I broke down this morning. I couldn’t keep it together. This Father’s Day business all of a sudden just hit me full force. It’s all about three dads.
Dad #1: Paul Mannino
I think the whole idea of me having a child on the way is so overwhelmingly good that I couldn’t take it all in. I’m not sure if most people know the whole story about what all went into this pregnancy. MK and I have been talking about it ever since we were dating. I’ve already mentioned our two miscarriages. Number one (Fall 2009) was really tough because it happened so suddenly, and we were so excited. In the end, we ended up naming that child Jedidiah. More on that later. So…then we get to Fall of 2010. We chose to be optimistic and hopeful. A lot of other people did too. We even got presents. MK and I bought a stuffed animal from Disneyland (Dumbo) because we refused to let our first setback stifle our joy. And then…another miscarriage. We chose to name this child Grace. More on that later. So, yeah, after years of hard news, blood tests, genetic testing, prayer, tears, and everything in between, Spring 2011 comes around. I’m so excited to have made it through the first trimester. My heart soars every time I can hear her heartbeat. And I pray for her everyday. I want to be a dad.
Dad #2: Melvin Huettl
That’s my dad’s name. Apparently, I’m not the only one who is excited. I’m driving up to Dayton, Oregon this Friday and will be meeting him. He got confused on the timing and actually thought I was coming yesterday. He called me and asked, “Hey, where are you?” I told him I was doing yard work, and he seemed sad and said something, “Oh, well, uh, so you’re not coming?” I said told him it was Friday that I was leaving. I think both of us have a secret fear that somehow this is a little too good to be true and that it won’t happen. But, God willing, it will be happening this Friday. Oh, and I got to wish my dad a Happy Father’s day for the first time ever in my life.
Dad #3: Abba, aka Yahweh
I broke down in tears this morning because I realized that the riches of God’s love with always be enough. I wept as I thought of the lines of the song, “Hosanna” that passionately ask God to “show me how to love like You have loved me.”
You see, it’s been a wild ride. I am so happy to have life in God. I’m so happy to have a beautiful wife. I’m so happy that I get to work at a church like New Harvest that cares about the same things that I care about– I get to be myself for a living. And, oh, I have a girl on the way. And, oh, I get to meet my dad after 29 years (and I never thought that would happen). How much icing can I have on my cake?
Why Jedidiah? I wanted to praise God. In 1 Samuel 12 David loses his child. David still honors God in that time, and God eventually gives David another child. God said that child’s name should be Jedidiah, which means “loved by the Lord.” I just wanted to remind MK and myself that, although we had no promise that we would have another child, this one would be named Jedidiah.
Why Grace? I wanted to remember that people don’t make babies– God makes babies. Perhaps this was an act of grace by God. What if this child would have been born unhealthy? I remember a doctor said that miscarriages were “nature’s” way of ensuring children would be healthy or some jive like that. But I knew that this was an act of grace. Again, I chose to praise God.
Anyway, when you take all that into account, I guess it makes sense that I lost it this morning. I love God. I’m in a good place. Amazing things are happening all around me. Happy Father’s day to me. Happy Father’s day, dad. Happy Father’s day, Father.