As we've learned from countless angsty poets and musicians, dads can really mess us up. A messed up father can destroy a child's perspective of themselves, the world, and especially of God (the Father).
But I have my own video to add to those two sobering ones.
Although the negative is true, I'm happy to report that the reverse is true too. My daddy gave me a name, but then he also gave me love and hope and security and dancing.
So many people can't stand the idea of God the Father because their father was hard, impatient, demanding, and demeaning. But for me, embracing the idea of God the Father, the Father who reputedly has "loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3) is natural, as my own earthly father has always shown me an unconditional, enduring love.
Believing that "the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love" (Psalm 103:8) is second nature. My own father pours compassion and grace on me when I suffer. My own father has always been slow to anger, never reacting in quick heat. My own father is abounding in love--I've never experienced the limit of it yet.
Understanding that Jesus "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many" (Mark 10:45), is made clear by my father's example, who lives to serve others, putting them before his own needs.
It's not hard for me to believe that "this is how God showed his love among us...he sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4: 9-10) because I know my own father would sacrifice everything to save me.
I am a confident, balanced, and successful woman in large part because I have a father who is an enduring, supportive, loving rock in my life.
In a world full of hurt and broken promises and bad choices, dad, thank you for being the father you were created to be.
Happy 61st birthday!
Your little angel girl