Each year, I buy four Father’s Day cards because I feel like I have “four dads,” men who were each father figures to me.
Even though I grew up without my real dad around full time, I’ve realized that I was super-blessed to have had such caring people in my life. Such a blessing had been evident all along, but it took me years to wake up to this to fully appreciate it. God had always been guiding and nurturing me through loving expressions of fatherhood.
Growing up, I felt I lacked someone fundamental in my life since my parents separated when I was young. I sometimes felt “less than” other kids who had “complete” families, and I felt I was missing out on someone who was supposed to always be there. It took a simple understanding of spiritual truths I had learned in Christian Science to help me finally accept, as an adult, that I had been blessed so many times over with the gracious and caring individuals who came into my family’s life during challenging times.
Often, a family friend or close relative would be there, as if out of the blue, to offer guidance and care right when I needed it. My family had, in fact, felt the protection and proof of God’s care at every phase. And although a father figure may not have been a relative, that didn’t matter, because it was the Father-like, God-like love and guidance that was being expressed toward me that counted. I was a God-beloved and nurtured child and had always been provided for no matter what.
Each of the men I buy those Father’s Day cards for expressed a particular spiritual quality, whether it was strength, guidance, joy, or adventure. I feel truly fortunate to have known those loving individuals who cared for me like a son. Isn’t it awesome what God can provide for us when we least expect it?
Despite this realization, up until a little while ago, there were still nagging little skeptical thoughts that tried to counter all the good and say that I was just trying to put a good spin or “Band-Aid” on an otherwise difficult part of my life: What about all those years of hurt and loneliness?
But I came to see that, quite frankly, all that didn’t matter anymore. The blessings of God’s love became way too real to me and too tangible in my thought to be refuted. Joy and gratitude blew away any lingering pain or resentment I felt toward my dad. The past was the past. It was done.
There was an added benefit to all this, and it was actually a double whammy of a healing in many ways. I was able to actually appreciate my real father and forgive him for things that had happened and let go of many years of resentment. I now could see him as a beloved child of God, and release him from my judgment. This helped clean up any negativity I harbored and to love my dad for the spiritual qualities that he so graciously expressed, and expresses. (His heartfelt laughter is an attribute that I still appreciate so much.)
Another big part of this is that I realized time is not a factor in healing. Despite the fact that many of these events took place many years ago, I can benefit from the blessings I experienced right now.
As a result of this healing recognition, my current relationship with my father has never been more harmonious. What is truly a blessing is that all the past issues are over and can’t stop us from having the solid and loving father and son relationship I had always hoped for. Only through God’s guidance could this have ever happened.
Science and Health
Mark Pierce is from Long Beach, California.
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