About a month ago I asked Steve if he’d like to share something on this blog for Father’s Day. For a while he wasn’t sure if he would or not, but tonight he sat down and wrote this. Although he wanted me to give a disclaimer that it is a longer writing than usual, I’m glad he took the time to share it. I know it meant a lot to me to read his thoughts and reflections and I hope you’ll enjoy reading as well!
I’m not exactly sure the first time that I realized that Father’s Day in 2014 would be on June 15th. I don’t think it was until maybe 3 or 4 months ago… I think Megan was the one to tell me. I remember thinking, wow, that could be a day filled with many different emotions.
If you’ve been following my wife’s blog at all, you may be familiar with the significance of June 15th. It is the date of our first daughter, Faith’s, birthday. It is also the day she passed away. This year it would be Father’s Day…and also the day Faith would have turned two.
This year is my third Father’s Day. My first Father’s Day was June 17th, 2012, two days after Faith passed away. That Father’s Day was filled with many emotions, very raw and powerful. Last Father’s Day was spent in reflection… the mixed emotions were still there. I think I expected to be in worst shape than I actually ended up being.
This year I felt like Father’s Day would be much easier emotionally. On December 7th, 2013 we welcomed Natalie Jane, our 2nd daughter, into this world. This Father’s Day I would get to spend with my daughter here in person.
Today’s plans involved going to church for a Father’s Day breakfast, attending the church service, and then spending some time with both of our families. I woke up this morning shortly after 7:00 am. I went to my phone to turn off my alarm and waiting there was a text from my brother, Greg. The text read, “Love and miss you Faith. Happy Father’s Day Steve”… a short note, but one that meant so much to me.
Meg and I remember Faith often. I know Meg has written about it previously, but it really makes us feel good that others remember Faith as well. My cousin Brian and his wife Beth have sent us cards two years in a row on Faith’s birthday and I can tell you it means the world to both Meg and I.
Anyways, back to the text… I loved receiving this note and knowing that my brother remembered Faith today and let me know, but drawing my mind to Faith first thing in the morning set off emotions that I thought would be scaled down this year. As Father’s Day got closer and closer this year I really thought that celebrating the day with Megan and Natalie would mean that happy emotions would push out the sad emotions. I put the phone down and found myself sad… missing Faith.
I missed her a lot. I haven’t really found myself wondering what Faith would be doing were she still with us, but I lay in bed and found myself wondering what Faith would be like turning two today. How would today be different if she were still with us? If we could celebrate today with her AND her sister Natalie! Tears streamed down my cheeks.
Meg was up by now and noticed… she comforted me, I talked a little bit just to convey my brief emotions, and then we just held each other. The day hadn’t started like I had envisioned it for sure… in fact, I didn’t feel much like going to the Father’s Day brunch now. Meg and I just held each other… for a while… it was comforting to me.
I did go in to see Natalie when she woke up. She was so happy to see us… she ALWAYS has a huge smile in the morning to greet us. That was comforting to me and made me happy, she got a smile out of me after the rough start.
We went to church in the morning. As the sermon began, the pastor read from Luke 8:40 and started talking of Jairus, who went to Jesus pleading for Him to visit his house as his daughter was dying. Meg and I looked at each other and I think she whispered “oh boy”. We knew that Jesus would go to Jairus’ house and raise his daughter to life, having told Jairus in verse 50, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
Again, some tears welled up in my eyes. I thought to myself, “I had believed that Faith would live. I had believed that God would heal Faith while she was in Megan’s womb and we would have a miracle as a witness to give glory to God.” Pastor Tom did go on to touch on some other things, rather than really dig in and focus on just this last section of Luke, but he did say that we should have an unwavering faith and believe that God’s will would be done.
This brought me back. I remembered how I felt after Faith passed away. I remember feeling comforted in the midst of this huge loss here on Earth knowing that God would have a plan and use this somehow for good.
I remember when Faith was diagnosed with fetal hydrops and we sat in front of an ultrasound, looking at the fluids that had suddenly showed up inside her body where they should not be. I remember coming to a point where I surrendered to God and acknowledged that this child was His. He was her Father before I was.
We know that God knew her before He formed her in Megan’s womb as He told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”. Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb”.
God created Faith and God does not make any mistakes. He knew she would have fetal hydrops and he knew she would pass away. I know that her life, in its short existence, has touched others’ lives. I pray that her life will still continue to serve a purpose here on Earth but I know that she is with her Father, God, in Heaven right now. I found myself comforted again.
God is Faith’s father. He is Natalie’s father. He is mine. He is yours. Whether you believe in Him right now or whether you don’t, God created you. He is your Father.
As a father to Natalie, I try to be the best dad I can be. I like to feel that I am doing a good job, but I know I am not perfect. I will always have faults. God does not have those faults… it doesn’t matter what you have done with your life up to this point, He is there waiting and wanting you to love him back… all the while He is loving you regardless of where you’re at.
The rest of my day was pretty good. We spent time with both of our families. I got to see the joy that Natalie brings to all of our relatives and I got to spend some quality time with her.
I love her. I love Faith. So does God, with the perfect Father’s love. How much joy do my girls bring to God? Someday we’ll all be together in Heaven together and what an amazing day that will be!