I have three fathers in my life, all of whom have contributed to nurturing me in their own special, God-appointed way.
Though I’ve never been big on appreciation days, this Father’s Day felt like a timely reminder to count my blessings and express my gratitude to all of them.
THE ONE WHO RESTORED MY IDENTITY
For the longest time, I never felt that I was anyone’s favourite – I always found it hard to fit in with friends. If not for the loving intervention of my Heavenly Father, I would have spiralled deeper and deeper into the abyss of self-pity and low self-esteem.
Because of that, this first letter is dedicated to God, the one who saw value in me.
Dearest Papa God,
Thank You for telling me that I’m Your favourite, for knowing that this was exactly what I needed to hear when I joined my first youth camp and came to know You. You changed my life.
It is my greatest comfort to know that You knew me even before I knew You, and that You understand me so deeply even in times when I don’t understand myself.
You always see what’s good in me even when I’m overly focused on all my flaws (e.g. pride, insecurity, jealousy, envy, selfishness…). I know You don’t require perfection, and You delight simply in a heart that is tender and willing.
Thank You for rejoicing every single time I repent and pray for Your guidance in stamping out these sinful attitudes from my life.
But I also want to thank You for disciplining me because You love me and want me to walk in my God-given destiny without being sidetracked (Proverbs 3:11-12). Like the time You told me to give up writing fanfiction because You knew it was destroying my purity, and that I was finding my value in works rather than my identity in You.
You’re a loving Father who is slow to anger and full of mercy. Your grace and forgiveness is what helps me stand up and try again every time I fall.
You’re truly a good, good Father, and I’m excited to spend eternity at Your feet and in Your most glorious presence!
THE ONE WHO GUIDED ME IN LIFE
My Dad’s personal passions are math and science, and I know he hoped that I would take a similar path. But I’ve always been more imaginative than technical, so I’m really thankful that he came to understand that a career in the creative industry would suit me better.
I’ll always be grateful for my Dad’s unwavering support when I decided to pursue the humanities in university.
I will always remember this wonderful thing you did for me (among a billion other things) when I was entering junior college.
In order to better coach me in math, you bought a H2 math assessment book and spent your nights after work studying the topics, even doing research to make sure that you would be able to answer any questions that I have. I never did openly thank you, but when I speak to my friends about you, I always share about this act of love.
Thank you also for your willingness to listen and discuss about things I’ve learnt in school, which have helped to enrich my learning. Although you have high expectations for my studies, thank you for trusting me and assuring me that my best is enough.
I really appreciate that you’ve always taken the time to share your experiences and insights with me. Your guidance always makes me feel more ready to take on the challenges of life.
I’m so thankful that we became closer during this circuit breaker too. I really enjoy how our conversations now last way after our meals and spring up at random times of the day.
You’ve always wanted the best for me, and my greatest wish is for you to realise you’re a child of the Heavenly Father too!
THE ONE WHO HELPED ME GROW IN FAITH
Church has become my second family, and my final letter goes out to my spiritual father.
I’ve learnt so much from my senior pastor, from the way he relates to every one of us in the congregation, to how he models humility and authenticity by being honest about his struggles.
Dearest Pastor Ben,
Thank you for showing us that you truly care for God’s flock. I appreciate your effort in getting to know each one of us in church, for asking about me from time to time even though we’re not close.
Thank you for affirming me when you witness God’s transformational power in my life. I remember how you acknowledged my God-given courage to share my testimony because the shy and timid Corinna would have never been able to do so by her own strength.
I’ve learnt a lot from your godly yet down-to-earth wisdom – not only from the things you’ve said, but also from the advice you’ve given to others when they give their testimonies.
Throughout this pandemic situation, I glimpsed your compassion and love, whether it’s encouraging those you pastor to trust God in the midst of such difficult times, or gathering the congregation to raise financial support for even those outside of the church.
You are a wonderful spiritual father, and I’m so glad you decided to answer God’s call to be one!
Father’s Day may be the official occasion to show appreciation to the dads in our life, but there’s no need to stop here!
Let’s always be thankful and learn to reciprocate this love all year round.