I love being a dad. Next to serving Christ, it’s one of the greatest things I’ll do on Earth. I have four boys that are so cool and funny, and they bring out the best in me. As hard as it can be sometimes, fatherhood has been the most rewarding vocation I’ve ever had. Nothing can compare to the adventure and bonding I get from taking care of my boys.
I won’t lie and say that I never have a bad day as a father. I mean, I’m a grumpy dad for crying out loud! The boys have their off days and can drive me insane, and I can have my bad days where I drive THEM insane. You should see the latter! It’s like a WWF ring of emotion! The worse days are when those old wounds of mine pop their ugly heads up out of nowhere and start an internal battle that could last hours, days, or even weeks. When this happens I’m usually caught off guard and ill-prepared for combat. Something I hear or do can trigger a bad memory I thought I had forgotten, which leads to me losing my temper or just walking around with a brooding attitude while my soul is fighting for its health.
I’ve been learning to stay on the offense when it comes to my demons and wounds. I do this by keeping my prayer life strong and vigilant and by staying close to the Sacraments. Confession is the best because it allows me to let go of the junk holding me down and allow the Holy Spirit refresh me after an intense battle.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you always have to be the perfect father and never let your kids down. This is reserved for God, ok? A priest told me once during confession when all seems chaotic and you feel you’ve lost control of yourself, find comfort in knowing that you will always be a child of God. I found such great peace with this because God is giving me permission to stop dead in my tracks when I feel like I’m failing as a father, and just throw up my arms in surrender to His grace. It’s moments like these God cherishes the most because he wants to give us His undying mercy and love. He wants us to go to him as children in need of comfort.
In fatherhood it’s OK to be grumpy and make mistakes, but you have to have the courage to admit when you messed up. It takes even more courage to go to God and allow Him to work inside you.
St. Joseph, patron saint of fathers, pray for us!