The Things that Shape our Lives

Recently on a Christian radio station I heard a brief blurb about choosing to honor our dads. In light of the approach of Father’s Day the speaker was offering some practical ways of honoring fathers, even in the absence of a close relationship.  I found that idea entirely foreign. It has never been difficult for me to find ways to honor my father,  not because I’m just great at respecting my elders, but rather because my father is worthy of my honor. I am blessed to have a dad who has always invested in his family. And the older I get the more I realize what a tremendous blessing my dad is to me and our entire family.

Dad has taught me as much with his actions as he has with words. When I look back over my childhood and consider the influences that have shaped who I am today, I see my father’s faithfulness, and consistency as one of the most essential elements. A man of integrity, Dad did not ask anything of us, that he himself did not uphold. Dad is passionate about what he believes.

And what he believes, he lives. That’s why when I was two years old my parents left their families behind and traveled overseas to Venezuela to be missionaries with 2 little girls, no money in their pockets and a mere $200 a month in promised financial support. Dad believed Jesus meant it when He said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” So he did.

Years later Dad gave me this piece of wisdom that I will never forget, “Tabitha, God knows exactly what you need. When we went to Venezuela, we didn’t have the money to turn around and come home when things got tough, but we had the prayers to keep us there.” This reassurance carried with it the evidence of action. For things had gotten unbelievably tough for our little family. My mom miscarried their third child just months after arriving in Venezuela and had to be taken to the hospital on the back of a cattle truck! The language and culture barrier only made the whole situation that much more difficult. But Dad was right, God had people praying. He didn’t give mom and dad immediate relief from their difficult circumstances. Instead He gave them Himself.  Dad has raised us to believe that God is always enough, because he hasn’t just said it in words, he’s lived it out.

So today, on Father’s Day, as I consider the things that have shaped my life, I thank God for a father who has modeled my Heavenly Father’s faithfulness, a man who has influenced and shaped me more than any other human being. And my fervent prayer is that his faithfulness be evident in generations to come in our family.

One Response to "The Things that Shape our Lives"

  • Oh, Tabitha, I praise GOD for fathers like yours! Thank you for this powerful testimony of how a father can influence his family with righteousness. I am still praying and waiting for my Dad to bow his knee to our Heavenly Father. What joy awaits him when he surrenders his heart! Blessings~

    1 Jessica said this (June 18, 2012 at 8:39 am) Reply

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