’s love than this.  How often we cry out “why is this happening?!!  Make is stop!” And just like I was trying to do, through tears, for my baby girl, God above holds us and promises that this, even this, is for our good.  We can’t see it…but it doesn’t make it less true.  Romans 8:28
  • Nothing makes a father feel more helpless than a situation beyond his control.  Yet, in the midst of this, I had tremendous peace about my daughter.  When I reach the ends of my abilities, I have two choices:  worry about it, or trust God.  I’m so thankful He gave me the grace to do the latter.  It’s in the crucible, in the trials of life, that our faith is tested.
  • Honestly, I was more concerned about my wife (who was dealing with the whole emergency room situation on her own until I could get there) than about my daughter.  She did awesome though…she’s quite the amazing lady!
  • Spare beds/foldouts in hospital rooms are still not comfortable, but a stealthy (or is it considerate) night nurse can make all the difference in the world (Sorry, nothing to do with being a dad, but hey, it’s my blog).
  • Watching your child sleep should be required daily for every parent.  Look at them.  Pray over them. Thank God for them.  And realize how quickly they are growing up.  Last night, I stood in my girls’ room and couldn’t believe how big they’re getting.  Don’t miss it.
  • Don’t take time for granted.  You can make more money.  You can watch another game.  You can’t get back time with your kids.  God forgive me for failing miserably at this.
  • You can never tell your kids you love them enough.  Repeat it.  Hammer it home.  Ingrain it in them:  they are loved, cherished, important to you.  And then show it to them.
  • And lastly, when you realize how bad you are at all this, ask God to help you.  He’s the only perfect Father.  Ever.  Period.  Quit crying about it, and do something about it.  He’ll lead you if you’ll let Him.
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One thought on “On Being Dad

  1. Beautiful thoughts, Matt. So glad little Hannie is doing so well. 🙂

    You’re exactly right about them growing up; one minute they’re in kindergarten and the next they’re married and your house and heart are a little bit empty feeling.

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