I have postponed writing this post for days because the words are so very strong in my heart. Tuesday was my dear Taylor’s birthday and with just a quick little note on Facebook, I received many birthday wishes and greetings for her.
But one stood out above the rest. It was from my husband, Taylor’s stepdad, her “Daddy Matt.” Daddy Matt was the name Taylor gave to him all on her own when she could speak. His entry into her life was completely God-given. Here is his post:
Fourteen years ago today a special little girl was born into this world. She survived an emergency c-section, a traumatic birth and was revived by resuscitation. Her mommy cared for her meticulously and lovingly for the next 3 years, mostly on her own. Through God’s providence and His grace, this “mommy” became my dear wife and this little girl became mine and I became her “Daddy-Matt”. Only a short time later we found out that Taylor had a rare genetic disease with a life expectancy of about 15 years. Now here we are on her 14th birthday with an underlying thought that we don’t really know which birthday will be her last. I do know, however, that being her “daddy” for the last 11 years has been an honor, a privilege, and a blessing. So I pray that God will give her special birthday blessing today in a way that only He can do.
While my Matthew gives me much credit for Taylor’s life, his place in her life goes above and beyond. If you have ever adopted or become a step parent, then you know that the love you have for that child is a choice. You choose to love the child and never waiver from that decision. What an incredible example of how God loves His children. We are His; He will never change His mind about His love for us.
James 1:27 discusses what pure religion is. True religion. True Christianity; not just rituals. Not acts of kindness performed with a stony heart, out of duty or obligation.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Christianity is not just one day of the week. No, not just on Sundays, putting on a good face. No, making the choice to be a father to the fatherless means a 24 hr. 365 day a year commitment. Choosing to keep your personal relationship with Christ so close that the love of Jesus exudes from you in every action. On the good days and bad days. The sick days and well days. The days Taylor made huge messes and the days she was throwing up everywhere.
And so with tears running down my face as I type this, I ask you to look at your own life.
Are you sacrificial enough in your heart to desire to be a father to the fatherless, as my Matthew has done over the years?