Dear Pops,

You are a stud. Seriously. You are such an encouragement to me in my walk with Christ. The older I get the more I realize how hard it is to deal with me. I am stubborn and steadfast. I am not afraid to be bold and outspoken, I sometimes think I have you to thank for that. We are very similar in personalities. That is my theory on why I rebelled so much when I was younger. You wanted the best for me, but I wanted what I thought was fun. You were only protecting me. I was so blinded in my ways that I didn’t see your motives at the time. The more I understand my Heavenly Father’s love for me the more I understand the love you show me.

Gosh, you have put up with so many attitudes of mine. All of those dramatic girl fits I’ve thrown and all of the silent morning I’ve given you on the count that I am not a morning person. Thank you for never giving up on me. Rather, you prayed for me and you loved me. You have allowed me to discover my faith by trial and error. Looking back, I can remember you pushing me to sing the traditional hymns on Sunday mornings. I also recall you making us hold hands during the closing prayer. I never understood why any of that was such a big deal, but I now realize that you wanted us to have a life that God promises us. I thank you for not forcing your faith onto me. You have allowed me to seek God for myself. You have allowed God to grab my heart rather than forcing Him onto me.

One of the biggest blessings you have given me is allowing me to obey God’s calling in my life for oversea missions. When I first mentioned that I would be going overseas for a summer, you didn’t openly deny that to me. It was difficult for you, but you allowed God to change your heart. You don’t know I know this, but a deacon who will remain anonymous shared with me what you said about me coming to Prague. He shared that you were worried at first and then you prayed about it. He said you understood you couldn’t protect me from everything and I’m safest where God has me even if it’s out of your grasps. From the moment he shared that with me a few months back, I proudly share that with so many people. Hearing that you said something as humble as that amazed me. I can’t imagine how hard it is to allow your one and only daughter to share Christ’s love in foreign countries especially knowing that there is danger in that.

Thank you dad.

Thank you for not holding me back from my passions. Thank you for raising me to be a hard working young woman. You’ve taught me work ethic since I was a young girl. “Always work as if you are working for the Lord, not men”. Thank you for pushing me in school and in personal relationships with friends and boyfriends. I hear many stories from friends about their how their dad can be hard on them about guys. I always wondered why I didn’t have any stories of my dad hating the guys I have introduced you to, but it’s because you trust me. You know the way you raised me and you know the standards I have. With that, you can have faith that God will provide a man of God for my husband. You’ve allowed me to make so many decisions on my own and I can’t thank you enough for that. You may regret that because now I am a very independent young woman, but I will never completely leave you dad. Never. I will always come back to you and mom for advice.

Thank you for laughing at me and sharing your heart with me. Thank you for trusting my advice and wisdom. Thank you for seeking forgiveness from me even when I should have done the apologizing. Thank you for being the sensitive man you are. I laugh just thinking about how much of a sap you are, but I also think how blessed I am because of it. You have broken my wall and have taught me that it is okay to cry every once in a while. I wish I could give you a card on this Father’s day because I know how much you love those. Hopefully, this will be more sufficient than a measly Hallmark card that cost $3.99.

You’re the man dad, for real.

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