“Father to the fatherless, this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Psalm 68:5 (NLT)
Father’s Day came just a few days following a devastating divorce in our daughter and granddaughter’s home. After several years of marriage their husband and father decided he no longer wanted the responsibility of a family.
The world had seemed so perfect those days. A loving husband, a caring church family, and precious granddaughters to enjoy. And then in a few hours that world literally fell apart. Our family was unexpectedly thrust into a time of suffering. We grasped for our faith that we thought we knew so much about.
Pain such as our family did not know existed echoed over and over for many days and night to come. Those girls who had never known anything but the complete family became the children without their home and dad.
We prayed God would get us through those traumatic transition days. Our prayer was that others would see Jesus in us through the many days of heartache. Daily, we asked God to be a father, tender and compassionate to our granddaughters (Psalm 1-3:13). As grandparents, we could love them, feed them, and shelter them, but we could not fill in the gaps that were made when their earthly father left them. We learned together that God binds up wounds and heals broken hearts just as He promises in Psalm 147:3.
Gradually we settled in as a family. My husband and I committed ourselves to help take care of the grandchildren and to sacrifice the comfort that comes with retirement and being ‘just grandparents’. It was not always easy, but God often confirmed to us that we were in His will.
Weeks turned into months and months made years. They seemed to go quickly as we all adjusted to the new lifestyle that we had been so turbulently tossed into. The smiling faces of those precious girls made life a joy once more.
It will soon be Father’s Day again. Seven years have passed since our world was suddenly turned upside down. This week we went to the High School awards ceremony at the Christian school where our daughter teaches and both of the granddaughters attend. We sat in that small gym and heard Faith’s name called for the Science Award, History Award, and Algebra I Award. Those were nice. But, when we heard her name called for the Christian Character Award, tears of joy and gratefulness began to flow. We knew God was answering our prayer by telling us that others had seen Jesus in our granddaughter just as we had asked those many years ago.
This year the girls will celebrate Father’s Day with an earthly father who has not been around a lot of the time – but also with a Heavenly Father who has proven He will never leave them nor forsake them.
Melva Cooper Melva@melvacooper.com