A Father To The Fatherless
It is hard not to try and overcompensate. It is hard not to try and be everything your children’s dad can no longer be in their lives. It is hard to remember, and accept, that I am not called to be both a father and mother to my boys. It is hard to rest in the truth that I am only called to be their mother.
But how I wish I could be more. I wish I could make up for every day and every moment that Roger is not in their lives. I so often feel that if I could just do this or do that, or be this or be that, or provide them with this or provide them with that—then, then maybe I could make it ok. I could make up for it. That Roger is not here. That they are fatherless. That I am all they are left with.
And so often my heart hurts so badly for them. And so often I cannot tell where my pain from losing Roger and the pain I feel on their behalf begins and ends.
And I will admit something else. (Though really, I’d rather not. Because I would rather you think that I am strong and brave and totally have it all together. But that is not the truth. And God is really big on truth. So here’s mine.)
I’m scared. A lot. A lot of the time. Because I don’t know how to be enough for my boys. I don’t know how to make sure they are ok, that they will be ok, not only with Roger’s death but also the circumstances surrounding his death. In the present or in the long run, I just don’t know how.
And I don’t know how to be the incredible father he was to them. I don’t know how to make sure they stay as purposed as he was teaching them to be. I don’t know how to teach them the things only Roger could teach them or give them the security that only Roger could give. And I don’t know how to be as kind and patient and gentle and encouraging as he was. I just don’t know how to be Roger for them.
Of course, they’ve never asked me to be. But when you’re a mom, that’s beside the point. So I struggle between what I know in my head and what I feel so heavily in my heart. I suppose this may be part of the journey of healing, part of the pathway to acceptance and moving on. Or maybe not. I don’t know if it will ever stop. Or at least, stop hurting so much.
But in spite of all of that, I do know this. Like me, my boys have a heavenly Father. And this Father sees every tear that falls, hears every cry that is uttered, knows every fear that overwhelms, and feels every pain that engulfs. We have a heavenly Father.
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15*
And therefore I purpose to rest in this:
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalms 68:5
On any given day. Through any given pain. For any given child.
*”Abba” is an Aramaic term that compares to our word for Daddy, a term used to describe a very personal and loving relationship.