There I sat, literally on the window sill, with the blinds pulled up, watching the street and waiting for his car to pull up into the driveway. My suitcase was packed and waiting in the living room. My mom was in the kitchen and my step-dad was pacing in the living room. The time for him to come pick me up came and went. Maybe he was just running late. Maybe there was traffic across town. He would be here any minute.
He never came.
I was two years old when my biological parents split up and got divorced. For the next few years, my real dad would come pick me up on different weekends and we would spend time together. I was young and don't remember much about those times. The only vivid memory I have is celebrating a birthday in a bowling alley where one of my gifts was Barbie's Dream House.
Then, one weekend, I sat on a window sill waiting for a car that never came.
By this time, my mom had remarried to my step-dad who had two daughters of his own from a previous marriage. I had a completely new family and the memory of my real dad slowly began to fade. There were never birthday cards or phone calls. Nothing.
But, the Lord had given me a new family and a new earthly dad. One that did celebrate birthdays with balloons and cake, one who taught me how to ride a bike, one who took me and my sisters to the park, one who taught me how to throw a frisbee and how to throw a baseball. A dad who sat me on his lap and let me "drive" the truck around the block. One who put up a basketball goal above the garage so we could play one-on-one.
A dad that showed me love.
A dad that showed me Christ.
It wasn't until years later, after one of my grandfathers had passed away, that I saw my real dad again. Even though he wasn't ever around, when he walked through the doors, I immediately knew who he was. And I was excited. But, nothing changed. Then, another few more years came and went, until I saw him again. Just keep repeating this pattern. Eventually, the pattern became seeing him only at Christmas. And even now, me being 24, this is still the pattern. This is still our relationship.
It wasn't until I got older, in high school, that I really began thinking about how this relationship was affecting my life. I'm actually really thankful for that. I'm thankful that I didn't have to deal with it as much as a child, that I didn't have to think that someone who was supposed to provide for me, didn't. That in a way, I was abandoned.
Thanks to my step-dad, the Lord provided me with a good, Godly example. A father that pointed me to Christ, my one true Father. Thanks to my step-dad, I never felt unloved as a child. It wasn't a worry. And that step-dad, soon lost the title of "step"-dad. He was simply, "Dad."
"You are dearly loved," I would say to my childhood self.
"It may get difficult to understand when you are older, but you are dearly loved."
"It won't always make sense and you won't know what to do, but you are dearly loved."
"The older you get, don't hold any hatred in your heart. Love, as you are loved."
"When forgiveness seems so hard, do it anyways. Forgive, as you are forgiven."
"When you can't understand why, look to your one, true, Heavenly Father."
"Never forget, as crazy as things will get, that you are dearly loved," I would say to my childhood self.
Not all children are able to have both, a mom and a dad, around. Not all children are blessed to have a step-dad, who comes in and loves them as his own. Some children have just a mom. Or just a dad. Some have neither. Some children have grandparents that take them in as their own. Some have older siblings. There are many types of families out there and we all have different childhoods.
But, if there is one thing that I want all children to know, no matter where they live or where they come from or who their family is, I want them to know that they are dearly loved.
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You are dearly loved as well. Thank you for stopping by and reading a little piece of my story.
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