Thursday, June 4, 2009
Sixteen years ago today my life changed forever. Before that day Alana and I had been married for about three years and had learned to live and love together. Then, on June 4, 1993 our world was forever changed when Emily was born. From the moment I held her until today I have been amazed that I get to have the joy of being her dad.
Emily is an awesome girl. Some people miss it and don’t really see it, but she is a young woman of strength, character and deep passion. The greatest thing I see in her is a desire to love and serve Jesus. Her music and her desire to serve working with kids is one avenue of her love for Christ. I pray constantly that God would continue to grow that deep into her soul.
When Emily was three, I was having the worst day of my life. I was sitting in the back room of our house staring at the mountains of Southern California and contemplating what was happening to me. Emily came in from watching Barney and got in my lap. She took her hands and looked me dead in the eye and said, “Daddy, Jesus loves you.” Suddenly it seemed like maybe things would be alright after all.
Emily is also an athlete. She is all about basketball. From the time she was three years old it was the only sport she ever truly loved. She got a basketball goal for Christmas when she was five and has never stopped shooting. She wears a t-shirt that says, “Remember when you play ball like a girl used to be an insult?” She is strong, talented, and focused. Whatever she seeks to do in life, I know she will succeed.
Emily is not perfect. None of us are. But Emily is a young lady who is daily finding herself and daily causing me to strive to be a better dad. She is smart, funny, talented and beautiful. She is able to think deep thoughts and yet silly enough to make up goofy songs with her brother and sister.
As a dad I am very proud of all of my kids. Today Emily reaches a milestone birthday. She will get her drivers license soon, she will learn to depend on me less and less and she will soon be off on her own to live the life God has designed for her.
In so many ways today I am honored, proud, and excited for Emily. But there is another part of me that wants to shrink her down, cause her to still want to cuddle with her daddy on the couch and be my little girl again. I want her to be the same little girl shooting hoops on a four foot goal and watching Barney. (Okay, we can skip the Barney part, but you get the idea.) Today is Emily’s day. And as a dad there is no way I could be more proud of who she is.
I have learned a lot in sixteen years. I have learned that for good or bad your children will reflect you. When Emily is all competitive and hates to lose, that’s me. I have learned that as much as you want your kids to grow, it is the parents who experience the growing pains. And I have learned that God is a great and an awesome God to bless me with three amazing kids. It has been an awesome sixteen years!!!