• Dorthy Richberg

A Good Father

As I celebrate all the wonderful men on my timeline who love their kids and show up for them daily, who sacrifice their time, energy, love, money, dreams, and do all the hard things, my heart is full. It’s such a special thing to have a dad in your life! I pay extra attention to the words that were chosen to describe exactly what these everyday heroes give to their children. I saw leadership, guidance, protection, provision, love, presence, comfort, wisdom, and consistency, just to name a few. Being a father is such a special gift to both parties!

This father’s day has me thinking a lot about my own father. At eight years old, it's hard to know someone who never came back. I barely knew him personally and missed both his life and his death. Knowing what I now know about a father’s love, I’m not sad or bitter about the path God chose for me. He knew who my father would be and decided to give me his DNA and attach me to his legacy anyway. It wasn’t haphazard or unplanned. God was intentional about that decision and had a purpose for it. Everything about his presence and subsequent absence shaped and affected every decision in my life. The man who was supposed to model and show me what love, comfort, provision, and protection looked like opted out. It left a gaping wound that longed to be healed.

But God knew. This was His perfect plan for me. I see the loving tributes to all the father’s from women who had wonderfully present warrior dads in their lives. They showed up every day. I dance and rejoice in celebration with them because I know how special a thing that is! Yes! Honor them! To KNOW and FEEL from the earliest moment that you are treasured, adored, and belong to someone, plants you firmly by the river. It anchors your soul and quiets your mind.

But God knew the plans He had for me. He knew how He made me. He knew how I would think and respond to all of the circumstances, uncertainty, and longing. He knew the kind of warrior princess He was building for a time such as this. He knew what it would take to wake me up and transform all that stubborn ambition and determination into something he could use for His glory! He knew His kind of love would reveal and heal me and make all things new so this small time of suffering didn’t compare to the joy I would soon experience! I was always His little girl and His hand had been lovingly protecting and providing for me since before the foundation of the world.

So this father’s day I celebrate what both my father’s taught me about love. I lean in and explore, in a new way, with fresh eyes and a healed heart. I can’t say who or how I would be today if I had not first experienced my earthly father’s kind of love. I celebrate knowing the starkly contrasting difference between that kind of love and what real love is. I’m grateful and thankful for the many things he gave and taught me, both known and yet to be revealed. God used him for my good and for His glory to lead me to an expected end.

He’s such a good Father!