This one is for you, Dad (despite it being International Women’s Day….could have gotten the timing better but hey¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)
From as long as I can remember, I have always been, what my dad has called me, his little buddy. Him having all girls, he was bound to have one that was the girl version of him. And as it may be, here we are, more like here I am, the girl version of my dad. Growing up, I was a huge tomboy. I was into all the dirt and mud and sports and outdoors and hunting and literally anything my dad could get me into DESPITE the fact that I was a girl haha. I distinctly remember my dad taking me hunting one time and I single handedly scared away any type of creature solely because of my snacking and inability to be quiet. He never took me again after that. I’m sure that was secretly my ploy all along though because any and all deer just has to be Bambi’s mom and I just can’t handle that kind of quilt on my conscience. Welcome to the dramatics of Maddy, folks. Also while growing up, I was raised in a very Christian household. It was church every Wednesday and Sunday, church camp in the summer as well as countless mission trips where somehow they thought it was a good idea to throw this chick up on a roof with a hammer and allow her to build a roof. QUESTIONABLE DECISIONS. As we got older, my parents allowed us to begin to make our own decision regarding church. They wanted to build the foundation when we were young and have us continue on on our own as we were older to allow it to be our own religion and not something they forced upon us. I kept up with it for a few years and then as I began college, it quickly fell to the waist side and other things took its place. Things such as other relationships, my own priorities that I felt took precedence, and countless other things. I honestly didn’t really notice my lack of a relationship with God until I graduated college, so about a year ago. All the while, my dad kept encouraging me to come to church with them on Sundays, come to the house for their bible study, and just honestly to be present. As always, I had an excuse as to why I couldn’t make it to any of the above. He was never mad when I gave him these excuses, never gave me a harsh time, just simply said “ok, next time!” with unwavering faith in my own relationship with Christ. As I am sitting here writing, I am almost brought to tears with my recent realizations in my own life. I have always always always been the most independent person ever. I do things myself, I handle everything on my own, I internalize quite literally everything just so I can handle it myself. It’s also been just me. Me, me, me. That’s what I hear when I say that sentence out loud. I didn’t need help from anyone else and that’s how my life was going to be.
Now let’s switch back to my dad for a quick second. My dad is a completely capable man. He provides for quite literally my entire family and always has, he owns his own business, is a father figure to countless people that are not his biological children, and a source of wisdom to many friends. And if you asked him if he ever could do it on his own he would immediately tell you not in a million years. If you were ever to wonder what a godly life were to look like, I just wish you to meet my dad. He very much seeks God’s will for his own life and does not rely on his own accord, which is something that is way easier said then done. He places God in the center of all things. In his family, in his marriage to my mom, in his relationships, and especially in his career. Now my dad is not a perfect man by any means, but he is a a perfect example of someone that has used their life to glorify Christ and it has made all the difference.
I have never cherished my relationship with my dad more than these past few months. He has reminded me that I may think that I have this life figured out, that I can do it all on my own, but I will fail. And it will most certainly not be pretty. Since graduating college, I have taken a couple different turns in my career path. It was honestly a whirlwind and something that I spent countless nights not being able to sleep because I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do, how this was going to affect ME in the long run, and ultimately, what I was going to do with my life. (Emphasis on all of the I’s and ME’s.) Had I given my worries and doubts to God and allowed him to guide me along the way, I think these past few months would have gone a lot smoother. I am slowly starting to realize that when I allow myself to take control, things get messy. Putting our faith in not only ourselves but this world will only lead to heartache and confusion. My mom has always reminded me that only God can make you feel whole and that is something that I have never forgotten. People will disappoint you. Relationships will end. Friends will come and go. You, yourself will fail. It’s only when we realize all of that can we truly begin living for something greater than ourselves.
My dad told me that as long as you put God in the center of everything you do, it will work out. Things will fall into place and even if it’s not how you expected it to go, it will always go in the way He had planned.
So here is to putting faith into things unseen rather than things of this world and feeling whole again. This post was a little all over the place but it has been on my heart for quite sometime to put this out there.
Shoutout to my forever friend, Emily Wallace for these amazing shots! You are incredible, my girl!!!