"In the Blink of an Eye it all changes...
With a kiss and a sigh love whispers your name.
It's here and gone...and life goes on...
Passin' like a ghost on the water"
My friend Rick Elias penned those words about 15 years ago or so. It's from a song called "Blink" on his album of the same name. Rick is nothing if not a prescient lyricist who seems to know what I have tried to say for most of my life. "Blink" is no exception.
I have been pondering my daughter and her life thus far. I have been preparing the Bible Study on godly womanhood as we've moved closer to her 14th birthday. We will celebrate her birthday in a special and emotional way this year. Often I've recommended Ed Tandy McGlasson's wonderful ministry here and on my radio show. Ed teaches about his method of pronouncing blessing and adulthood on all of his children as they reached a certain age. I am doing that with Morgan this year and leading into that is this study on the basic guidelines and definitions of godliness, particularly as it pertains to a young woman.
I am proud of my daughter more than even a verbose and wordy guy like me can express.
God, knowing I would only have one child because of my divorce, sure gave me a special child to raise. I could not have designed her myself and done better. She is bright, funny, extremely caring, smarter than anyone I know, beautiful, gifted as an artist and possessing an amazing...amazing...singing voice. It has been such a pleasure being her daddy.
And yet it has come and gone so quickly.
It seems like she just got here. She was a tiny little thing, and I am a big man. I engulfed her the night she was born and she returned the favor in my heart. My daughter has been the fuel that restarted the fires that died in my soul when my world collapsed 5 years ago and she was the beacon I followed through 3 1/2 years of homelessness and doubt and shame and fear. I didn't know how things were going to get better but I knew they must because I had her. And because they must...by God they would.
She has become an inquisitive, compassionate, God-loving young woman with a heart as big as the sky and a burning desire to honor Him with her life and her talents. In May she turns fourteen and I will pronounce my fatherly blessing on her and she'll begin her next phase as a young adult.
The years have flown by. Especially being divorced and not being there every night for every bedtime prayer or helping with every page of homework. I have three legal sized manila folders stuffed full of her drawings from the earliest days when she was scribbling on copy paper in my office, through the handmade Fathers Day cards and the pictures of our family...Me, Her, our two dogs and our cat...right up to the incredible current work that, along with her vocal abilities, got her into Nashville School of Arts.
It has come and gone...passing like a ghost on the water.
In four years she'll be approaching her 18th birthday and that fall she'll be leaving for Virginia and college at my Alma mater, Liberty University. Four more years of weekends and summers and sneaking to her school for lunch once in a while. It has been such a privilege and such a blessing and I am so much better a man for having been her dad.
And it has flown by so darned fast...
Dads...especially you divorced dads...make the most of this time. Stuff each day with a week. Make your kids collapse into bed at night so full of memories and happiness and so marked by your touch, that they smile when their head hits the pillow. Talk to them more than you talk to your buddies. Listen to their dreams and help them visualize them, and make the promise that you will do whatever you have to do to see those dreams come true. More than anything...tell them you love them. Tell them so much that they know when it's coming and they start to smile before the words leave your lips. My daughter tells me all the time that the one thing I've done that mattered most was consistently tell her I loved her. Having never heard those words even once from my father, I can assure you they mean everything to a kid.
Treasure every day and live each moment with them as if the only people on earth were your children. Because soon enough they'll be on their way...set in flight by their archer-dad who sees the target God intended them for and has been readying his arrows since the day they were born. The arrows bear the mark of the archer...build a fine arrow and leave a good mark, dads.
Remember...no matter what, you are their daddy. Divorce does not change that.
I am praying for you,
PS The show "DadMatters" will resume in two weeks with some changes and big announcements so stay tuned!