I lost my Dad 10 years ago – March 25, 2006. It seems like yesterday, but it also seems like a lifetime ago.  Recently, a friend and I were chatting about the people in our lives to whom we can go for advice.  She was quick to mention her Dad. He is a great sounding board for her when she desires to talk about her future and her dreams.  All of the sudden, reality hit. With tears in my eyes, I spoke out that reality, “I really miss my Dad.”  I miss his advice.  I miss his wisdom.  I miss his voice in my life.

As we approach Father’s Day, I was struck with a realization. The truth is, we all need a Dad to speak into our lives.  However, the reality is that many of us experience a gap in the Dad role. As I pondered my reality and the reality of so many of those close to me, I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of the men that had stepped up during different times in the past 10 years to fill that role in my life.  While no one can replace my real Dad, these men have fulfilled a need that I have experienced, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I think about Pastor Steve, the head of a ministry with which I serve, who simply has taken the time to ask me how I am. He asks about my marriage. He asks the questions only my inner circle can ask. And, he cares about my answer.  He cares about my life.

I think about Brad, who accompanied me on a mission trip to Botswana and who taught me that my tears are powerful. I do not need to apologize for them. He spoke life into my story at a time when I needed healing. He offered to be a father figure in my life whenever I have need.  And, I know if I called, he would be there to listen and offer his advice and wisdom.

I think of my mentor coach, Joe, who helped me through a transition in my life when I literally had no idea where God was leading me. He continues to play the role of mentor and sounding board in my life today.

I think of my Bible Teacher, Ross, who taught me more about studying the Word of God than I had learned in the previous 30+ years combined.  He took an interest in our lives and our marriage and has invited us into his home and into his life.

I think of a few uncles who offer business and life advice to Brian and me as we venture into unknown waters. Men who have known and loved me since the day I was born.  Uncle Bob was my Dad’s best friend growing up, and Wes is my Mom’s brother.  These men are just a phone call away to provide advice and wisdom – and they have consistently been there just when we have needed them.

There are many more men who have played the role of Dad for me the past 10 years.  I could not be more grateful for the love they have shown to me in my Dad’s absence.

So, why am I sharing this with you? I think we all need a Dad in our lives, whether related by blood, or just a man who shows us real love and desires God’s best for us. Do you have a Dad in your life?  Are you called to be a Dad to someone?  This selfless act of love can change a life – I know it has changed mine. Who do you know that doesn’t have a Dad in his or her life? Be that Dad to them.  Offer up your life to change someone’s destiny…I guarantee the blessings will be worth it.