You'll forgive the tardiness of this post, I guess I typed it and never actually published it. I meant to post it a few weeks ago, but it's still relevant.
I recently saw the movie Courageous. If you haven't seen it I strongly recommend it. It's a touching story of a group of men, striving to connect with their children and become better fathers and role models. It certainly rings true in today's society. I know far to many kids my age and younger who didn't have a father who was active or even present in their lives, and it hurt them in more ways than one can number. I know so many girls who have gone looking for love with all the wrong guys, in all the wrong places, because they didn't have a dad to show them how much they are worth.
It's no secret that my parents had a rough patch when I was growing up, and my dad didn't live with us for about a year, but I'm one of the few and the immeasurably lucky whose dad came back, and even when he was gone, he's never been absent. My parents have always fought for me and my sister, fought to give us a stable, reliable home to grow up in.
My dad is also military, which means he's gone at least once a month for the weekend, once a year for a two-week training, and as is to be expected in a nation at war, he's been deployed a few times. Even through all of that, I can never remember a time in my life when I wasn't a priority for my dad. He's always said that his top priorities are, in order, God, Family, and Country.
I remember the very first time a boy broke up with me. I was 14 years old and my mom was visiting family in Idaho. He dumped me in an email after "dating" for a whopping month and a half. Naturally, I was devastated, but once again, my dad came through for me. He gave me a hug, a pint of Ben and Jerry's, and a new CD, told me he loved me, and let me feel what I was feeling. You see, that's one of the things about my dad that makes him so awesome: I have never in my life doubted that my dad loves me, believes in me, and is proud of me. He's sat through innumerable ballet recitals, choir and show choir concerts, art shows, talent shows, christmas pageants,
threatened given a stern talking-to many many young men, and at the end of the day, just always been there for me. He taught me to ride a bike, shoot a gun, change a tire, and kick some butt when needed. When I drove our van into a snowy ditch my senior year of high school, it was my dad that I called in hysterics, and it was my dad that talked me down. He's always been the one guy in my life that I am 100% sure I can always count on, and I'll always be grateful for that.
I guess, in the end, the biggest proof one can take that my daddy raised me well is that I'm confident and happy with who I am. I don't need a guy to complete me or make me happy, and my number one qualifier in a future husband is that he loves Jesus and thus will love my girls as much and as well as my Daddy loves me.