There are a lot of different views and ways that families are built, especially today. Family can be defined in many ways. Looking at a father, this too, can seem blurred at times. For me, I had two dads—one biological and a stepfather who I considered very close. I lost my stepfather when I was 21. Your definition of “father” may look different but as a woman growing up in the 21st century, there were some things looking back that I wish my dads could know, especially the one that I no longer have. For the sake of the article, I will write as if I was writing to my dad, but I hope you will read this as if it was written to you too.
The first thing I would tell my dad is how much I love him, and I know that he is trying his hardest to be there in every part of my life. I may have acted like I did not see his effort growing up, but I did. I was still learning and growing in wisdom. As a girl with no brothers, my dad took pride in trying to understand my side of things. There are a lot of differences between boys and girls, and but my dadwas there to protect, love, and care for me like a good father should. He was the constant that I needed growing up.
He was not perfect but that imperfection and trust in Jesus was the platform that I needed to see to grow into a woman who seeks after the Lord.
The second thing I would want my dad to know is that a lot of days were hard and confusing. The access to almost everything on the planet, the pressures that are placed on girls, and trying to keep up a “perfect” persona carries a heavy weight. There was a lot of pressure to be a certain way, dress a certain way, and to be the most popular. In this time, I saw the struggle of trying to fit in by partying and abusing substances. I ultimately had to fight for myself outside of being at home.
The third thing I would tell my dad is thank you. One of the things I started to see was a lack in parental guidance. I knew a lot of people who did not have good fathers or father figures in their life. This was a difficult thing to understand because I had a great father that I sometimes even took for granted. The older I get the more I look back and see, while also missing the daily text messages of encouragement, the love my dad gave and still does.
Home was a haven for me. Dad provided that haven. If there is one more thing I would tell my dad, it is that he is a good father and he showed me to lean into God through all life’s circumstances. He was not perfect but that imperfection and trust in Jesus was the platform that I needed to see to grow into a woman who seeks after the Lord. Though I am not a parent yet, I know that it is an important task. So, thank you dad for all you are, for all that you do, and all thar you have taught me. I love you.
Shelby Moore was born and raised in Oklahoma. She attended Southwestern Christian University and graduated in 2015. She has worked and been involved with the IPHC since 2012. However, she officially began working at the headquarters in July 2018. She serves at Passion Church Yukon on the worship team and is currently seeking a master’s degree in counseling. She loves people and being outdoors, whether that is snowboarding or hiking.