by Laura Krueger
Following Father’s Day last month, I took some time to reflect on the blessings given to me by the fathers in my life.
My father gave me life and a family of four siblings (five including me). He taught me the importance of staying connected to family. I lost my dad to a severe heart attack when he was 46, and I was in my early 20s. In the short time Dad was with us, he gave us the gift of strength and persistence (some call it stubbornness), but the persistence has gotten me through some tough times.
My father taught us to love and respect all people. To him, everyone we met was a gift to be cherished. Thanks, Dad, for that gift because I have met some amazing people in my life.
A strong foundation
Most importantly, my father made sure each of us had God in our life. He made sure our faith had a strong foundation.
Another father in my life—my husband–has been a strong and loving father to my three boys. His sense of humor has taught them not to take life too seriously. His love of God has taught them to know they are not alone. Although they have struggled on their faith journeys, my sons have a solid foundation that has been modeled by their dad.
I was lucky to have a second father come later when my mom remarried. My stepdad is an amazing man who became an instant grandfather of 11 when he married my mom. He showed us how loving families are not always blood relationships. My stepdad has become a loving, caring and giving grandfather to my children, nieces and nephews. He has also modeled and shared his love of Jesus with the grandkids, showing them the importance of God in their lives.
Blessings of the fathers
Both my dads, in their ways, have given me a stronger faith in my heavenly Father. The blessings provided by my God, the Father, are too many to count!
Many people have not been blessed as I have to have even one loving father figure in their lives.
Some have had fathers who were not considered blessings for several reasons. God has not forgotten them. God–as heavenly Mother—provides us with people in our lives who give us what we need. They might be a single mom, an aunt, an uncle, a friend, a brother or sister. Maybe even a stranger!
How have you been blessed by others?
Laura Krueger is serving her first term on Woman of the ELCA’s executive board. She lives in Avondale, Ariz., and works at Scottsdale Community College. She’s served two terms as president of the Grand Canyon Synod Synodical Women’s Organization and is a member of Alleluia Lutheran Church, Phoenix, Ariz. Photos provided by Laura: clockwise from top left, her stepfather, mother, sons, daughter-in-law and grandchild; her biological father; Laura, her husband and sons; Laura, her siblings, mother and father.