I wrote this a long time ago but it’s my all time favorite moment with my step dad. I’m really just re-posting it for myself but in his honor today. We love you Papa and we miss you.
Practice makes perfect
I was a cheerleader in high-school. Lets just keep that between us okay.
Every year at the end of the year the entire spirit group, dance team, cheer, drill and pep squad, also known as the Lee-ettes, had a spring show. We would all dance and cheer in each of our separate groups and then at the end all of the senior girls would dance with their dads. Obviously it was called the father daughter dance.
We would dress up in formal gowns and the dads would dress in a coat and tie. I had already cut off my relationship with my father the year before. Actually, the school got a couple of police officers to attend just in case he showed up, that unfortunately is not one of my jokes, its real.
I had dreaded this day for years leading up to it. I knew no matter what that it was gong to be heartbreaking for me and I was going to feel small on that day. My dad sent me a letter in the mail, yep that’s how old I am, and he asked me about the father daughter dance.
I never responded.
At that time, my mom had been dating the man who is now my step-dad for a short while. I asked him if he would dance with me.
He said yes.
You would have to know my step-dad to know how simple he is and how he does NOT dance but he said yes anyways. We had two practices leading up to the big night and my step-dad did not show for either. In his defense he owns his own company and was a very busy guy but that did not take away from the sting of dancing alone while the other girls danced with their dads.
The night of the dance I put on my bravest face as I stood there in my formal gown in a line next to all the seniors facing their dads and the space across from me was empty.
I felt like a waste.
Once again I wasn’t even good enough for a father figure to show up and dance with me for 2 minutes, just 2 minutes God, could you spare me for just 2 minutes.
But God is cool, much cooler than we give Him credit for.
My step-dad showed up at the very last-minute dressed to the nines and danced the night away with me.
Maybe I wasn’t a waste after all.
The second night of our performance when I was getting ready to leave my house, my step-dad called me in to the living room. He told me that all the other girls at the dance were very dressed up and fancy except for me, he said I looked plain.
Ouch. Plain. Why don’t you just punch me in the face.
He then pulled a jewelry box from his pocket, handed it to me and said “so I bought you this.” It was a beautiful, simple diamond and pearl necklace. I was definitely not a waste and my step-dad proved it to me that very moment.
In my eyes I was the luckiest daughter at the dance that night. In my eyes I was dancing with the best dad a girl could ask for. I secretly hoped the other girls were a little, just a little, jealous of my beautiful new necklace.
I have those moments with my heavenly Father all of the time.
Have you ever looked up and said “where are you Father, why would you not be here for me”? I have, more than I care to admit. Just like my stepfather did, our heavenly Father always shows up at just the right time.
When we are standing there thinking that we are a waste, He rides in and shows us how much he really loves us. It is so hard to see that He is always there when you are in the moment of despair but knowing that He is there is what faith is.
I know that when it comes down to it, my step-dad will always be there for me and when it comes to my heavenly Father I know that He is always with me.
I wasn’t standing alone that day of the dance while all the other girls stood across from their dads, my heavenly Father was standing across from me, smiling, filling in until my step-dad had time to get there….it probably took him over an hour to figure out how to tie his tie 😉
When you feel like you are standing alone, look harder, pray, breath. He is there.
“Dear Lord thank you for never leaving me. Help me to remember that You are always with me. Comfort me in the moments that I feel like a waste. I love You and love the sacrifice You made for me. In Jesus name, amen.”
My step-dad made his journey to heaven on Monday 1/20/2014. We feel like we have lost our security blanket, our protector, our provider, our hero. My faith in the Lord lets me rejoice for him. I know that there is simply no one like him in heaven and that his presence in our kingdom is most definitely a colorful addition. Rest Papa, we will see you soon.