"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Sunday, June 17, 2012

He has fathered me well

My husband has "fathered" me well.

I have said this for years and it often creeps people out a bit.  It sounds weird to them, I guess.

It isn't weird.  It is true.  And, beautiful.

Yes, my husband is my lover, my soul mate and my very best friend, to be sure.  But, he has also fathered me very well through the years.

I deeply love my natural father.  He is a good man.  And, from all I am told, in the very earliest days of my life, he was a loving father.  But, I don't remember those early days.  I wish I did.  I just don't.  As a child-of-divorce, "father" became a confusing and muddled word for me at an early age.  A dark place.

Experts now say that, to a child's psyche, divorce is similar to unexpected and sudden death.  (Source:  The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce by Lewis, Blakeslee, and Wallerstein)  Psychologically speaking, for the child, their father and mother die at the same time somewhere deep within.  In a child's heart, foundations break and something rips and tears within.

Even if I am simply a case-study-of-one-- for me this was true.  Something deep did break.  "Father" was a sad place in my heart.  A broken place--- "father" was a place of pain and wounding.   Early in my life the word "Daddy" was a word that brought tears, longing, and an ache.

Healing began for me when I first began to understand the love of my Heavenly Father in my teen years.  But, deep-seated healing began when I was loved by my husband.  God used this man, my man, to show me something tender, something real and something wide:  Love.

I remember feeling quite justified in this "theory" when reading Cloud and Townsend's excellent book,  "The Mom Factor".  In their expertise, they suggest that God has given us the ability to find deep healing in the love and care of others around us.  We can find new "mothers" and new "fathers" all around us.   From our friends, our co-workers, our pastors and our spouses we can let ourselves be "re-parented".  This is the beauty of how God ordained community and human-to-human fellowship!

Father God wants us to know His massive love for each of us... and He gives us opportunities all around to experience and know that love.

My husband has loved me so well through the years.  It is hard for me to express with words.   I actually find myself sitting here unable to express how deep, how wide and how long is the love my husband has showered on me.

And, then, we had kids...

Through the years, I have watched him love and father them!  Oh! What a healing balm for my soul!    He held each one so carefully and so tenderly through the years.  He has loved them with a fierce and passionate love---a protecting love.  He has given of himself time-and-time again, serving and serving until exhausted.  He has disciplined and taught.  He has comforted and caressed.  He has played with them and danced with them and created with them.  The list is endless.

My husband has indeed fathered me well.  And, he has fathered his children well.

And, my Heavenly Father whispers deep into my healing soul, "Watch, Stephanie!  Look.  Hear, my daughter, THIS is love!  This is just a taste--a glimpse-- of My love for you!"

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