[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Naomi Fata: When I read Naomi’s post, I was blown away how everything came together for her! God is good.]
God Gave Me A Dad
“Daddy went to heaven while you were sleeping.” Mom greeted me softly with the news, as I walked out of my bedroom that snowy December morning. Tears quietly rolled down her cheeks. For me no tears came. Later that morning when I walked to the front of my second-grade classroom to whisper in the teacher’s ear that Daddy was gone. She had known him and she cried silent tears too. But me, I couldn’t cry.That morning I cut myself off from my first seven years of life. I cut off the memory, as if not remembering would fill the hole. I turned off deep pain. But in the darkness of the nights I prayed for a father. As the years went by my hope faded that I would ever have one.
I was raised in a Christian home and knew that God was my Heavenly Father, but I ached for a man who was my father. Each year when Father’s Day rolled around I tried to forget that I didn’t have one – pretended that I didn’t care.
The rest of my childhood and adolescence was filled with moving, financial struggles and instability from my mom’s health struggles.
When I was 19 I had a job at a convenience store to help support the family. One day an older gentleman walked in. On seeing my name tag ‘Naomi’, he began a conversation about the root of my name. I told him I was named for Naomi in the Bible. During our brief discourse, I learned that his name was Walt and that he too loved the Lord. As he walked out of the store that day God spoke to him, telling him to frequent my workplace and purposefully show me God’s love.
Over the course of several years, Walt continued to come in the store, about once a week. When he came he would bring me Christian articles to read, or a milkshake from the local ice cream shop. He always took time to listen. What drew me to Walt most was his love and excitement concerning the Lord. Gradually I began to share my personal struggles of faith with him. When I was interested in dating a young man (who later became my husband) I asked Walt to meet him, because I needed the counsel of a wise godly man.
14 years have passed since then. And I have a father.
It is a miracle.
Walt and his wife were never able to have children. It was the longing of his heart for many years. Walt’s wife struggled with social anxiety so for many years I talked to him on the phone or when I was at work. But when she passed away last year, he became a very present part of our family. Now he is ‘Papa Wally’ to my three children, ‘Dad’ to me, and father-in-law and friend to my husband. He is at our house for holidays, children’s birthdays, and Sunday movie night.
When he followed God’s instructions to show me the love of the Father, he never would have dreamed that I would one day be a daughter to him, as much as any flesh and blood could be.
I didn’t get a father through my mom remarrying, as I hoped. In ways beyond my wildest imagination God gave me a Dad.
Now I cry because the love of a father opened my heart to grieve and to live. I cry because love pours in. I cry because my broken heart is healing. I cry because I know it’s a miracle. I cry because I know that God is good and that He hears.
Naomi Fata: A small business owner from New York who runs her sewing shop out of her home to be a flexible and present mama to her three children. In 2016 Walt, Naomi, and Tony (Naomi’s husband) founded Christian Resource Ministry, a non-profit organization to encourage others to serve God in their workplaces, found at www.christianresourceministry.com. More of Naomi’s story of healing can be found in her book Beyond Head Knowledge: Knowing Christ who Satisfies our Hearts. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naomifata Twitter: https://twitter.com/NaomiFata Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorNaomiFata