My daughter was married 2 1/2 years ago.  During the wedding reception her brothers performed a wedding rap for their bridal toast.  They aren’t exactly the singing and dancing type of guys – but for their sister they would do almost anything.  They practiced for hours to make sure they didn’t skip a beat and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the evening.

So, one morning this week I woke up to a text from my friend that said to check out the Facebook Page titled Soul Speaking.  I poked around a little bit…nothing particularly stood out…and I poked some more and then – OMG!  Soul Speaking posted the video from my daughter’s wedding from 2 1/2 years ago!

Of course this does a momma proud which is why I am telling you about it and I clicked and I liked and I looked some more.  Then I noticed that Soul Speaking found the wedding video from another website by the name of LittleThings . (type “brothers” in the search bar)

Now I was squealing a bit because well…now the video is practically FAMOUS.  And now…after two awesome and fabulous websites referenced our wedding video, well…I am not sure what is considered VIRAL but what do you think about (last time I checked) 1,011,625 views???  If you haven’t seen it – here it is.  It makes me smile over and over and over…Brothers Wedding Rap.  

It’s kind of a strange thing to have a cherished family moment shared with over a million people.  Yowsa.  Glad they didn’t get my mug in that number!  Anywhoooo – the wedding was wonderful and having the video resurface brought back the precious memories of the evening.

I love weddings.  I love every part of them.  I love the vows, the music, the decorations, the wedding message, and the wedding “glow” of each couple.  But what I love the very, very most are the wedding toasts.  I could listen to wedding toasts all night long.  They tell the story of how the couple met and about each unique family.  And my favorite of all the wedding toasts is the one that is given by the father of the bride.  They get me every time.

I have seen grown men weep unashamedly during their toasts to their daughter. During my husband’s toast he spoke as though my daughter and her new husband were the only ones in the room and locked his eyes on theirs as he quietly spoke.  There is something really special about the love that a father has for his daughter.  It is a love that is both fierce and tender at the same time.  Daughters have a way of stirring something deep in the soul of their dads.

This week is Father’s Day.  It is a day we celebrate the wisdom, love, support, guidance, and protection from our dads.  It is a day when we celebrate all of the many things they did that contributed to our lives.  I love reading all the Fathers day sentiments posted on FACEBOOK  where sons and daughters write beautiful sentiments about their dads.

And it also makes me very, very, sad.  I don’t have that kind of a relationship with my dad.  We have a broken relationship and it seems to be beyond repair.

When it comes to my Dad I am still a 13 year old girl inside. It’s not easy to talk about my dad.  Talking about my dad evokes a dialogue of voices inside of  me. If my dad doesn’t think much of me, surely it’s my fault?  Maybe I just didn’t try hard enough…what will people think of me?  I need to “honor my father and mother” – so maybe I should just put up and get over it!

My dad was a pretty great dad when I was young.  He demonstrated love, believed in me, cherished me, and encouraged me. But somewhere along the way he just STOPPED.   He stopped loving me the way dads love their daughters.  I don’t know if he wouldn’t – or he couldn’t – or if something was going on in his life.  I have tried to talk to him about these things but he won’t – or he can’t…I don’t know.  And there is a wounded little girl inside of me.

This has been a lifelong journey and in the past months since my older brother’s death I went from my darkest place to a place of healing.   For the first time in my life I sought a fabulous Christian counselor and he spoke new truths to me .  My family and friends are in full agreement with his words of counsel.  I wish that 50 years ago I had learned the things that I am just now learning.  It could have saved me years of heartache and confusion and maybe…just maybe it could have brought healing to my relationship with my parents.

So – in honor of Fathers Day – this is for the “kids” who feel sad about dad.  These are some of the notes I have compiled during this journey of mine.   I chose the notes that I thought might be helpful in any relationship – not just the ones that apply to my situation. If you are in a hurting relationship, I pray that some of this might be helpful for you.

* Try as hard as you possibly can.  Say everything that you need to say.  Don’t give up or walk away too soon.  
* Don’t be afraid to confront.  If you care, it is your business and your duty to say something.
* Let him know the things that you appreciate about him.  Thank him for the good things.
The good things he did does not give him license to abuse.
* We must forgive.  But we do not need to remain in a one sided relationship without true reconciliation.
* Forgiving someone is easy but rebuilding trust and walking out of pain is an entirely different thing. When a person repents, part of the “fruit of their repentance” should be a proactive plan to rebuild trust. I am obligated by the Cross to totally forgive EVERY offense. But I am under no obligation from heaven to ever trust you again. Trust is not a right, it’s a privilege
*  There are rules for relationships.  Relationships need checks and balances – they should be mutually beneficial.
* Seek out a support system.  Make sure they are people who will be completely honest with you.  An older Christian mentor, a professional Christian counselor, close Christian friends, your immediate family, and your spouse.  Seek their advice and listen to it.
* Stop doing the Witchcraft Dance.  – dancing for a relationship that is not real.
* Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart – out of it flows the issues of life.
* Do not do anything out of guilt or obligation.  Only act if you want to or if Jesus motivates you to.  Otherwise it is not honest.
*As long as we stay the same and remain the same they do not have to change. Pray for them.
* Confronting the darkness will give a high level of freedom.
* Set boundaries – “I can’t be around that anymore”.  
* Do not exchange honor for “pleasing”.
* We honor our parents by the kind of life we lead.  We honor our parents by praying for them. 
* That which you present yourself to – you become a slave of.
* If they don’t show evidence of change – let them go.  
* Be still and wait – enjoy the presence of the Lord.
* We can have joy – even though we have heartache.  Joy is an expression of the fullness of God.
* Our identity should be found in Christ alone.  Be firmly established in Him.
* Do not continually grease the wheel of your broken relationship.  It should not take up more space in your life than the Lord.
* When seeking answers, inquire of the Lord.  “Investigate with great intensity”
* The Bible is the only book that while you read it – it reads you back.  It is the living word of God.
* Live above your emotions.  Let the Spirit of God rule your emotions.
* Problems are meant to be processed – they don’t need to take priority.
* Isaiah 40:31 Renew your strength – wait patiently.
* People pleasers become a non-person.  
* Can you discern between good and evil?  Every action is one or the other – good or evil.  There is no in between. Do not participate in or enable evil behavior.
* Break generational sin if not for my sake, then for the sake of my children.
* Remain softhearted and open to reconciliation.
* Don’t lose your life on this situation.  Invest your energy in the good things that the Lord has placed in front of you.  Your job, your ministry, kids, good friends, school, etc.
* Seek the Lord diligently and daily.  Make sure that your life and actions are honoring Him.  Get to know Him better and learn to recognize His voice in your life.

In honor of Fathers day…to my friends who share my fate…here is my Fathers day toast to you.  Please raise your glasses and clink after if you are in agreement.

We cannot change the past – but we can change the future.  We cannot force our dads to be what we needed them to be – but we can be the parent that we dreamed of having.  We cannot erase the heartache – but we can ease the heartaches in the lives of our children.  We may not have been treated as a beloved daughter – but we are daughters of the King.  Our earthly dads may not see us as precious – but we are precious in His sight.  Clink!

I will close by sharing a picture I recently took of my daughter and my husband.

That’s all I ever wanted from you, Dad. I wanted to be hugged like that. I wanted you to throw your head back and delight in me – just like that.  I wanted a Dad who could not bear to leave this earth without making things right with his kids.  It’s never too late.  Our God is a God of miracles and second chances.  I love you, Dad.

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“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! ” (The Message) – Romans 8:15-17

Until next time,