This afternoon I drove past the domestic violence shelter our children used to live in. It's a strange thing, thinking about the otherness of their stories. I literally let out a gasp as I saw it. And then the tears came...slowly. It wasn't a sense of sadness that overcame me. Sometimes when I think about their journey it is, but not today. Today I felt an overwhelming sense of God's love for them through the earthly father they have in Trevor. Images of him with them flooded over me and I was immeasurably grateful for the man I call mine.
When I was in high school dating one of my 'projects' my mom once told me that I may be able to live with someone's faults but I needed to remember that when I was choosing a partner in this life, I was also choosing a father for my children. Some of the best advice I've ever gotten. I chose well.
When I saw him with our firstborn I knew I had made the best choice of my life. He did diapers and bottles and baths and would just lay looking at her and talking to her and whispering to her. As she grew and the other two came along he would never tire of those daddy chores. He danced with them and flipped them and played and laughed and sang. He told when-I-was-young-in-Jamaica stories and guided and disciplined and loved them with a fierceness I had never seen from him.
He prayed over them and with them and for them. He would read the Bible with them and teach them and take them to church. He would talk with them but most of all he just shows them. For those of you that know Trevor, you know he is my opposite in many ways. He is a man of quiet strength. He has shown them how to live their life by example. All of these qualities made me fall more in love with him.
Then three years ago, these two little wounded souls walked into our life. I knew then that he was the best man I would ever know. He nurtured and held and protected. He taught our son how to hug and that a real man's touch does't hurt but is helpful and gentle and kind. He taught our daughter that yes, she is ridiculous cute but that her value comes from much more than that. He was patient with me as the crazy new mother of five trying to find a way to mother these two beautiful children that had just been relinguished by the only mother they had ever known. He managed to reassure the originals that their was enough love in our hearts for all of them. He led us through it all...with his quiet strength, with his wisdom and grace and his complete dependence on our Heavenly Father.
He is the father of 5 and I think each of them would say they are his favorite. He is the kind of dad I pray for all children. He reads with them and helps with math homework. He helps get them in the jammies and then lets them go outside and play football before bed:)
He encourages and disciplines and loves. He builds them up and believes in them and doesn't just tell them about the love of Jesus but shows it to them. He loves their momma...even when she is hard to love.
He tells them he loves them and shows them affection and coaches and cheers and is with them. He will watch the movie about the princess and throw the football when a game he wants to watch is on. He takes his role as father seriously. He lets the example of our Heavenly Father lead him.
The smartest thing I ever did was choose a man that loves Jesus more than He loves me.
So as I drove past the domestic violence shelter today, I knew the pain that place holds within it's walls and I knew that my children would never have to face that kind of pain again. Because theirs is a story of redemption. Theirs is a story of healing. Theirs is a story of a man that wanted to be their daddy and has become that in every way. Theirs is the story of a father that loves them fiercely.
So I kept on driving with tears trickling down my face and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and a prayer for the children within those walls that need a loving father in their life.
When I think of the brokeness of this world and how for so many that pain starts at the hands of a man they call dad, I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the father my children have. I am overwhelmed at the love our Heavenly Father has for them through him. I am overwhelmed that this man is mine.
Happy Father's Day, Trevor. Thank you is not enough.