When Rev Dale asked me to give the Father’s Day message at Unity of Savannah, I have to be honest, unbeknownst to him — this was a shock. The truth is, I don’t actually have any real personal experience having a dad. WHOOPS!! UH OH, the jig is up!
I didn’t even know I was supposed to have a dad until I came home from school confused at the age of 6 when the other kids raised an interesting point of how did I get here? My single mom had done such a great job raising me, loving me, that I believed my mom was a 2-in-1 made special for me.
That’s when I learned about Julio. Julio De Jesus, who insisted I be named after him, was known as the coolest, funniest, most charismatic guy around. He worked for Delta and I looked exactly like him. Curly hair, nose, smile, teeth, and his green eyes.
I didn’t know him because it turns out he had another family. Despite it all, he and my mom shared a deep love from which I was born from, truly a love child.
As a kid, I saw my dad a handful of times. He bought me my first bike, which he tried to teach me how to ride without training wheels … we did ok until me and my bike ran him and his white pants over, landing him in the dirt!
The next time I saw him was at court where paternity test results and child support amounts were given, but no visitation. It would be 10+ years when I’d see him again.
Over that next decade, I got into a deep relationship with the Heavenly Father and leaned into my church family.
I thought of God the same way I thought of my earthly father … out there. In my heart, wanting to make them both proud of me by growing up to be a successful adult. Doing all the things to be a good person to impress both Fathers.
Over the years, I built an internal wall of protection around my heart, convincing myself that I didn’t need a dad anyways. I would daydream about seeing Julio again and blowing him away with how great I turned out, without him. And I got my chance.
At a family gathering, my uncle’s funeral, he approached me gently with so much warmth. I could feel his love and the pride he felt seeing me all grown up as he introduced me to family I had never met before. My moment was happening!
Then … he turned to me and asked to speak to me in private. Filled with fear of what he’d say, or that he’d make me feel something I didn’t want to feel, I declined.
My fear came between us and I left without knowing what he had to say. I wanted my moment of redemption to end on a positive note and I wasn’t willing to take any chances that he’d say something to mess that up.
A while later, I found out news that my dad passed away from an inoperable brain tumor two months prior. Six months later, I was also diagnosed with the same type of tumor, which I overcame. Praise God!
For a long time I carried guilt and shame and resentment for not listening, or getting to say goodbye or to make peace, for missing my chance for forgiveness and to heal.
Have you ever avoided a talk with your father because you weren’t sure what he’d say?
Have you ever avoided a talk with God because you weren’t sure what He’d say?
When Rev Dale asked me to give this talk, I thought I didn’t have anything positive to share … but I knew that wasn’t true.
And for the record, I considered telling you all about how beautiful of a father Josh is to our 3 boys, or maybe about my beloved grandfather … and ignoring my dad completely.
But I understand that things have a way of happening for a reason … and I knew that this opportunity to speak to you was no different. I knew I was being called to dig within and find the blessing that was waiting for me to find it.
So I went to spiritual text and started digging. Scripture started to remind me of being at one with the Father as his Son.
I knew that was part of it but there was more, so I picked up ACIM and found a section called “The Gifts of Fatherhood.”
The section speaks of being afraid of listening the voice of God to know God’s will, because you believe it will not be what you want to hear.
Afraid of what our Father has to say to us privately, because it may not be what we want to hear. More than we can handle.
My dad wanted to speak to me privately to tell me things I did want to hear but I believed I wasn’t ready. My dad was seeking oneness and I was too afraid to be open to receive the gift.
In wasn’t until I was preparing this message that I realized that God the Father’s gift is his Will. His Will, which is shared with us, is for Oneness. Both of my fathers are within me, not outside of me.
By giving power to the belief in Oneness, I could heal in ways that I thought were lost to me.
In the Oneness, I remember that love is eternal and boundless. It knows no limits. I’m the only one putting limits and timelines on it.
In this love, I can be at one with both my fathers to feel peace in my heart. To heal.
Any time you feel disconnected from each other or yourself, come back here, inside and be at one.
Let’s give our dads the Unity blessing: we love, we bless you, we appreciate you, and we behold the light of Christ shining as you.
Love, Jules xo