Each year on Father’s Day I write a personal note to my late father as a tribute. This year I felt an urge to write a letter FROM him. In essence, this letter includes so many things that I have learned about myself, him and life in general. I wrote it as a tribute to him. At the same time, I hope this letter will encourage or challenge you in some way…either as a father, son, daughter, wife, etc. As you read this letter, I hope you will feel prompted to make a decision, change a behavior, make a phone call or simply resolve to reach for new goals. I hope you are as blessed in reading this as I was in writing it. ~ Micah
This year marks the 10th Father’s Day since I last talked to you. Even though God called me home without much warning or opportunity for you to prepare, we know His plan is perfect. There is so much I want to tell you in this letter. I know that you have grown and matured so much over the past 10 years. I am sure there are many things you have learned about me, yourself and life in general. I would have written sooner, but I think you just needed the time. In trying to summarize this note, there are three main thoughts that I want to share with you.
Son, I LOVE YOU!!
From the first day, I knew you were coming, to the day you were born, to our last conversation, I have never stopped loving you. I know that many times, in my immaturity, I lost my temper and acted in ways that didn’t demonstrate love. However, my love for you and my family is what got me out of bed every morning. I now know how important a father’s love is to his family and it is even more important to demonstrate that love. My greatest example was how God loved Jesus Christ.
Even though my heart was full of love, I wish I would have expressed it more to you and your siblings. I am sure there were times that you had to question whether I really loved you. For those times you had a doubt I wish I was there with a hug and expression of love. A son needs to know he is loved by his father. I love you Son. I love you dearly.
Son, I AM SORRY!!
Not only is it important to tell you how much I love you, but I also want to apologize. There are so many things I need to apologize for…I almost don’t know where to begin. I am sorry for falling short as a father. I am sorry for not being a perfect example of what a man looks and behaves like. I’m sorry for not being a perfect husband to your mother. Son, please forgive me for my many failures.
I know there were many nights that you went to bed angry and even in tears over my failures. There were many times I could feel your resentment towards me, I could sense your disappointment. Often I would return that anger and frustration to you…but at the same time it also drove me so much harder to be better. I am so sorry for the impoverished conditions of your childhood. I am sorry that I raised you in such sub-standard living conditions and that you didn’t experience many of the things you should have as a child. I am sorry that you didn’t have an extended family and grandparents. I’m sorry we didn’t travel as a family. My list of disappointments and failures grows continually each day.
While I know it was a very hard childhood for you, I never quit or gave up trying. Though I was far from perfect, my inspiration came from a little scripture from Hebrews that says “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” God made that promise to me and I tried to live by it for you. So many fathers have left their wives and abandoned their children when life got difficult. That was never an option for me. Even though there were certainly times that I questioned if my leaving would have been better for the family. So please know that for each night you fell asleep full of frustration…I went to sleep with the same hurt and disappointment with myself. I stayed awake many nights begging God for mercy. This was NOT how I wanted to raise my family. While I don’t want to make excuses, I do pray that you are a better person and man because of your experiences. If my shortcomings cause blessings for you, then I am thankful. Again, please accept my apologies.
Son, I AM PROUD OF YOU!!
The greatest human need is that of appreciation and acceptance. I don’t know that a person ever feels over appreciated. From an early age, I enjoyed watching you grow. You have developed into a fine young man. I am so proud of you for so many things. I only wish I could have been there to experience your greatest achievements with you. However, I am most proud of your consistent desire to learn and to serve. I will gladly take credit for your passion for learning. Hopefully, some of my book collection made it to you. A thirst for knowledge will aid you in overcoming any obstacle in life. Also, your drive to serve others is truly a ministry from God.
The bible teaches us that the greatest among you shall be humbled. God gives emphasis on those that humble themselves will be exalted. I pray that you never wane from ministering to the needs of others. I know that you have always had an unquenchable fire in you and slowing down was never easy. I remember when I would try to intentionally slow you down for a quick chat or just sit with you. You would get so irritated with me! I wish I knew a better way to get your attention. I had so much to share with you and teach you. I also knew that God was calling me home and my time was short. All I wanted to do was spend quality time with you and attempt to make up for my failures. I didn’t want to lose you. Son, what I would give for those days. I also didn’t want you blaming yourself for not spending more time with me…like I did when my parents died.
I still remember our last conversation…about an hour before Jesus called my name. Do you remember? What a peaceful, God-ordained conversation. I have the feeling God knew how important that phone call would be for you in the days, months and years ahead. With what I know about you, not a moment has passed without taking advantage of learning opportunities. I hope you use me as an example whenever possible. Please share my failures and shortcomings to help other people to be better and strive for the prize.
Never stop loving God! Always ask for forgiveness and admit your mistakes. Keep learning and growing. Help those in need. Tell people you love them.
Son, thank you for understanding my love, forgiving my failures and for making me proud.