A Father’s Day Tale

Once upon a time, there was a little boy born on a September day in Fort Payne, Alabama.
He grew into a cute little guy (as the pictures prove) with fair skin, red hair, and freckles. So adorable! 😍

He didn’t have the easiest childhood, and his life could have very easily gone a completely different direction, but God intervened in the form of a draft letter from Uncle Sam.
He joined the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Germany for a time.

When the war ended, he came home and found himself in Georgia.
A friend offered him a place to stay, with the condition that he go to church with him.
He went out of obligation for a while, until the Lord spoke to his heart, opened his eyes, showed him his sin, and changed his life forever.

He was now no longer dragged to church, but went at every opportunity.
One day, he went to a revival meeting and saw a beautiful young lady playing the piano. Her outward and inward beauty captured his attention.
They began seeing each other and eventually fell in love and were married on an October day in the church where she grew up. This was a huge concession on her part because she wanted to elope, but he was the only one in his family who was a Christian and wanted all his family in church to hear the Gospel that had changed his life.

A year after they were married, she had an adorable little girl and he became a father for the first time. Very soon after she was born, he found out he was going to be a father again. Surprise!
A month before his first daughter’s birthday, he welcomed another little girl into the family.

They moved to just outside Atlanta and settled in there.
He was a deacon in their church, and she played the piano and worked in the Christian school.
They discovered they were going to be parents again, but that baby saw Jesus without ever seeing them.
God did give them the cutest little boy in the whole world not long after their loss.
With him, their family was complete.

The house in Atlanta was tiny, but so full of love and laughter. He worked hard to provide his family with everything they needed.
His children never knew they were “poor” and never felt deprived. They knew they had a loving and fun dad who played with them and prayed with them.
He has a very distinct laugh and it was heard quite often in their home.
When in a store or flea market or parking lot or wherever, and a song came on he knew or liked, he would start singing and dancing…loudly. It didn’t matter if anyone was around or if there was an audience. He just had fun, and in doing so, he taught his kids that’s it’s okay to have fun. It makes life better.

He took them to church every time the doors were opened.
He taught them to respect the house of God and the man of God. There was no running or noise-making or gum-chewing in the church. The pastor was addressed as such and nothing negative about him was spoken in their home.
He taught them the importance of and reason behind going to church. He taught them to dress right and act right and always be respectful.
The first place they heard the Gospel was in their home. His children heard him pray that one day they would be saved and serve the One he loved so much.

They eventually moved from busy city to her grandmother’s home in the much slower-paced country. There, they finished raising their children and he started raising chickens.
Thankfully, the chickens are now gone, but they’re still living happily ever after in their old family home.

He’s had his battles for sure, but he’s gotten to see prayers answered, and through it all, he would tell you that God has been nothing but sweet and faithful to him and his family.
He says we are his blessings, but truth be told, he is ours.

He made growing up fun and exciting and I wouldn’t change a thing.
He taught me to love football – even if he does cheer for the wrong team. 😉
He taught me how NOT to play Monopoly. (He’s kind of a sore winner.)
He taught me how to drive and how to check the oil in my car.
He taught me what kind of man I needed to look for and wait for.
He taught me what it means for God to change a life and the importance of doing right out of a heart of love for Him, not obligation to others.
He taught me that it is worth it to spend my life offering myself to the One who shed His blood as atonement for my sin.
I’ve always loved hearing my daddy’s testimony of how God changed his life and made him into the man I know and love.

He may dance with his hands instead of his feet these days, but he’ll still belt out a song like no one is listening.
He may have had to slow down, but he refuses to stop.
His hair may have turned from red to white, but some things will never change.
He still loves his family, his Lord, and his church fiercely, and he is loved by many in return.

God certainly gave us a treasure in our father, and I am so grateful! ♡

image
Here's my dad with my sister and me, circa 1984. I was the brand new "surprise!" 🙂
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