For the Fatherless This Wedding Season

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Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday. Was? Was my dad’s birthday.

 This weekend also marks the unofficial start of what can only be called wedding season. My refrigerator boasts of save the dates and rehearsal dinner invitations. There are presents to be bought, showers to attend, and nails to be painted. Wedding season can be both a sweet celebration and a painful reminder for those of us without fathers.

 Many of us live in a fatherless generation. Some of us never knew our fathers. Some of us watched them slip away. Still, others watched them run far away; as fast as they possibly could. The simple fact is, for many of us wedding season will open wounds that we wish would heal.

 Everything about me is ecstatic as I watch my friends walk down the aisle. They are beautiful and all that they should be on such a special day. Yet, my heart breaks knowing that that can never be me. At the father-daughter dance I watch them twirl around the room and smile until I cannot watch anymore. I fight, with everything in me, not to come undone. Sometimes I am successful; sometimes I am a puddle of tears.

 I don’t want to throw a pity party. I don’t want to be a mess. I’m tired of wishing for things I will never have and hurting for things that happened long ago.

 But I simply cannot help it because at the end of the day we are still little girls. We are little girls who long to hop up in our daddy’s lap and have him whisper we are beautiful. We want to be held tight and twirled around. We want someone strong to hold onto, someone who will steady us when our ankles give out and our knees shake. We want someone to be strong for us, someone to love us so much they hate to see us go. And on the wedding day a father does all of these things for his little girl.

 Just when I feel hopeless I remember we have the greatest hope of all. We are still those little girls, and we have a Father who is crazy about us. He is, to put it lightly, obsessed with us. How He longs to gather us up in His arms and whisper the truth to us. The truth that we are loved more than we could ever know, the truth that He simply can’t live without us. We have hope that in the midst of our hurt and pain He is strong and unwavering.

 My Father, the one who will never disappoint, who will never leave me or forsake me, He’s still asking me to dance. Oh how we will dance. It will have been worth the wait, worth the tears on the wedding days past, worth the pain and the suffering. We will dance with reckless abandon and outstretched arms.

 Oh, how we will dance.

 –Hannah

Photography by: @brendapruim #belovedlife

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