A daughter needs her Father’s blessing

shutterstock_153959978This is a day that I will never forget. I’m actually going to claim it as a second birthday for what transpired felt like a rebirth! I was already on cloud nine being that my son Antonio was marrying his beautiful bride Amber. The venue was being held at a location that was in a city near us – the challenging part was going to be getting there on time. You see the night before as I was driving to pick up last-minute items the power steering pump went out in my car. Normally I would have gotten upset, panicked, stayed stressed out over it the rest of the night and next day. Instead I just gave it to the Lord and trusted that it would all work out. I then called my sister Rosa who I can always count on. As usual she offered to take me in the morning to run the rest of my errands. I finally got back home to help my elderly parents get ready for the big day. They both were so happy and even had colored coordinated clothes to wear. Once they were ready we got a ride from a friend who was going to the wedding too. I was able to register for our room earlier than quoted which was a blessing in itself, this way my parents had somewhere comfortable to wait until the ceremony began. I had a little more than two hours before I had to get into my “Mother of the Bride” dress. I waited for the very last moment until I had to walk downstairs. So I just stayed in the room with my parents talking to them and preparing for the blessing I was going to release during the ceremony. I helped my youngest daughter Sabrena get into her bridesmaid dress, she then came out showcasing the end result. My parents of course gushed over how beautiful she looked. Then it was finally time for me to get all dolled up:) Sabrena returned the favor by helping me get ready. After everything was tucked in and put into proper order (just being real) I was ready to unveil my dress to my parents. The dress I chose was beautiful. It was an iridescent royal blue color. Now mind you I’m used to my mom complementing me, that’s just who she is. My Dad has always been the complete opposite – he never says anything! His compliments are saved for the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren. I walked out of the changing room and my mom began telling me how beautiful I looked and complimented my dress, I smiled and thanked her. Then my Father began to speak, in my head I heard that commercial I always watched on t.v. growing up saying “When E.F. Hutton speaks everyone listens!” Then all you heard in the background were crickets. At that moment I became a cricket! I just knew that I had to absorb the words that were about to come out of his mouth. My father began saying “Oh you look so beautiful, your dress is beautiful, you look so beautiful.” Those words were music to my ears. A sweet lullaby that was being sung to me for the very first time in my life by my father. Something began to happen to me internally, my spirit was excited. I felt my chest poke out, I stood straight up, my shoulders went back, and my head no longer hung low. I waited 47 years to hear my Daddy tell me that I was his beautiful little girl. I wanted to hug him and sit in his lap all at once and say “Tell me more” but that would’ve startled him:) Instead I just said “Thank you!” He just smiled at me in return. It was time for the ceremony to start so my parents walked down with my brother, I stayed behind to gather my thoughts. As I meditated on what actually had happened I realized that I had just received my “Father’s blessing.” Here it was my son’s wedding day and I was the one given the greatest gift of my life. For years I felt like I was never wanted or loved by my father. I’d go into details but it’s just too much to explain. I know now that everything I felt growing up and even recently were lies straight from the pit of hell. My relationship has been evolving since that day with my Dad, the walls have been torn down making room for love to enter. One day in particular stands out to me I was sitting on the couch exhausted from working the night before. My dad was inviting my mom to the table to come and eat with him, she declined because the news was on. Then I heard my Dad say “Tell Diane to come and eat with me.” I went from being exhausted to getting a burst of energy. See I never felt comfortable sitting at the table and eating with my Dad. I just avoided it at all cost but not this day. We talked about a lot of different subjects, my Dad doesn’t even know how much he blessed me. Then the scripture came to me John 14:3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also” My Daddy prepared the table with the food for us, he asked me to sit with him, where he was I was with him also. God gave me back my Dad at the age of 90 and all I want to do is make him proud! I know that my time is short with him because of his age but I choose to love him and let him know how much he truly means to me every day of his life. I shared this important part of my life to encourage fathers of any age to pour into your daughters especially the young ones! They need to know that you love them and are in their corner. Show them how a real man is supposed to treat them so that they will never settle for anything less than what their Dad did for them. Thank you for reading my very first blog! I’m excited for this new chapter in my life ♥

Written by Diane Regalado

Blessing in Disguise

This was originally posted on May 4, 2012. We would like to share some of your favorite post from the Embrace Grace Blog. Please feel free to email kaleena.barnett@iembracegrace.com with your suggestions.

I am a 22 year old single mother to an amazing and beautiful 14 month old baby boy named Jonathan. I’m doing this mom-thing alone with absolutely no help from the father.

Back before I got pregnant, I could not wait until I was 21, I would finally be able to be a real “grown up.” I would be able to go to bars and clubs and stay out all night long. I imagined myself living on my own, having no rules, and just partying my life away. Sounds like the perfect life right?

That thought was so far from the truth.

I started living my partying dream a little earlier than 21 and moved into a house with 3 other girls when I was 20. We partied every single weekend.

Living that lifestyle only can end in a few different ways, and none of them were ideas that I had in my “dreams” for my future. I figured out I was pregnant.

I was in no position raising a child. I could barely remember I had a puppy on the weekends with my busy life of parties. I had to start making some drastic decisions in my life. I started by moving back in with my mom.

I turn 21 and I’m back at home, living with my mom … and pregnant. This is a completely opposite of what my idea of turning 21 was going to be like. My thoughts were consumed with how I thought my life was completely over.

Little did I know, God was blessing my life more than I could ever imagine.

After attending Embrace Grace, I started seeing a transformation in myself. A  seed was being planted in my soul by these selfless, wonderful, amazing women that I spent time with every week. I started to think differently about my circumstances and I began to see the great joy and miracle my baby was to me.  

My baby saved my life.

My son put my life back on track and into perspective. I had no idea how amazing being a mother was going to be while I was pregnant. I could only imagine but it was even more than I could have dreamed when I finally laid eyes on my blessing on March 7th, 2011. I’m a MOM! The most amazing thing about being a mother is knowing that my child feels most safe, loved, and comforted wrapped up in my arms. Having someone else depend on me to keep him healthy and alive is the most amazing accomplishment I have ever felt. Knowing that after he falls and bumps his head or scrapes his knee, the only thing that makes him feel better are my kisses, makes everything I sacrificed for him, worth it all. Waking up to my sweet baby rubbing my back or hearing his laughter because he sees a bird out the window makes me thank God every morning for waking me up. Hearing him cry in the middle of the night and all I have to do is hold him as tight as I can on my chest so he hears my heart beat, makes it worth having a heart beat and thanking God that I lived all the time I should have died during the partying years.

Jonathans first look at me, his first smile, the first time he rolled over, the first time he crawled, the first time he stood up, his first steps, first words, and all of his other firsts that are yet to come are way better than anything I could have ever imagined. My past life was over when I found out I was pregnant, however, a new beginning, a new life, was just starting, and it is still being written. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. 

Written By: Stephanie Salter