A Gracious Heart

I never dreamed of the big white wedding with dress, the party, the dancing. I never wondered who would walk me down the aisle because I honestly didn’t picture myself doing so. I longed for the marriage, not the wedding; for the chance to prove that despite the lack of example in my life, I could build a life for myself that wouldn’t crumble.

I didn’t grow up with the picture perfect dad. I don’t even know what that picture looks like. A number of men have floated in and out of my life, and through them I’ve pieced together as much of a father as I’ve ever needed.

For me, the most impactful wedding of my life was my mother’s.

Over the years, I watched my single mom juggle her own life with that of me and my little sister. I watched her make sacrifice after sacrifice to give us all she could. First in a marriage that clearly wasn’t working, and then all on her own. But when she met her him, she could breathe.

At 10, I couldn’t have imagined the impact this man would have on my life. I knew we were struggling financially, I knew my mom felt alone, but it wouldn’t be until years down the road that I fully understood the gravity of our situation.

You know when you look back over your life and wonder, what if?

Over the years, my family and I have weathered a lot of storms. Through growing pains and financial instability, heartbreak and marriage, internal battles and deeply rooted disagreements, we’ve survived and we’ve flourished. But when I look back over all that we’ve survived, I can’t separate our accomplishments from his contributions.

What if we’d never met him…where would we be?

We wouldn’t. We wouldn’t be us.

It only takes one person to change your life forever. I am grateful every day for what this man has done for us.

For the husband he is to my mother. For the father he is to my sister and I. For the father-in-law he is to my husband. For the grandfather he will be to my children. For making me understand what fatherhood can be.

In the wake of Father’s Day, this message has been weighing heavy on my heart. Because never will I be able to express just how much of my life I owe to this man

I take a lot of credit for the person I am today. I overcame a lot to get here. But my success wouldn’t have been possible without the foundation stabilized by this man. Not for one moment do I think it’s been easy; nothing worth fighting for ever is.

For all that you’ve been for my mother. For all the bills you’ve paid, the sacrifices you’ve made. For the roof you put over our heads. For all that you are and all that you’ve done.

Happy Father’s Day.

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