This is me with my dad. He always wants to take a picture of us looking at each other so people can see that I get my profile — my Italian nose — from him.
But what I really want you to know is that this man, my dad, Sam Elliot doppelgänger, is the one who has loved me unconditionally since I took my first breath.
Many of you know my mom’s addictions got in the way of her being the loving, nurturing mom my daughter-heart needed. What you don’t know is that this man stepped up. He drove me to kindergarten on his motorcycle and pulled red Swedish fish out of my ears when he picked me up. He tucked me in every night as a single dad, making sure to play my music box before leaving. He let me ride my bicycle through his car dealership and sing Madonna songs from the jukebox as customers shopped for cars (it was the 80s!). But his love was deeper than any of these sweet things.
This is the man who came to my rescue when a counselor tried to convince me my mom had sexually abused me. I cried so loudly when she pushed me to take clothes off dolls and make them do things I didn’t want to make them do. He heard my cries, and he ran in, scooped me up, and got me out of there. “I don’t ever want to go back,” I told him, and we never did.
He is the man who held my hand in the hospital as I sat in a sterile room with a needle in my veins awaiting my abortion. I was sixteen and so scared and so lost. I think he was a little lost too, but he stayed with me.
He is as human as the rest of us, but his love is tender and fierce.
When I think of my dad, I think about the great, unfathomable love that God has for us that begins even before we take our first breath, His breath in us. He goes where others won’t go if it’s where we are, and He’ll sit with us in the pit, in the darkness, just being with us. And when we’re ready, when we cry out to Him, He will rescue us, leading us to the Light where there is freedom and grace, comfort and rest.
In a pit right now? Breathe. See, He’s with you. Every breath is a reminder that He is near, so just breathe. Be still and know you have a Father God who loves you in the depths and to the depths.
Every breath is a reminder that He is near, so just breathe. -@sarahmae: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Yes, you have your dad’s nose, and you also have his “twinkling” eyes that smile. What a wonderful gift God gave you – a father’s love that points an arrow to our heavenly Father’s unfathomable love. God longs to take our hand in His strong, yet gentle, righteous right hand. No matter what baggage we carry, He will carry it for us, forgive us, and love us with His furious love and grace. There’s no pit so deep that God’s hand can’t reach in and pull us out. What a beautiful tribute to you dad and to God’s love.
Beth Williams says
Thank you for a fitting tribute to your loving father. You two look so much alike. Your father is an earthly version of our Heavenly father. Wanting to swoop in & rescue His children. Your dad sounds like super man wanting to love & cherish his daughter just like Jesus does. Jesus is so loving He wants to erase all the hurts & pains we have/had. He wants to shower us with a boundless love. Your dad lifted you out of a pit. God is so willing to do that for everyone. All we have to do is come & accept His precious love He longs to give us. Each breath, each step we take He is near to us. Near to the brokenhearted. Wanting to love us like no one else can.
Sarah Mae, how beautifully written and such an awesome tribute to your Dad ! What a man! You are blessed to have hm and you definitely do have his nose but I bet you have so much more he’s instilled in you with all of his gentle and nurturing love.
Definitely a great reminder of our Father’s unfathomable love…thank you for sharing and give your Dad a big hug when you see him, definitely a grea example for others too !
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing and Bev said it all. My heart and prayers go out to all who have come to see God in this light and relationship without having had a
physical father on earth.
I would love to meet your beautiful father. Your story restores my faith that there are good men out there who love the women in their life. I’ve never had that on earth, but my heavenly father has filled that role for me through multiple tumultuous relationships with men who took advantage of my trust, commitment, unconditional love, then abused me emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. I have reconnected with my faith and enjoy the peace I’ve always sought. But to meet someone in the flesh would be an absolute miracle. I will keep my eyes open for Sam Elliott’s doppleganger. Blessings to you and your relationship.
A beautiful tribute. Thanks for reminding us, God is never away from us and His love is limitless.
Peace and Blessings to you.
Your words echo my life story. I’m so glad you have found peace. I’m still waiting for the pain to stop. You give me hope that there is good to come.
that’s beautifully written . Dad’s can be our strong ones when we fall down in life just like our heavenly father.
my daughter and her dad have the same nose too and face ! my husband is one of those men who go above and beyond to care for his children. it does help them see that earth was made for family and that dad’s should reflect God’s love.
my dad lived a completely selfish life and was not there for any of his children. I found God early as a teen as I was looking for that love..the love of a father for his daughter. enjoy being a daughter of the king too ! God’s so good.
Karen Knowles says
Krissy, I relate. So grateful we have that unconditional love from our heavenly father!
Vera Sager says
Sarah Mae, thank you so much for sharing this. What an amazing tribute to God and your biological dad. It so reminds me of my own dad. He never talked about God, but the love he raised us 5 children with and the ways he taught us to live, it definitely was instilled in his heart by God Himself. Growing up in a communist country as non-believers, we did not know God’s name, but we deeply inside felt His love and grace. I now know Him and abide in Him, grateful for Him to seek my heart until I opened the door He so patiently knocked on. Yes, God goes to places where no others won’t go to reach His children and to draw them closer and closer to His heart.
Thanks again for sharing.
With all my love and gratitude,
BC from BC says
This brings memories of my own dear Dad. He was kind, loving and protective of us. He was faithful and you could count on him to be your supporter and cheerleader. I miss him dearly every day. He passed away over 18 years ago from cancer. As I read your story I cried to know that there are Dad’s out there that genuinely care that you are loved. In memory of Dad’s like mine. I will love and miss you forever.
Nancy Gladwin says
Sarah Mae, this is so tenderly written, my heart weeps, for what you didn’t have and for what you have now. This is the transformation and the ability to see past the hurt that Jesus wants for all of us. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I love this reading it made me cry. My earthly Dad is still alive. My Mum not. He did wrong to both me and my Mum. Should have been by my Mum side. He is not saved. I pray for his salvation. What happened is in the past. But it hurt me also and my Mum alot.. I as christian doing what Jesus would want me to and that is forgive him. As if I didn’t it would only have eat me up. I would never get over it. Never be able too talk to my Dad again. But I know until my Dad gets saved he will never say sorry to me for the hurt he caused he me. But I can’t tell him he needs to get saved as he say I was preaching to him. I just say in Christmas cards Birthday cards etc God Bless or keeping you in prayer. Plus live my life in front of him as Christian. I love the way you have wonderful earthly Dad. He is one Angel. I like my Dad to be that too me. You know one thing Your Heavenly Father loves you see you as super brave Women for sharing your story for all you been through. His loving arms like your earthly Dads are round you He will like your earthly Dads never leave you. You are too precious too Him. Like you are too Your Earthly Dad. That is why Your Heavenly Dad calls you a Daughter of the King. As that is what You Are. In my prayers all incourage. Love Dawn xxxx
Bonnie Gray says
Hey Sarah Mae! Love hearing about your dad – and your posts about your journey with your mom have been SO amazing and powerful! I’ve been blessed by how you encouraged me years when everything started falling apart so I could heal. So appreciate you! Can you believe – it will be 10 years since we started bloggin together for (in)courage!! what a journey! I’m moved by your vulnerable words, speaking from a place that is honest and also touched by what God has whispered to you. Thank you for sharing from your heart and journey. I’m looking forward to seeing you in just a little bit at the (in)courage retreat and enjoy your company this week, friend! 🙂 love, Bonnie