How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
- Annie Dillard
I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels, or spirits, not the present or the future...Romans 8:38
After my father died, my sister and I helped Mom go through his personal items. I couldn’t wait to get into Daddy’s special drawer, the one in his nightstand he didn’t allow anyone to bother.
He could hear you opening it from a mile away. I remember as a kid trying to quietly ease open the drawer in order to sneak some quarters from his big bowl of change (I wanted to feed the Pac-Man game at the local arcade.) As I started to reach my hand inside, I heard Dad’s voice, “Michelle Leigh Medlock–get out of my drawer!” He didn’t mind giving me money for Pac-Man; he just didn’t want me in his special, private drawer.
For years, I’d wondered what could possibly be in that forbidden treasure trove. Why was he so protective of it?
“I’ll start in Daddy’s chest of drawers,” I called to my mom as I opened the forbidden drawer. I searched through Daddy’s things, finding very ordinary items. His comb. Fingernail clippers. His money clip. Pictures of the family. Lots of change. His special engraved calculator he used in business. And a lockbox.
I was just about to ask Mom if she knew the combination to the lockbox, but thought I’d try it first. Surprisingly, it wasn’t actually locked and it popped right open with just a little pressure. Inside, I discovered important documents like his and my mother’s marriage license, a small wooden bible, a Jesus Saves lapel pin and three tiny plastic bracelets–two pink and one blue. The wording had yellowed over the years, but I could still read “Medlock Girl” and my birth date on one of the little pink bracelets. I held that tiny pink bracelet close to my heart for what seemed like hours.
It was at that moment I realized how very much my Daddy cherished me. He loved me so much that he even treasured my baby bracelet. Today, I keep that baby bracelet in a secret compartment of my purse as a reminder of how much he loved me.
As Father’s Day approaches, I miss my Dad but I am thankful that I have so many wonderful memories of him. He had embarrassing nicknames for me that he loved to call me in front of my friends and dates. He had the most precious chuckle that I could always pick out of a crowd. He loved eating Hostess apple pies with his coffee for breakfast. (Maybe that’s why I prefer a Snickers and a Diet Coke as my “breakfast of champions.”)
But most of all, I remember how much he loved me. It was that unconditional, all-consuming kind of love. I never had to question his love because he showed me every single day.
I hope you have a father who loves you with that same kind of love, but if you don’t, I know that Father’s Day might be a difficult holiday for you. Maybe you are estranged from your father. Maybe your dad was abusive, and you’re still dealing with the emotional scars he caused. Or maybe you don’t even know your earthly father. No matter your situation, I have good news. You have a heavenly father who treasures you, and he has little plastic bracelets–his promises of love—all throughout his Word. Every time you find one like, Jeremiah 31:3 that says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” you’ll want to hold it close to your heart, just like I did.
Spend some time discovering how much your heavenly father loves you today. It’ll change your life, and you’ll be able to celebrate Father’s Day this year in a brand-new way.
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.