How I Met My Dad

Not every little girl can say she met her dad while her parents were dating, but I can.

My dad was 28 and directing an ‘Up With People’ choir when he met my 17 year old mother. This was long before there were reality shows about teen moms on MTV. My mom’s brother played in the band so she decided to tag along one night. That’s when she met the man who would completely change the course of her life.

He was smitten. I remember being told they saw each other a couple more times and was introduced to me. At first he thought she was babysitting. By the time she told him she was my mom, it was too late. He was in love with both of us and like any love story worth telling, the odds were stacked against them.

My dad was a Vietnam vet and a high valued target for a lot of good Christian girls from his church. He led songs at the small Pentecostal church he was raised in, and dating an unwed mother was NOT how the church leadership thought he should be conducting himself. To top it off, my mom was raised as a Mormon and their faiths were a huge problem for both of their families.

Instead of running from scandal, my dad stood up to his church leadership and continued to date my mom even though it meant he wouldn’t be allowed to lead songs in his church anymore. He endured the whispers behind his back from those whom he had respected deeply. Ultimately, he found another church that offered him grace and allowed him to continue to minister in his calling.

And along the way my mom saw a man who wouldn’t run from trouble, but would stand and fight for her and her baby even though it would cost him his reputation. Along the way she saw the love of Jesus in my dad and found Him to be irresistible. She fell in love with both of them and never looked back.

By no means is this the end of their story. Parents threatened to disown, and an elopement was inevitable. But most important, a disgraced young woman was given a second chance at redemption. A little girl was given a father. And the heavens roared in victory over the thwarted plan that the enemy had meant to devastate us.  

I have NEVER once had to question whether or not this man who I share zero DNA with loves me or not. Not once. He is a constant reminder of God’s grace and mercy in my life. He is the only earthly father I’ve ever known and I owe everything I am to his relentless love for our family.

Dad, if you happen to read this…I love you. I’m so thankful for you and how you let Jesus live through you. I want to be as brave as you have been. Your love for us changed everything. I am forever grateful.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.

Love,

Your Little Girl

Rescue Mission Accomplished

She overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of her testimony…(Revelation 12:11 NIV, emphasis mine)

This past year hasn’t been easy. Honestly, I’m not sure I know anyone who’s had it easy. I’ve been dealing with chronic pain and fatigue. Throw in some chronic disappointment and you have the recipe for chronic discouragement and depression. Yuck. You see, I really believed that all this junk would have cleared up by now…that God would have answered my prayers and taken it all away. Although I know He has heard me, He has not removed these uncomfortable circumstances from me.

This is my first post in three months. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I stopped trusting that I had anything worthwhile to say. I like to offer encouraging, hopeful, hang in there, don’t give up words. Those words are hard to offer when doubt, shame, anger, resentment, self-pity, and disgust are the words most readily available.

Last weekend I got to spend some time at a Captivating Advanced retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado with John and Stasi Eldredge along with several members of the Ransomed Heart team. It wasn’t just a retreat, it was a rescue. If you have never been to one of their events, I strongly encourage you to do whatever it takes to get to one. I’m telling you, GO!!!

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So much healing took place in those mountains, but before sending us on our merry little way John Eldredge spent some time teaching about the reality of pain and suffering this side of heaven. He challenged us to let suffering expose and access our deepest wounds because they expose where our hopes are primarily set. Ouch. Personally, I’m not a big fan of being exposed in any way, but God would not send me home without giving me a chance to allow Him to deal with this area in my life. Too much is at stake.

For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV

John warned us…”Don’t reject the comfort because you’re mad that it’s not the answer you want.”

Busted.

Near the end of the session I spent some time quietly reflecting with a pen in one hand and Kleenex in the other…

I heard Jesus asking me:

“What if the current physical affliction you’ve been experiencing doesn’t go away? What will you do? How does that affect how you feel about Me?

You must choose.

Choose the idea of a pain free life without Me and the lie that you can make it happen. Or you can choose to trust Me and let Me love you and comfort you as much as you need. Your need is great.

You’ve been believing a lie that you can’t be effective in your calling while you’re suffering. It’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s not even biblical.

You have to choose.

Fight through the pain and follow Me on this path that I have chosen for you right now. You won’t always have this pain or be tired. No. One day we will be face to face and it will all melt away. I’ll wipe away every single tear and you will be free.

You have to let go of trying to understand why and just trust that My love is enough. My grace is enough to carry you. I’ll give you what you need to flourish and produce rich fruit to be refreshing to many thirsty souls. There’s a world that needs you. Don’t sit out any longer. They’re playing your favorite song and I’m asking you to dance with Me. Let Me guide you and lead you. Let Me hold you. Let Me teach you new steps. Let go of the way you thought the plan should work out. Let it go. Release your fear, doubt, and pain to Me. Open your hands and your heart to Me. Let Me fill you. This is where your healing begins.”

And so today I choose to re-engage here in this space. Too much is at stake.

Thanks for stopping by.

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