I stared into the darkness of my room, crying silently because I didn’t want to wake anyone. It was after 1 a.m., and I couldn’t sleep. My heart was pounding so loud that I could hear my own pulse. A question had entered my mind, causing great, sudden distress:
Who’s going to walk me down the aisle at my wedding?
The answer to this question seems obvious, right? Unfortunately, the answer for me isn’t as obvious.
This story begins on a sunny August day, several years ago. I was nine years old. It started out as the best day ever. I spent the day soaking up the summer sun, swimming in a big pool, and laughing with my mom, sisters, and cousins. I remember not wanting the fun to end, but it had to.
Shortly after we arrived home, we washed up and my mom started cooking dinner. Everything seemed normal. My dad soon arrived home from work, and my parents disappeared upstairs for what seemed like hours. The food on the stove was still cooking. My sisters and I didn’t know what to do.
We knew something wasn’t right.
I don’t recall what time it was when my parents came back downstairs. My mom’s eyes were red from crying, and my dad called everyone to the living room to “talk”. Several minutes went by, and there wasn’t much talking at all, really. It was mostly silence, except for a few sniffles.
Finally, my dad spoke. Tears ran down his face, and I remember thinking, This is the first time I’ve ever seen Dad cry.
At first, my dad’s words seemed like a cruel joke.
There’s no way he would do that, I remember thinking. He has to be joking. Why would he hurt my mom this way? Why would he do this to our family?
That night is one of the darkest nights of my memory.
The months that followed were nothing but a whirlwind of confusion and pain. My parents divorced, and my dad left. For many years, the circumstances surrounding the divorce forced me to wrestle with the desire to have my father in my life.
My teenage years were arguably some of the worst years of my life in this regard. My dad remarried, and that made things even more complicated.
All of these factors make the question posed above difficult to answer for me. Sure, there is no law that says I am required to have my dad walk me down the aisle. It’s simply a tradition in the culture I’ve grown up in.
However, my right of having my dad in my life was taken away from me, and because of this, I’ve missed out on a lot.
I don’t like saying, “I wish,” but I wish my dad was there for me through every stage of my life. I can only imagine what that would have been like.
I wish I learned how a man is supposed to love his wife, through the example of my dad. I can only imagine what that would have been like.
I wish my dad had been present for the times I had my heartbroken, and I needed him there to dry my tears. I can only imagine what that would have been like.
The list could go on…
Throughout all of this, God has taught me that even through pain and suffering, He is still sovereign over everything. The divorce didn’t catch God by surprise. Although it was an unfortunate event, He had His reasons for allowing that to happen to my family. His thoughts are higher than mine, and so are His ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). I won’t understand everything that God does, but that’s okay.
That dark night, in the midst of my anxiety, my Heavenly Father comforted me by reminding me that He is perfect and I am precious in His sight. I’m His child, and His perfect love is greater than all my fears and anxieties.
When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.Psalm 94:19
Somedays, when I think about some things that relate to my dad, I may become sad. But that’s okay. I know God loves me more than anyone else ever could.
Even my darkest days don’t stand a chance against the light of His love.
Until next time,