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Father’s Day advice to myself

By Nathan Rice

Father’s Day is almost here, and I’m grateful that we have Father’s Day. Good fathers deserve a day to be celebrated and honored. It is a reminder, though, that I will never be a dad.

I’m not angry or distraught, but Father’s Day can still make me wonder why I’ve been led down this particular road. When this happens, I pull up some notes I wrote in 2013 when I first put some thoughts to paper regarding my journey on this road, and I take a few minutes to read through some advice from myself.

The first piece of advice is to remember that God’s plans for me are always best. God, who did not withhold His own Son from me, has a love so deep for me that I struggle to grasp its greatness. He knows what He is doing, and He never fails. He has a plan, and His plans are always good. I must now choose to continually trust the One who has all knowledge, holds all power and has never failed me.

Next, I encourage myself to remember that my life isn’t about me anymore. I surrendered my will to that of the Lord a long time ago. That surrender must include any plans I have made. I must be willing to continually echo the words of my Savior Who said to the Heavenly Father, “Not My will, but Your will be done.”

Could it be that not having children of my own is somehow bringing Him glory in a way that could not be accomplished otherwise? Has remaining childless allowed me to reach out to those who I might not have been able to otherwise reach? I will praise God if this is indeed the case, because it will mean He is allowing me to bring Him glory, and that is my only goal in life.

Perhaps this part of my life is about something that I cannot currently see. Could He be saving me from some great pain by restricting this part of my life?

Maybe the whole thing is just a result of living in a fallen world. Things are not as they should be, and even followers of Christ must currently live with the consequences of the curse.

There are many reasons God may have chosen this road for me. While I may never know the reason, I do know, love and trust the One who does know.

I then remind myself to be content in all of life’s circumstances and to continually give God praise. I must never allow one twist in my journey to determine my entire outlook on life. True contentment comes from Christ alone and is not based on everything turning out as I expected. I can continually praise God for all He has done when I believe and live this truth.

Lastly, I encourage myself to look at all that God has done. How could I possibly complain about this one aspect of life when God has rained down His blessings on me in so many ways?

It feels a little strange taking advice from myself, but I’m glad I jotted down these notes in 2013. They serve as a continual reminder allowing me to have a very happy Father’s Day every single year. Perhaps they can also now serve as an encouragement to other men who find themselves on this road with me.

Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at nrice@abnb.org.