It happened again yesterday — a daddy moment. I decided to ride my bike with Jason after many long days of sitting in front of my laptop writing endless assignments. I explained to Jason as we left our house that I still didn't fully understand the gears on my bike so we started off slowly. I only felt comfortable riding on the paths. Jason yelled from in front of me, “Come on the road. You can’t ride on the paths!” I yelled back, “I am not roadworthy! I don’t know how to ride on the road. Last time I went on the road I was twelve on my bike test!” and the conservation continued between us both until I eventually tentatively followed him on to the road. As we reached the cycling track Jason turned around and grinned at me. “See I told you you could do it!”
When we got home, cheeks bright red and fingers numb, I felt reflective on what we had just done. As we sat down, catching our breath, we started to have what I like to call a grace conversation. I started to tell Jason how I wasn’t necessary confident about doing physical activities. I know that some of it comes from being ill at fourteen where I stopped doing a lot of physical activities but there was something more that I felt was being revealed in this conversation of grace, something new that I had not known before, something that was about more than just physical activities.
As I was talking it started to become very clear to me that this confidence had always been lacking. I grew in the love of my mother which was strong and nurturing but there was something missing. Teachers had sometimes seen it in me but had always mistaken it for something else. Even my driving test instructor could not quite put his finger on what it was that I was lacking. I started to relate to Jason how I had struggled when growing up with stepping out and doing something. I never learnt how to go underwater, I only just started to ride a bike before my bike test when I was twelve, I never went ice-skating and the older I got the narrower my life became until God stepped in. Then He very carefully and gently began to lead me away from all that I was. He came when I was fatherless. Yet I still did not realise what was missing.
I started to say to Jason, “The father is the one who is meant to show you this confidence to do things. My mother shown me so much love but the father shows you the adventure of life. He is the one who is behind you shouting “Go on you can do it”. Your mother will love you when you fall down and your father will tell you to get back up. I would fall down and stay down. I would stop trying. I needed the father”. I had been speaking about my own father but I knew in that moment that I was also meaning Father God.
Then when I went to bed last night God spoke to me again. I was scrolling through my messages on my phone when I suddenly felt compelled to open my Dad’s messages. I saw the last message he sent me in reply to me saying that I had been struggling with driving on my own. I had said, “Struggling a bit but I’ll keep going!” He had replied, “That’s the spirit!” Suddenly it hit me and I sat up in bed. He does care. Somehow I had come to the conclusion that my father didn’t care when I was struggling. Whenever I would tell my father my difficulty he would say something positive in response like, “You will find it easier next time”. I was often confused by his response because I thought he was brushing off my struggle but God spoke to me in this moment and said, “The father does care. He calls you to take your eyes off the struggle and look at Him and then you will realise how small it is. He is bigger than the struggle. Just like when a child falls off her bike, the father shows empathy but he also shows her that she can get back on, that she can overcome the struggle. The father shows you who you can be”. I was wrecked. This is what it is to have confidence in the Father.