Sitting here behind my MacBook Pro at Starbucks in Rowlett, TX, I’m attempting to find words for this post. Unfortunately there are no words to express the way this daddy is feeling this very moment. It’s as if my life has flashed by me and the Lord is whispering in my ear saying, “I told you life goes by fast”. I can still remember my daughter, bloody and crying, as the doctor congratulates me by placing this beautiful little baby girl in my arms. I can remember being in my wife’s hospital room laying down as my little girl laid peacefully on my chest. I didn’t want to let her go.
Now I find myself 18 years later feeling the same way. It’s not like she’s getting married or anything (not until she’s 50), but this new chapter was one that I guess I wasn’t ready for. My little girl is graduating High School…! One part of me is excited and rejoicing because she accomplished something great! She’s smart, intelligent and very creative. Despite her quietness and being reserve, I can tell you that she is much smarter than her daddy! Yet there is this other side that merits a deep introspection. Did I do enough as a dad to meet her emotional, spiritual and physical needs? Did I mess up anywhere in her life that will have her question me as a parent? Did I show Jesus as Lord to her? I can go on and on as to the millions of questions that are flooding my mind even as I’m writing. But I can say this for certain, God is faithful!
As a pastor’s kid myself, I tried to make sure I kept the struggles of ministry far away from her as possible. Unfortunately that was not the case at times. She saw her mommy and daddy in their strongest and experienced the pain in their weakest. She saw her daddy when he was in full blown depression and saw her mommy’s many tears due to the hurts of both church and ministry. Yet through it all she stood strong! She felt the stretches when we were stretched, she heard the talk when people were talking, she felt the personal pain of pastoral ministry and yet trusted in the Lord and followed her parents guidance.
There were times I wanted to snap my fingers and start all over again. To go back and re-do those things I’ve could have done better. To protect her from the things that hurt her. To stop my ministry altogether when her mom and her were tired and overwhelmed. To hand in the “popularity” of ministry just to be a dad to a beautiful girl and a husband to a beautiful wife. Yet, here we are now. I can’t rewind, there is no snapping of my fingers, I can’t re-do what has been done, or change what has been our journey. What I can do is glorify the Lord through it all, because He is faithful!
I am excited in the fact that this new chapter for my daughter is also a new chapter for her mom and I. She desires to go to college (Dallas Baptist University to be exact). But as any dad would inspire, I encouraged her to not rush it and go when she’s around 40 (of course I’m kidding)! This summer she is going to be my personal intern. She will be traveling with me as I will be speaking at different camps and conferences. I am going to have her speak and share her testimony as she has made mention that she desires to be an author and speaker like her daddy. Again, God is faithful!
To conclude, I am a proud daddy today. Tomorrow night my daughter walks the stage and receives her diploma of completion of her many years of being homeschooled. One day she will again walk the stage as we cheer her on for her completion of college. Then one day she will walk the aisle (when she’s 50 and I’m holding a walker) as I give her to God’s man for her. Most importantly, I thank the Lord for allowing our family a new chapter, a new adventure and the allowance of starting over, still being her daddy and desiring to still be her hero.