In April 2011 I heard from my brother that my 74 year-old mother was planning to marry a man she had been seeing for the past couple of months. His name is Don. Both of them had lost their mates about the same time, about 18 months earlier. My brother invited my family to meet them for lunch so we could finally meet this man. We were the last ones in the family to meet him. So we all met at Longhorn restaurant.
I was looking forward to meeting Don. I wanted to make sure my mother was not rushing into something she would later regret. I sat across the table from Don and was enjoying talking with him for about 20 or 30 minutes. Then about half way into our meal, the Lord spoke a word in my spirit that I was not expecting. First, He showed me Don was going to be a blessing to my mom as a husband. God was giving her a good husband, someone who would take good care of her, and someone with whom she could have a good relationship. That really helped me to know their marriage plans were a good thing. But then the Lord showed me something else that blew me away. He showed me he was giving me a new Dad with whom I could have a good relationship. Through Don, God was going to fulfill the desire of my heart to have something I had always wanted but never had, a good relationship with my Dad.
Prior to hearing those words, I was just enjoying getting acquainted with Don. There was nothing about him that even remotely reminded me of my dad so I was not even thinking about that. However, as soon as the Lord revealed what He was doing, I suddenly felt overwhelmed by all the memories of wanting to have a good relationship with my dad and all the disappointments that came from that. Our relationship remained very difficult all the way to the end. We were never able to talk about anything other than neutral topics like sports and weather. We avoided everything else because it always led to unpleasant confrontations. Even after 50 years of disappointments, I had remained hopeful it would somehow improve, but it never did. Now that he was gone I was left with many sad memories. I had no idea it was still possible to have another chance.
With those emotions coming to the surface, I was fighting back the tears. I almost had to get up and leave the table for a while to try to keep my composure. Fortunately, nobody noticed it. I was able to pull myself together, but only as long as I did not look at Don. Every time I looked at him, I started to lose it all over again. Even though I had been talking with him for 20-30 minutes without seeing any resemblance to my dad, now everything about him reminded me of my dad. Don’s blue eyes were now my dad’s blue eyes. His glasses were now my dad’s glasses. In his smile, I now saw my dad’s smile. I could not even bear to look at him any more because it was just overwhelming.
For the rest of our meal, I purposely tried to avoid speaking with him. When it was time to go, I tried to act totally normal like nothing had happened. So we shook hands and said farewell. However, on the inside I was an emotional wreck. I now felt that unexplainable desire that every boy has, wanting to be with his dad. No matter how bad my relationship with my dad had been, I never stopped wanting to be with him. Now I was feeling that same desire to be with Don, even though I was not able to show it. With one word, the Lord had changed my relationship with this man forever. Even though I had just met him, I knew he was now my Dad.
It reminded me of when Jesus was hanging on the cross, he told his disciple John that Mary was now his mother and he told Mary that John was now his son. I am hoping Don comes to the beach this summer so we can spend some time together. I thank God for giving me a new dad!
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