Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Father's Day

Sunday, June 20, 2010

9:28 AM

It is early morning and we would be heading off to church but Olivia has had a rough night.  I took the early am shift and Dean took the (up until 4 am) shift.  Then I start at 7:00 am with her.  It was a long night and as I started my day. in the early morning I thought about what a blessing for him to take that hard late/early morning shift. I can get up in the early morning, but to sleep five hours is such a blessing to me.  So,Today I am going to honor him by letting you see him through my eyes.

You hear me mention him here and there in the day to day situations that arise but I never really talk about him. Dean has travelled down some hard roads himself and took on some tough challenges that have made him who he is today. An honorable, strong, compassionate, tender, stubborn , amazing Dad and husband.

When we first started out on this journey together, almost 18 years ago, we had no idea the path of life we would live. Dean had a nice comfortable job as an Associate Pastor and I worked at Benson. We played, we spent money like there was no tomorrow and enjoyed life as a Newlywed couple. Then life settled in, that first blush of glow wore off and things started getting interesting.

To say that Dean has weathered storms that would be an understatement. I think he has weathered tsunami's. He stepped down from the job that he loved the most and was the passion of his heart, ministering. The church was going through a split and he just could not go through all that again. He had been a pastor for almost 20 years when that happened. Burn out comes to mind. So, he started his own business but really, was trying to overcome the hurt and pain of a church split. You have no idea what an emotional and spiritual struggle that can be.

Then we tried to get pregnant and couldn't. That took quite a toll. We finally heard the happy news and the man was completely lost. Shell shocked I believe. He had no idea the changes that would occur when we brought that baby girl home.

After the transplant , we moved to Atlanta. The job market was the highest unemployment in the country. Wow, it was something like 6.8%...who knew. He took whatever job he could get and started all over, at the bottom. Not an easy task for a man but he was more than willing to do it. He was doing what he thought was best for his family. All these changes, all these situations that could not be helped, all of our dreams falling by the wayside. But God had new dreams, new life, new hope for us that we had no idea existed.

Dean always says that God brings situations in your life so that you can see your heart. The heat gets turned up on that crucible so that all the dross comes to the top. That dross allows you to see where you have "come short of the glory" so to speak. I guess he would be the expert because over the eighteen years of marriage I have seen him choose to look at so much in his life and work so hard to get through it. The most critical part of why I love Dean so much is that he is willing to go through that process and grow from it. He willingly lays down his life so that he can see himself and change, grow and learn. He is willing to listen to me, to God, to those he holds himself accountable and grow. And when he grows, he never goes back. That is a promise I can count on. The last ten years have been so much stress. So much frustration, so many struggles in so many area's. It would seem that the heat of that crucible could be turned down. We both walk through it everyday. But through it all, instead of getting mad, angry, bitter,(not that those moments have not occurred), he has walked through all of it seeking God, turning his eyes on his own heart to make sure he is listening to God, and working it through all the way to the end. Never giving up, never giving in, never losing hope and if he does fall…well…he gets right back up and keeps walking.

Over the last ten years of struggle and almost 14 years of Olivia's life she has wrapped him around her finger. He loves her so much and so many times there is nothing we can do to help her. As a Dad you feel helpless and hopeless but he has learned to trust God, have hope in Him to overcome those natural instincts of frustration. Now he watches over her constantly, learning more and more of who she is and who she is becoming is amazing to him. Each and everyday, he grows to love her even more. When we are in the hospital Olivia doesn't want her Dad to do every little thing for her (like she does me, LOL) but she will not allow them to do any procedure on her or anything that she perceives is more than she can handle without her Dad there. He is her rock. He is her hero. He is her protector. What an amazing picture she is getting of God the Father. What an amazing Dad he is because he allowed himself those hard moments to listen and to hear.

Dean today I just want to thank you for being the Spiritual Head of our household and being an awesome Dad to Olivia. She truly got the Dad she needs to help her be the woman God that He is creating in her to be because you are in her life.

Love always,

In His Grip eternally


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