Letter To A Distant Dad

Dear Daddy,

God just really had it on my heart tonight to write you this letter. I recently heard this song on the radio, and I really felt like I was supposed to tell you what it meant to me. The song is called “Lead Me,” by Sanctus Real. It’s a song about a man looking at his life, and realizing it’s not everything that other people think it is, and even not what he thinks it to be. He realizes that he needs to be there to lead his whole family, and that they need him to love them, fight for them, and never leave. At the end, though, he realizes that what he needs most is to pray earnestly for God to help him…he realizes he can’t do this alone.

“I look around and see my wonderful life

Almost perfect from the outside

In picture frames I see my beautiful wife

Always smiling

But on the inside, I can hear her saying...

“Lead me with strong hands

Stand up when I can't

Don't leave me hungry for love

Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight

That I'm still the love of your life

I know we call this our home

But I still feel alone”

This part of the song is obviously about the man’s wife, and I can’t help but relate it to mom. I know that you know deep down inside, that she prays this prayer every day. All she wants from you is love. A love that will lead and guide her when she needs help, and that will never leave her side. I know you say that you both have had problems for a while, but think for a moment- does it really matter what problems you guys may have faced? Do you just automatically give up when things get hard and you see no way in fixing anything? Dad, when you said, “I do,” to mom 25 years ago, did you really mean it? I believe you did…or I wouldn’t be here.

Don’t you want to be a man of your word? You can’t honestly say that you fought for mom, because you didn’t. You gave up. You left her, and no matter what you say…you left us. If you really loved us, you would come back home. All mom wants you to do is fight for you guys, and fight for the life that we all can have as a family. Like it says in the song by Warren Barfield, “Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for.”

I want you to hear the rest of the song… really listen to these words…

“I see their faces; look in their innocent eyes

They're just children from the outside

I'm working hard; I tell myself they'll be fine

They're independent

But on the inside, I can hear them saying...

“Lead me with strong hands

Stand up when I can't

Don't leave me hungry for love

Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight

That I'm still the love of your life

I know we call this our home

But I still feel alone”

And this part is what I want to tell you everyday…but never can find the words to tell you so.

Dad, I need you. I need you to love me, guide me, fight for me, always be there for me…and never leave me. But I can’t trust you anymore. As hard as it is for me to say that, it’s true. You have lied to us so many times, that I question almost everything you do, or say you are going to do. I have lost faith in you. Dad, if we were really still the “love of your life,” you would be at home with us. You never would have left. You would fight to save your marriage, and to be my hero.

But even if you don’t want to do it for me, do it for my brothers. They are crying out for you in their own ways, and you are just ignoring them. All these guys want is someone they can trust, and someone they know will never lie or leave again. These guys need you just as much as I do. They need you to hear them out, and to be patient with them when they struggle to find words to really explain how they feel. You may think these guys are just lazy and rude…but they are not. They are just hurt and afraid. They need you as a strong dad to show them just what kind of man to grow up to be, and especially how to treat their wife in the future.

Now look at yourself right now. You are living a life of lies, deceit, and adultery. Is that how you want your son to grow up to be? I sure hope you would say “no”!

And then there is my littlest brother…he is so young that he really doesn’t understand much, but he knows something is wrong… he just doesn’t know how to process it all. He knows something is wrong, but he doesn’t understand why you are acting the way you are. You may think the little guys are being overly sensitive or afraid of a lot of things. But that’s not the case. They are just confused and sad. That is why little things that normally wouldn’t bother them, now are making them very upset. But it’s nothing they have done wrong…it’s all the changes in you. All the guys miss you being at home with us. They miss playing with Hot Wheels or building Lego’s together. They miss seeing you every night before bedtime, and every morning not seeing you when they wake up. These boys want to grow up to be good dads, in fact one of my brothers even said this not long ago,

“When I grow up, I don’t want to work as much as daddy does, so I can be home and play with my little boy.”

Doesn’t that break your heart to think that he wants so bad to have you as a good role model, yet you don’t seem to be doing anything about it.

Dad I need to be loved and listened to. I deserve to live life knowing that you are always there for me and my brothers, and that you will never leave us. Don’t get mad when you see the boys acting out…they are only doing it because of the stress of having very little stable in their lives right now. Pretty much every day is a new challenge for all of us, because of having to always go back and forth between home and your apartment; it’s harder than you could ever realize. Why can’t you sit down and play with the boys again? Why are you are always on the phone, or out running errands instead of really spending time with us? We need you in our life, but even more than that… Dad we need you to just come home.

“So Father, give me the strength

To be everything I'm called to be

Oh, Father, show me the way

To lead them

Won't You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands

To stand up when they can't

Don't want to leave them hungry for love,

Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight

And give them the best of my life

So we can call this our home

Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone.”

Dad, this is the prayer you should be praying every day. You need God so much more than you think, and you can’t do ANYTHING without Him. You can fix anything…if you just ask God to help you. He wants more than anything to mend our broken home, and He’s just waiting on you. He has never left you, Dad, and those times when you’ve felt the most confused…those are the times that God was speaking to you the loudest, and you were ignoring His voice. All you have to do is pray for courage to stand up for what you know deep down inside is the right thing to do, no matter what anyone else is telling you. You have to beg God to help you fight for this family, because He will always help when His children call. Pray for selflessness, and strength. And lastly, pray that God will lead you. He will only lead someone who has surrendered their will, though. Therefore, you need to die to your selfishness and pride…and let God consume your heart. All He wants is your heart, Dad, and He can make everything right again. In the end, it doesn’t really matter how much you’ve done to try and “fix” things how you think they should go…you will not be successful unless you have God, and you are living for Him. There’s one quote from the Fireproof movie I really want to leave you with.

“You can’t just follow your heart. Your heart can be deceived. You have to lead your heart.”

This means that you can’t live by feelings, because feelings can deceive you. You need to live by the faith that God can heal anything, if you let Him. You need to lead your heart. That means that you need to be in control of your actions, and not base them on temporary feelings. Emotions can “feel” good at the moment, but they falter and fade. The one thing that stands the test of time is love. You need to lead your heart, Dad. You know what the right thing to do is…so do it. Be courageous. Don’t be afraid of what other people may think, what will have mattered is that you did the right thing.

I love you so incredibly much, Dad. And I hate to see all of this happening. But what makes me the saddest is that it doesn’t look like you have done anything to try and fix it. Please, I beg you…come back to God…and come back home. His arms will always be open, and so will ours.

I love you and I miss the father and man you used to be.

Where did he go?

Love always,

Your Daughter, for ever

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