On Father’s Day

For the first 14 years of my life, I seldom felt the joy of being loved. I never knew the difference encouragement made in a young life; and never understood how being part of a family was something to cherish. By the time I was 12, I had all but given up on the dream of being truly loved, with one exception. I prayed at night to belong to a family that cared about me. In doing so, I felt sheltered from the reality I had grown all too accustomed to.

God answered my prayers when a Massachusetts family moved to my small central Florida town and adopted me into their family. When the man who would become my earthly dad brought me into his family, my world blossomed. Immersed in a family where my brothers and sister loved and accepted me, I grew to become who God always planned. I was in a world where Mom and Dad taught me true Christianity by their actions; a world where I learned by their example what it meant to be a member of a family. In this environment, they laid the foundation for my life.

I’m blessed that my dad invested over half a century of love, wisdom, and learning into me. When I stop and think about my dad, I’m often overwhelmed by all the blessings he brought into my life through his example of godly living. I will always remember him as being a patient teacher, sharing both life and trade skills. He remained a firm believer in Christ, held a fierce commitment to family, and a dad I want to emulate in my life.

Even though I’m adopted, it amazes me and others at how much we are alike. I sure hope folks can say that about ourselves and our relationship with our heavenly Father.

In what ways are you and your dad alike? How alike are you and your Abba Father? #ChristianDad #LikeHim Share on X

In my mind, there’s no doubt God brought dad into my life as an answer to prayer. Many years ago, I tried to repay the wonderful gift of dad-ship with a poem I wrote for Father’s Day. I’ve realized in the years since, my words were not directed only to my earthly dad, they are repayment for the gift of family from my Heavenly Father. Whether your earthly dad is with you this year or not, know that your Father in Heaven can be there for you always.

My Father’s Arms

When I’m tired, sad, or lonely,
When few others seem to care,
There’s a place I go to get away,
For there are no troubles there.

I can laugh or cry, or fall asleep,
Or all my problems bare.
It’s the one place where I can just be me,
For there are no troubles there.

I love that place, its peaceful warmth,
A place with many charms.
My favorite place in all the world,
Is in my Father’s arms.

-JDW 6/78

Let your dad, whether still with you on this earth or awaiting you in heaven’s glory (like mine is), know how very much he means/meant in your life. I’m forever blessed to say I am my Father’s son.


Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there; and God’s blessings,



66 thoughts on “On Father’s Day”

    1. Yes ma’am. I’m often reminded of just how blessed my life is. Memories of the lessons my adopted dad taught me remind me nearly every day that I am My Father’s Son!

  1. Oh, J. D., what a beautiful and touching poem! God certainly heard your prayers and blessed you with an earthly father who loved you unconditionally, modeling the love of our heavenly Father.
    I know I said I was taking time off from responding to blogs over the next couple of weeks, but I’m so glad my heart told me to check yours out. Virginia is in the process of writing you a thank you note for the beautiful rocks you sent her; hopefully, you’ll get it sometime this week.
    Blessings, and Happy Father’s Day!

    1. Yes ma’am; He sure did Ms. Martha. Have been blessed by my family much more than I deserve, that’s for sure. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I am yet again mightily blessed my friend. I pray you, Mr. Danny, and little Miss Virginia are having a most wonderful visit.

  2. Can’t read this with dry eyes, J.D. I don’t share your adoption story, but I grew up without ever knowing my dad. I had a name, but nothing else. All I ever got from the family was, “He didn’t care about you, so why should you care about him.” Years later, I discovered that the God of the universe wanted to be my Father. Your words are more than poetic. They are a sweet, comforting, encouraging testimony that there’s a Father waiting with a blanket of love that we can wrap ourselves in any time we want to. God bless you, my friend, and God bless he man who brought you into his family and demonstrated what a father’s love is like. You’ve made my Father’s Day brighter.

    1. Thank you Mr. Ron. When I wrote this (way back when), I got much the same response as you from my dad. For many years afterwards, whenever I would get to Florida to visit him and mom, I would find that framed poem next to his “valuables box” (his valet) atop the dresser. I think it was lost somewhere after he moved into assisted living, but he and I both recalled often how that poem touched both our hearts. We both prayed that it also touched God’s my friend.

  3. JD, your message has brought tears to my eyes. I miss my Daddy. He went to Heaven on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1998. I am thankful God provided me with a wonderful earthly father who taught me the love of Christ.

    1. Thank you Ms. Melissa. I sure understand the tears ma’am. This is my first Father’s Day without my earthly dad, and I miss him terribly. While I know he’s still with me through the lessons he shared, and knowing I’ll see him again one day soon, eases my grief, the longing to see him or hear his voice never fades does it? God’s blessings ma’am.

