If I had to count on one hand the number of things that my father and I agree on, I would probably be sitting here awhile. Our personalities make us polar opposites. We speak different love languages. We experience life from totally different places, views, and opinions. In fact, if you had asked me not so long ago, I probably would have told you that I considered myself to be my dad’s greatest disappointment in life.
But not too long ago, God spoke to my heart and opened my eyes. My dad and I are still vastly different. And we probably both think the other is difficult at times. But my view of my dad is very different now than at any other time in my life.
I truly believe that God found the perfect time to redeem my relationship with my father. I see him so differently than before. I see a man who loves people (especially his children) through words of wisdom, difficult life lessons, and by being a provider. My dad is a giver. He would give the shirt off his back to a total stranger. Knowing the types of gifts he has given to people he barely knows and people he has known for years, I can tell you that my dad is one of the most generous people I know. And yet, as his kid-while I never went without the things I needed-my dad made me work hard for what I had. In turn, he has worked hard to provide a home for my mother, myself, and my siblings. And he is still working hard. At almost 67. I am so grateful that my dad saw the virtue of teaching his kids that the fruit of hard work is sweet and incredibly rewarding and that genuine generosity and compassion without need of recognition or reward is just a way of life.
True appreciation of my father began awhile ago, but more so when I married a man who is a father and became part of a pre-existing family unit. As I experience a parent/grown-child relationship from the opposite view, I appreciate my father’s firm hand and no-nonsense parenting style on a whole new level.
As I experienced the gifts my dad showered upon my sister when she got married in my parents yard, I saw a whole new level of love and provider. My dad (and mom and siblings) tore down a barn and built a new one. Dad remodeled a bathroom. The yard and house are the most beautiful I have ever seen. Dad gave Caroline gifts that only he could give. He gave his time and talent. My dad provided. He did what he does best. And it was beautiful.
Being a parent of any kind/gender requires patience, love, perseverance, and the ability to speak truth into the lives of those you are influencing. As I grow as a person and experience more of life’s adventures, I am more and more grateful for my father and his own life experience. The experiences that shaped him, helped to shape me.
We may not agree on everything, but I know that in God’s perfect plan, He gave me the perfect Dad for me. For better or for worse, I am who I am because of Paul Garcia. I look at my life and the lives of my siblings and I see people who see their need for Jesus. I see seven beautiful siblings who all carry various traits of both our parents and I can see God continuing to work in each of our lives and using each for His own glory. How great the Father’s love for us that He gave the Garcia children a father who strives daily to live his life for the Lord and walk in His light.