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Daughter of the King - born from above in 1989.

Deborah grew up in a military family and moved to Florida in the early 1970's.  She began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as her personal Savior. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her writing.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Military Dad Far From Home - Do You Know One?

There are Absentee Dads and then there are Dads that are absent…

It’s Father’s Day!  My granddaughter and I carefully put together three special gifts for her Daddy:  a cute photo frame that says “Daddy’s Little One”, a small but manly photo album with all the pictures of their last visit during Memorial Day weekend, and a handmade card featuring lots of stickers, her hand print, and other hand drawn doodles.

Our son is a military Dad.  He’s currently serving in the US Marine Corps and is stationed in Norfolk,Virginia.  He was in Quantico, Va. when our granddaughter was born, and actually flew down just in time for her birth. Those were happier days when they were here before heading off to their first duty station in North Carolina.

He is now divorced.  That has made it much harder for him to be a hands-on Dad.  Our heart goes out to him and the countless others who are in the military and stationed far from home.  Some are married, and some are divorced.  Either way – they are separated from their families and loved ones.

We are fortunate that our granddaughter’s mother still lives near us.  We see our little princess about every other weekend.  We are among the lucky few who live near their grandchildren while their sons or daughters are serving in the US military.

Many grandparents don’t get to see their grandchildren often if their service member is deployed or living overseas.  

When my Dad was in the US Navy, we were stationed overseas twice:  once in Italy and once in Cuba.  We were the exception in that our Dad’s parents visited often in both places while we were growing up in a military household.

Our son lives twelve hours away – so frequent visits aren't possible.  However, after a lengthy deployment last year of nine months he was able to stay with us for a long Christmas visit.  He and our granddaughter went to Disney World and had a blast!  Making memories and just being together is what forms a life-long bond between Daddy and daughter.  She is just 3 ½ yrs. old right now, but she definitely knows and loves her Daddy!

They do "Facetime" and laugh while being silly on my smart phone.  We often text, and send photos of ordinary things when she is with us.  We want our son to feel connected and part of her daily activities.  We take every opportunity to make him special treasures and gifts throughout the year.  I want her to know that she and her Daddy are heart-to-heart close - even when they are separated.

Just because a Dad is absent doesn’t mean he has to be an absentee parent.  Far from it – they can be as involved in their life as is possible with the help of their family.  Granted, all parties need to make an effort to make that happen – and that is why my ex-daughter-in-law and I have a good and respectful relationship.

This Father’s Day we have already spoken to our son by phone.  I know he is missing his little girl, and I am hoping he has talked with her today.  He looks forward to the next visit and I know she can’t wait to spend quality time with him soon.

Son, we’re so proud of the Dad you are.  We ask God’s blessing upon you as you navigate the path He has put before you.  Your daughter is a gift from above and I know you cherish her and your future together.

For you grandparents out there with children serving in the US military – how do you cope with the separation?  Do you have a divorced child who is overseas away from their son or daughter?  What do you do to keep that line of communication and connection intact?

This Father’s Day let us focus on the most important parent / child relationship: God’s love for mankind…  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

Our Heavenly Father desires to have a relationship with His creation.  He desires reconciliation between fathers and their children. The ultimate example is our being reconciled to Him through His Son Jesus. 

Malachi 4:6 is a wonderful picture of the pending reward of Christ’s second coming as he speaks of their relationship: “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

Your Heavenly Father longs to love you, provide for, and protect you. He will never leave or forsake you. You can trust Him. He is the perfect parent now and for eternity.

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 

If you have been encouraged by this post - please take time to share it with others.


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