  4. Yvonne Morgan

    This is truly a beautiful message about our Heavenly Father. I love the poem too. My dad is with your dad and I look forward to seeing him again someday. God bless you JD

    1. Yes ma’am. Am looking most forward to meeting Mr. Mulholland in heaven’s glory one day. Am sure we’ll need no introduction as I suspect he’ll have the biggest smile there with his little girl at his side.

  5. Thank you for your beautiful poem. I miss being in my dads hugs, but know God’s arms are always holding us.

    1. Amen Ms. Joyce. I never got to meet your dad on this side of heaven, but oh how I love to see your and Ms. Jan’s mama again. Ms. Dot always gave me the best hugs and I miss her sugar-free zucchini bread. As good as your sister makes it, it’ll never quite be your mom’s. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

  6. Thanks for sharing this poem with us as Father’s Day approaches. But more importantly, thanks for encouraging us all to reach out to our father’s or those who have been father figures in our lives. I will be driving my dad to a Tractor and Steam Engine show in two weeks.

    1. Yes sir. I’m glad you enjoyed, pleased as punch that you’ll get to spend more time with your peddle-tractor-loving dad, and will be praying a great time. Thank you for commenting sir.

  7. Candyce Carden

    Love this. I imagine those twelve years were the longest years of your life. But how amazing God gave you a gift big enough to overcome that pain. Over fifty years – wow.

  8. Beautiful J.D. I am definitely my father’s daughter and proud of it. I was blessed with a truly wonderful dad and I miss him every day. He was a wonderful grandfather and I wish he had been able to be here to enjoy some of his great grandchildren, but I know he will one day get to enjoy them.

  9. I, too, am so blessed to have a godly father. In my encounters with other people, I’ve learned that many are not able to say that. The wounds of a father go deeper than we can imagine. We know that God is a father to the fatherless and is able to heal the deepest hurts. I pray for all this Fathers Day who need to experience a father”s love that they will be encountered by their Heavenly Father.

    1. How very true Ms. Terri. It took many years for God to help me work through all that “stuff” I had stored away in the closet of my mind. He (God) can do a deep cleaning though if we’ll allow Him to. For many years after I let them (my biologicals) go, a sound, smell, or something else would instantly transport me back to the memories of my youth. It took God’s love, often shared by my patient and understanding adopted parents and siblings, to help me finally reconcile my past and focus on my present and future.

  10. Jeannie Waters

    J. D., I too am grateful for a loving father. I’m thankful God answered your prayer and provided a loving dad for you. May we all strive to emulate our heavenly Father and teach others about Him as your dad did.

  11. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with your readers. It’s a wonderful testimony of our Heavenly Father’s faithfulness to you. I’m sure you miss your adopted father, but what a comfort to know he’s waiting for you on the other side of the veil.

    1. It absolutely is Ms. Dottie. Knowing that I have family members awaiting me sometimes makes it difficult to want to stay here. I so want to be in God’s eternal presence with those loved ones I’ve held so precious and dear beside me. “Lest anyone should perish… “


    My Daddy has been gone for 20 years now. He was a hard-working provider for his family of five. One of the sweet things I recall about my him as I entered college was that he bought me a used car with a hatchback for storage. I loved that stick-shift orange Datsun. He also wanted me to have access to a piano so he purchased an inexpensive keyboard. I placed that keyboard in my dorm room at the foot of my bed and would play it in the evenings to sometimes calm my anxieties from the stress of school. My Daddy may not have been a warm and fuzzy kind of man but he sure could give a good bear hug.
    Your poem is beautiful. I am so thankful you found a loving family. I love your stories of adoption. Every child deserves to be loved.

    1. I understand about the “warm fuzzy” Ms. Karen. I was 36 years old the first time my dad told me he loved me. Oh, he showed it every day, but he only expressed that term of endearment with “Mom”. I don’t know that any of us children heard that too often. Still, it isn’t your words, but your actions; and in so many ways, my dad showed his love for his family. Thank you so much ma’am; and you are so true, every child deserves to be loved.

  13. What beautiful thoughts as we near Father’s Day. We all need a father’s love here on earth and I’m so glad you were able to have all those years together. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  14. Such a beautiful tribute to your earthly father and your heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing this uplifting message. I always struggled to have a good relationship with my earthly father, but you’ve reminded me that my heavenly Father is always there, waiting for me to seek a closer relationship with Him. Wishing you blessings, my friend.

    1. Thank you Ms. Katherine. Somehow, I think it’s because you and he were so much alike. While I always held great respect and admiration for my dad, we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things. As I grew older, I found just how right he was about so many things in life. And when we both grew older and I because a caregiver, I found out just how much alike we were. How, with my being adopted that happened I can’t explain, but I think it shows how much the environment we are exposed to can shape our lives. The result is that I try to be a little more kind, and a lot more forgiving with the kids I am blessed to work with at church and those who are around me. God’s blessings ma’am.

