Despite the lack of relationship with my biological father (if you haven't read Part 1, find it here), God has put several men in my life over the years who have helped teach me about what it is like to have a father.
First and foremost was Poppy Rumbolt. I lived with him until I was 7 years old. So, during the very important formative years of my young life, Poppy was a positive, nurturing, disciplining, Godly influence in my life. Because I was the oldest grandchild, I was sometimes more like one of his children than his grandchild. Poppy would do almost anything for me, including getting me cheese when he asked what I wanted at the store. On some Sunday nights, just the two of us would go to church. Sometimes, he would even let me lay on his lap, which was generally a no-no for church. I remember him frying eggs for evening lunch, playing church with me, and being on his knees praying with us as a family. He would skip rope with me, take me out in boat, and take me for rides in his "bumpy truck." Poppy would always ask me to go get him when Ernie and Bert would come on Sesame Street - they were his favourite. I felt proud every time I was with him. We always shared a very special bond, and I love him more than any other man in my life. Poppy went to Heaven in March of 2017, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him, but I am so grateful that I will see him again on eternity's shore where we will live together forever.
There were two periods of time where my mom and I lived in the same town as my Aunt Maxine and Uncle Wayne. Once was after my mom and I moved out of Grammie and Poppy's house, and the other was when we moved back from Saskatchewan. During our years there, Uncle Wayne was like a father to me. He would always take me along when he took his boys somewhere, such as going to set rabbit snares, or fishing, or moose hunting. He also taught me the correct way to eat soup, how to play Rook, and proper general etiquette.
Over the years, there have been men in my life that played a dad-type role, for a season. Uncle John was around when I was little, my other Uncle John when I was in grade 12, and several pastors have guided me along my journey.
During the summer before I started grade 11, my mom got married, and I received a step-dad. He was the first man I had lived with since Poppy. He immediately accepted me as one of his own (he had three teenage daughters already). I always felt like I was a part of his family. He took care of me, loved me, and showed me what it was like to have a dad. I am so grateful that God brought our lives together.
It can sometimes be too easy to blame God for not allowing me to have my biological father in my life. And, I admit, I have done that a lot over the years. Although I had several amazing men in my life, there was always a part of me that wanted my father, my flesh and blood. I wanted to know who I came from, and what traits I got from him.
Then, there was the way God identifies Himself in the Bible - "God the Father." I had some ideas of what a father could be, but it was difficult to truly attach the "Father" attribute to God when what I knew about my earthly father was the opposite. God, as Father, knit me together in my mother's womb, He chose to create my life, He loves me unconditionally, and He will never leave me. As much as I would sing lyrics like, "I am a child of God," "You are a good, good Father," and "in my Father's house there's a place for me," I couldn't fully reconcile God the Father to be that way when my earthly father wants nothing to do with me, rejects me over and over again, and has never welcomed me into his home. I struggled with this concept my whole life.
I couldn't figure out why my Heavenly Father would not allow me to have a relationship with my earthly father. That is, until a few days ago.
After reading my last post, a minister God recently placed in my life, and who has already been a blessing to me in so many ways, sent me a sermon he preached about a year ago on the topic of Father-God. God used this message to completely change my perspective on Him as my Father:
"In the same way, if God, like that ideal ancient father, was really committed to giving the best opportunities for all his children no matter who they were, then surely God’s concern for them wouldn’t be limited by social status."
If this is true, and God really is committed to giving me the best opportunities, then I must believe that God knew I would have those best opportunities by not having my father in my life. I must believe that the life God gave me is His best for me. I must believe that this life, even with its many challenges, is not only better than what I would have had with my biological father, but it is actually God's very best for me.
My healing journey just took a huge leap forward. I now believe that God chose this life for me because it has His best opportunities for me here. One of my favourite verses growing up, and still today, is Romans 8:28, "We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan." (The Voice Translation)
I have to admit that most of my life I did not like God's plan of me not having my biological father in my life. I thought God was keeping the best from me. I mean, how could having my father in my life not be the best thing? This is where trust comes in. I can trust that God is committed to giving me the best opportunities, because He really, really is a Good, Good Father, and the evidence of that goodness in my life is overwhelming.
Father God, thank you for this 'best' life and 'best' opportunities You have given me. Thank you for giving Scott the exact words I needed to hear from You, and opening my heart to trust You as my Father. I look forward to this new dynamic of our relationship - Your beloved, chosen daughter, and her loving, perfect, protective Father - walking this best life together. Amen.