Saturday, May 16th, 2015 our oldest daughter, Allison, got married. Kaci and I couldn't have been more happy or proud. Why did I have a huge beaming smile on my face that day?
There's so much we can hide behind a smile, good and bad. A deep rooted story that has a million twists and turns.
Allison was/is our "strong willed child". The only thing worse than having a strong willed child is having a strong willed Father that will go toe to toe with that child.
Pile on top of that: I was a young Father, I had zero relationship with the Lord, she was our first child (the parenting experiment), and the emotional scars Kaci and I put on one another before we even met...there were a good share of "blow ups" in our home.
The past 18 years I stood my ground to be a Dad. I saw the disaster unfolding in our society as many of our peers tried to be "friends" with their kids and this strengthened my resolve.
The best I could hope for was there would be a time that we could be friends down the line.
I wish I could say it was all fun. The reality: it was a battle and in war it's never pretty.
In war you have to recognize "the hills to die on" and I believe with all my heart that my children are just that.
Through the screaming matches, the "I hate you"s, and any other rebellious act you could imagine Kaci and I held on to one hope: that our daughter would be better than us.
Our daughter walked down the aisle that Saturday afternoon having kept herself pure for her husband.
Brad, our long time guitarist and now son-in-law, also kept himself pure for his bride. They will begin their marriage whole, without emotional scars piled on one another.
The girl that would throw a seven hour fit in an attempt to get out of the two minute task of taking the trash out now has a great work ethic.
She seeks to do the honorable thing, not necessarily what will benefit her first. Integrity is important to her.
Both Brad and Allison have a faith and a reliance in the Lord Jesus that is inspiring and well beyond their years.
They not only spend time reading the Bible and speaking to the Lord but they actually discipline themselves and work to live out their lives as Jesus would.
This is the reason for the beaming smile. We raised a daughter that is better than us.
I will always be a Father. There for guidance, wisdom, maybe even a little butt chewing, and certainly to make those who hurt my "little girl" wish for death.
Now I can transition into the role of friend.
While others joke "one down three to go" in a sense of rushing to be "kid free". I think of it as; one daughter successfully raised, three to go.
If (and when) that happens I will consider Kaci and myself blessed beyond measure!