  15. Both my birth dad and my step dad are gone now. I hope to see both in Heaven one day.
    I hope I am daily becoming more like my heavenly Father, but on some days, I know I need a spanking. 🙂

    1. LOL… You and me both Ms. Jackie. I suspect that if your dads could look down upon you from heaven, they would beam with pride and the beautiful woman of God you have become. Thank you for the blessing of laughter ma’am.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing about your early years and what wonderful difference your adoptive Dad made in your life! Such a touching poem!

    1. I pray I was Ms. Debbie. I think in this life if we can give just a bit more than we’ve got, then we’ll have made a difference to someone. I’m certain that my adoptive parents both did. God’s blessings ma’am.

  17. The Lord surely has our lives planned out for good, as Jeremiah 29:11 says. I’m touched at how well the Lord intervened in your life and placed you with a godly family. Your life is a treasure of God’s blessings and goodness. Happy Father’s Day, J.D.!

    1. Awww… thank you Ms. Karen. I pray daily that God leads me to share all His many blessings in my life with others. I’ve long thought that I’m a transport medium/conduit and not a storage device. 🙂

  18. J.D., we certainly do have some similarities to our stories when it comes to fathers. I enjoy hearing your story-particularly the dad-ship part and how the Lord redeemed that part of your story and life for your blessing and His glory. The poem is so touching. Love this last line, “My favorite place in all the world,
    Is in my Father’s arms.”

  19. Because I share your adoption story (although I was a baby when adopted), it resonates deep within me. My earthly daddy was a wonderful example of our Heavenly Father, making it so easy for me to accept the Lord’s love and salvation. Daddy loved unconditionally as does our Abba Father.

  20. Edwina E Cowgill

    What a wonderful blessing to be loved and adopted by such a man! My father was also a wonderful Christian dad who loved my sister and me very much. I am so very grateful for him as he celebrates Father’s Day in heaven. Blessings to you and your family!

    1. It sure was Ms. Edwina. For all my adopted friends out there, isn’t it wonderful to know that like our heavenly Father, our adoptive parents never “had” to love us, they “chose” to love us? What a difference Christian parents, grandparents, etc. can make in a child’s life. As I mentioned before, this is my first year celebrating Father’s Day with my dad in heaven, but I felt the same gratitude for the lifetime of lessons the example he sat gave me as I did in prior years. Love doesn’t die. God’s blessings sweet lady.

  21. Pass the box of tissues please! Our heavenly Father surely restored the years that the locust ate in your young life, J.D. What a wonderful plan he had for you with just the perfect earthly dad for you in mind. Thank you for sharing. I hope you had a wonderful Father’s day.

    1. Indeed He has Ms. Kathleen. I pray that someday He’ll show me that investments I made in the lives of young people He’s put on my path will yield many of the same dividends He blessed me with through my dad. God’s blessings ma’am.

  22. I’m so glad you got to experience an earthly father’s love that gave you a taste of the heavenly Father’s. What a lovely poem and truth.

    My story is a little different. I knew my dad loved and cared for us. But he was an alcoholic with a bad temper, and his issues came between us. I kind of pictured God as perpetually angry with me. Thankfully, I came to know my heavenly Father personally and experienced His grace when I was a teenager. He brought my earthly father to Himself about six or seven years before he died, and we had a good relationship at the end.

    1. I understand completely Ms. Barbara. Perhaps one day I will share some history from my early childhood, but suffice to say I understand my friend. Knowing that your dad was saved before being called home is a blessing indeed. When I lost my dad last year, the grief was tempered with the knowledge that I would see him in eternity one day. God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. Thank you Ms. LuAnn. I’ve missed him terribly this year, but even if he could, I could never ask him to leave mama, my brother, and most of all, God, to comfort me. I remind myself often that “it won’t be long.”

  23. As I read this wonderful post, I see little J.D. yearning for a family, asking God to fulfill that dream, as w wipeawaytears. I see young J.D. blending into a loving home with gratitude which I cannot comprehend.
    I see teen J.D. being taught and mentored in life and godliness, grateful at every turn.
    I read your poem, remembering my precious Daddy with every line and thinking about favorite things Daddy taught me. He taught me to drive like him, (a little aggressive), to swing by my legs and “skin the cat” on monkey bars, a strong work ethic, and so many other things.
    I adored my Granddaddy who taught me to milk a cow, one of which he named after me, and he let me sit on his giant work horse.
    I could go on but must stop here.
    Thanks for giving me the pleasure of reading this post, dear friend.
    I’m like my Daddy in many ways and I do want to be more like Abba Father more and more.

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