Dear kids,

As June settles in, you will be bombarded by Father’s Day commercials, ads, and thoughts in general. Father’s Day is a month of reminders of your loss. For that, I am sorry.

My husband left when I was five months pregnant with our third child. It was one of those completely blindsided and sideswiped moments. The ones when you’re looking both ways for a car before crossing the streetand an asteroid falls from space and lands directly on you.  

My ONLY goal as a fatherless child was to have a marriage that lasted. My children would never have to experience a broken home.  

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In the days, weeks, and months that followed my husband’s unexpected departure, I prayed to God to change his heart, for God to intervene and stop what was happening. How could God let someone we needed so much, someone we loved so much, just leave?

I would sit up at night in complete darkness. Literally talking out loud. I begged. I pleaded. I bargained. I would do anything. Anything. How was it that God, so powerful as to create the universe, could allow this to happen?

I was mad. I was really, really angry. I was mad at everyone and everything. Including God. 

God did not send my husband back. God did not send my children their father back in any form. 

Instead, God led me along a long path of understanding and healing. God sent me lessons through people, opportunities, and enlightenment. God taught me hard, hard lessons about free will. God helped me heal the broken inside me. God gave me the power to end cycles of generational trauma so hopefully, my children do not make the same mistakes of generations before them. 

RELATED: Finding Love After Divorce

As my life fell more and more apart. God sent me words. I read a quote somewhere, and I can’t remember it word for word, but the idea was that sometimes God allows situations to get “so bad” so that you are forced to never return to that situation. In order to protect youHe almost picks you up and moves you where you need to be. 

As the years passed I grew and changed and slowly accepted life for what it was and where it was. My prayers began to change. Eventually, I prayed for God to send me a man, but not just any man—a man among men, so to speak. A man to step in and fill a giant hole left in the hearts and souls of three young children. A man who isn’t scared off by noise and chaos. A man to be present and caring.

A man to be the father my fatherless children deserve. 

To take my boys fishing and hunting and work on motors and engines with. A man to be the father my young daughter needs. A man who dresses up for tea parties and holds hands on walks to the park. A man willing to take on some of the burden and responsibility of my life. A life I created before him. 

I prayed and prayed. 

God has not sent that man yet. 

RELATED: Divorce is Not God’s Plan A

At first, I was, again, angry at God. If God wouldn’t give me back my husband why would He not send me a replacement of sorts? When it’s been a particularly hard day and the tears come in the car ride home or the bath after the kids are asleep, I can almost hear Him say,  just wait . . . be patient my child.

God continues to send me lessons.

Lessons through people. Lessons I thought I already learned but apparently did not. Lessons I need to master. Because I am fairly certain until I am healed, I will ruin any relationship God sends. He knows this. It is me who is just starting to accept it. I have learned a lot about free will. How man can deviate from God’s plan at any time. 

To my children as Father’s Day approaches: I am so, so, so sorry. I am sorry you will be bombarded with this message about a father. And it breaks my heart that you do not have one. I would have done anything to change the way our life played out. Anything. But, most of the time, despite our best efforts and plans, life is not in our control. 

I will continue to pray for the father figure you all deserve. I will continue to pray for the husband I deserve. I will pray for acceptance and guidance and healing. But, most importantly, for love.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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