Written by Greg Hicks
“This is my story, this is my song, praising my savior all the day long”. It was raining on Father’s Day as I stared at those words on the screen of my church. I stood there alone with tears in my eyes. A text earlier that morning from the girl’s mom said they weren’t going to church and I was deflated. But I felt Him push me to go to church anyway, even though I’d probably be the only dad there on Father’s Day without his kids.
This is my story. And it’s been this way for ten years. See, this is the side of divorce that people don’t talk much about. They don’t talk about holidays alone, special days spent without your family because of the schedule or because it’s only right to share. It’s hands down the hardest part of this world. Oddly it’s one I’m finding that people look to me for guidance within their own lives. Men routinely ask me how I’ve handled situations that they’re going through as newly single dads.
Sometimes it’s awkward for me because I struggle just like everyone else, but I always try to leave them with a positive vibe. Something they can feel good about.
But today, it was me that needed one of those positive talks and the only place I knew to get that would be from my Heavenly Father. And when Blessed Assurance began to play and I read those words, I knew why He wanted me here. To understand that this IS my story, and this IS my song. To be a voice of positivity for not only for single dads but for anyone who needs some positive words and help navigating the troubled waters of a broken home.
When that song ended, I got the boost I needed. The preacher asked for the congregation to take a few minutes and go shake a hand. It seemed like every man there made their way past me, shaking my hand with an encouraging vibe.
What I’ve come to learn about a shared life with kids it’s this; even when things are hard, those babies still need you to be the positive and encouraging light in their lives. And as much as you want to wallow in your pity always remember, you are not a victim. You are a winner who occasionally has a hard moment. Hard moments define who we are because they show us who we are deep inside.
You’re going to face hard times and times when things may not seem fair (and they actually may not be fair) but you cannot let the victim mentality dwell in your heart. That style of thinking will consume you and will lead you down a dark road. It’s also one that your kids do not need to see or be a part of in any way.
See guys, this is the part of divorce nobody likes to talk about. Your lawyer isn’t going to tell you this part. The dark part. The hard part.
A few years ago, a friend of mine popped off in the gym about how good my life as a single guy seemed and how freely I live. My response left him silent; “Another man see’s my daughters more than I do. That sound like a good life to you?”
I won’t lie, this morning when she told me the girls weren’t going to church, I was furious. I sent a pretty hot text behind it too. And Partner, she fired one right back. After God got in my heart, I saw her face to face, I apologized and so did she. Turns out she was having a not so good moment at the same time that same time. So we gave each other grace.
Later that day, we met at a local school because our youngest had just finished her color guard camp and the parents got to see what they’d learned. I finally climbed out of my pity party and was enjoying watching my girl show her newly learned skills. Several other girls were there too and so were some parents.
When it was over, I got my hugs, and we chatted a little. It was a good end to a semi-hard day, and I smiled. That’s when I noticed the school bus pulling into the parking lot. It was a Sunday and that struck me as odd, but I quickly realized why it was there.
I watched three young ladies laughing and smiling walk to the bus with their gear and climb aboard. That’s when I realized that these young ladies didn’t have anyone here cheering them on and encouraging them. Nobody came for them on their special day.
I sat in my truck a got a little choked up. I’m still trying to figure out if I got emotional for them or for me. I felt so ungrateful. I felt so much shame in my actions earlier in the day.
As I drove home, I realized that three teenagers, who’ll never ever know it, show me how to live. Don’t look at the bad; focus on the good.
That mentality right there makes life worth living and will leave a positive vibe on your kids