I realized it for the first time in my life: there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.
- Sue Monk Kidd
Father’s Day is in just a couple of days, so I decided to question a real expert on all the miracles of fatherhood–my dad, of course!
My mom and dad were married quite some time before they had kids. Ten years into their marriage, they’d reached the conclusion that they weren’t meant to be parents. But just as they were about to give up, my mom found out she was pregnant... with twins. Just like that, my dad’s life changed completely. Less than two years later, a third daughter arrived on the scene... me!
“Being a dad is a gift from God,” he told me. “Even with the heartaches, troubles, sad times. It transforms you.”
“But how?” I wanted to know. “How is it miraculous?”
Well, this is how he answered my nosy questions. Here are the 5 miracles of fatherhood, according to my dad:
1. A different kind of love
Being a father, you experience true unconditional love, one of the greatest miracles of all. A willingness to do anything without expecting anything in return; to give your kids everything you never had. Fatherhood turned me into a much better version of me. I started praying like crazy, but never for myself. And I was more compassionate toward everyone, from my employees to the cashier at the supermarket.
2. Superhuman strength
I used to wake up at 5 a.m., leave the house at 6 a.m. and get home at 7 p.m. My wife owned a business and worked in the evenings, so I watched the kids at night. I was working nonstop, day and night. The more I helped my daughters, though, the less exhausted I felt. All that energy? It could’ve only come from God.
3. An unexpected career change
I’ve had a lot of jobs over the span of my career. But my résumé changed drastically when my daughters were born. God took an ordinary guy and made him a bottle-warming expert, cameraman, barber, chemistry professor, therapist, IT consultant, SAT tutor, doctor on call 24/7, chef, editor and professional swing-set builder. I grew up in a house with six brothers, but now I was surrounded by all girls. I learned how to listen, how to match clothing colors, how to sit through romantic comedies. It was the most challenging position I ever held–but it came with a benefits package no other job could match.
4. Wonder on a daily basis
I started seeing everything from God’s view. Each day brought something new and miraculous. First steps, first words, first day of school. Witnessing my girls grow from infants into “real people” has been unbelievable. Like a miracle unfolding before my eyes.
5. Finally, a full life
When I became a dad, I felt completely fulfilled for the first time. I knew why God had put me on this earth. And the source of my joy came from the smallest of things. Watching Little House on the Prairie on Saturday mornings, attending dance recitals, playing hide and seek. I’d come home from work exhausted from a long day. But when I sat down to dinner and my daughters told me about their days, all time slowed down. Nothing else mattered. Who knew happiness could be so simple?
Have a parenthood miracle to add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Diana Aydin is an associate editor for Mysterious Ways magazine. When she was just a little kid, she got her first dose of the miraculous. She’s been on the lookout for miracles ever since. Her favorite time of the day is lunch time, when she gets to step away from the workaday world and enjoy a bit of God’s wonder, if only for an hour!