Brady joined us recently to spend a beautiful summer day at a local state park. Although I had never met him before, our conversations throughout the event came easy. As the time on the lake wrapped up and our group traded stand-up paddle boards for BBQ’s and picnic tables I noticed something. He mentioned his father almost every single time we got the opportunity to talk. Whatever the topic, Brady would weave in a connection to his dad.
As one of our conversation came to a slight pause I took the opportunity to flip the burgers sizzling on the grill and share with him my observation, “I’ve noticed you talk a lot about your dad which is cool, you two seem to have a great relationship”.
With unmistakable brokenness in his eyes he quietly said, “Not really.”
In that instant, the pieces came together for me. The stories about his dad and the many references to him weren’t as they had initially seemed. Brady was desperately craving for a deep connection with his father that for one reason or another didn’t exist. And without this connection, a part of Brady was missing. He shared more on his relationship with his father as we finished cooking dinner together.
While I’m hopeful that Brady and his dad will work things out, I’m thankful that he’s regularly participating in one of our local ministries. It’s in this place where he’s learning that he is authentically and deeply loved by his heavenly Father. He’s hearing the life changing message that we were beautifully created in such a way to have the foundation of our identity rest on the truth that we are loved by God. When a young person holds tightly to this certainty, their life will forever be impacted.
Thank you for partnering with us as we share with so many hurting kids the hope that only comes from knowing Jesus.
*Names have been changed