One of the hardest parts of growing up for me has been coming to the realization that people I look up to and admire are, after all, people and they fail, sometimes they are wrong, and sometimes they make bad decisions.
I’m a person for whom role models has always been a huge thing. I think it has something to do with being the oldest; I took the job of being a role model very seriously (you can just ask my siblings how much fun that was sometimes), what my actions were influencing my younger siblings and others to do mattered a great deal to me (and still does), and so I looked for people to look up to and guide me.
It’s shocking when you find yourself old enough to know your own mind and you realize that you disagree with one or some of the people you have looked up to most of your life, or worse, that you think they are wrong. For me at least it hurts and it’s disappointing and I have to work hard to understand grace and remember that people fail, but that God does not.
There’s also something really scary about realizing your role models are people just like you… it means you’re a person just like them. I can remember thinking when I was young, “someday I will be capable of great things like….” insert whoever I was aspiring to be like at that moment. Growing up and understanding the humanity of those you’ve put on a pedestal means that suddenly “someday” is today and that can be a little terrifying!
Growing up is hard.
Fortunately for me, of all of the different people I have looked up to in my life, there is one human role model who only becomes a greater example to me as I get older and that is my Dad.
My Dad isn’t perfect, not by any means, and he would be the first one to tell you that, but he’s a man who truly understands grace and it’s a great honor to be his daughter. My Dad’s faith is like a giant old oak tree; there are many branches some of them knotted and twisted, some of them reaching straight towards the heavens, its roots dig deep into the ground and it’s trunk is thick and sturdy. My siblings and I have gotten to grow up in the protected shade of that faith and it’s been a blessing I don’t have words to describe. Storms have come into our lives and shaken the branches, sometimes breaking a few, but through it all the tree remains, strong and dependable.
My Father is an amazing man who has sacrificed himself to honor God, to be faithful, and to love and there is no better example on earth to follow than that.
Happy Father’s Day Don Sloan Brown.
I love you- even when you make me mad =).