Sunday, June 19, 2011

How my Dad pointed me to God

Here's a short excerpt about my dad from my memoir, "KRASATA." Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I have this memory from the day I moved into the dorm my freshman year of college. My dad wasn’t thrilled with the idea of Bible College for me.

“What kind of job can you get with a Bible education? You need to learn something marketable. I had hoped you would go into journalism, maybe consider helping out at my newspaper later in life.”

He consented though, after learning that the college was tuition free, a two-hour car ride from home, and that I would major in Communications and minor in Bible.

The day I moved in to the dorm, after my brother-in-law Bill, a friend, and my father had moved everything up to the eighth floor to my room, mostly without elevator assistance, my dad and I stood in the foyer. We were trying to say goodbye,but both of us were distracted. Another family near us had formed a circle by holding hands. They bowed their heads and the father began to pray. My dad looked at them and then looked at me.

“Come here, Gill,” he said, sweeping his arm towards the hallway. I followed him out the door.

He put his hands on my shoulders while other new students and their families walked by, some turning around to see what we were up to. “Now, I know this is a big step for you. Do well, and, um, call us if you need anything. And, uh, here’s twenty bucks.” He handed me a stiff twenty dollar bill and kissed my cheek. Even though we don’t share the same core beliefs about God and the world, I was assured of his love and support that day, as I have been for my whole life.

While I hugged my father after our long trip back from Ukraine with our newborn daugther who had Down syndrome, I imagined that we were in the corridor of another huge shift in my life: we were stepping into the world of special needs, and the hug evoked similar stirrings in me, as it had on the first day of Bible College. Although my dad didn’t understand what it felt like to have a child with a disability, his presence was a sure thing. He would be there for me through this transition and he would love our baby more than life.

Part of God's plan for my life was to provide me with a dad who loves me and supports me unconditionally. When I was sixteen years old and my friend told me that God was someone I could trust, that he was a good heavenly father, it was no stretch of the imagination to believe her. I believed easily partly because of the stability and love I receive from my Dad, love that provided me a quasi-healthy self esteem (I mean, I am still a girl and I hate my jello-like tummy) and the belief that I am valuable. My Dad has always made me feel like I wasn't alone in this life.

I don't take this gift lightly. I know many daughters do not have these thoughts about their fathers.

And today, on Father's Day, I am thankful.


  1. Beautiful Father's Day post. I was blessed to have a great Dad, too.

  2. That is beautiful, Gillian! I envy you. A lot.

  3. Great post. I am often unsure what to say or feel about my dad... he loved us very very much and of course I feel a deep bond to him as my dad... but at the same time had his vices which eventually led to the end of my parents' marriage... and sometimes I don't know how to put that together. Thanks for sharing, and listening ;)


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