When I think of that word, so many things come to mind. One of the things that immediately pops up in my head is the strong example of not only a man, but a father that I had growing up, and still have to this day.
From his love for God, to his family, I saw glimpses of how a father should naturally love. His hard work ethic and entrepreneur mindset were an example of how a father should grind and continue to provide. His love for worship and connection with THE FATHER planted a seed in me that would later blossom and produce much fruit. With such an amazing role model you would think that the process of me becoming an amazing father would be easy. You would think that I would just apply what I saw before my eyes for 18 years and instantly become America’s number one dad.
Well let me tell you that was far from the case. As I look back through window of the past, and see 18 year old Aaron all I can do is shake my head.
As I see his demeanor, I can readily put myself right there in his shoes. I can feel the uncertainty of feeling lost in a big world. I can feel the fear that gripped him as he was getting ready to embark on one of the greatest journeys of his life. While he had a great role model, nothing could have prepared him to be a man while still being a child.
At 18, I was still figuring everything out. While friends were figuring out what classes to take the first years of college, I was thinking about whether to stay in school or get a job. While most partied on the weekends, I traveled home to spend time with the family. This time of my life was one of the hardest. I knew that at some point I wanted a family and to settle down but to do so in the prime of life….. you know that point when you finally get some freedom? That time when you can stay out all night and sleep in as long as you wanted. That time when the decision to really make something of your life was all yours. Yeah that time! Although it was a tough time for me, little did I know that in that time I would receive one of the best things that would ever happened to me.
Aniah Janeé Dillon…..
I always tell my baby that she saved me. That in my darkest hour she was a catalyst in bringing me to the Light. While experiencing the most confusion, her life pointed me to clarity. I went from trying to hide depression while heavily using weed and alcohol to cope….to simply being able to smile again. If you ever saw some of my high school pics, that alone would be a reason to shout!
I went from the feeling abandoned and alone, to feeling needed and that my life mattered. While I visited family on most weekends, I never let them in close enough to see past my masks and what I was really dealing with. As they say, “never judge a book by its cover.” In life we all learn how to cover up our hurts, our flaws, and weaknesses. Becoming a father not only saved my life but granted me the opportunity to put down the mask. Becoming a Father led me to making better decisions in life—decisions like stepping up and being a man, being a consistent provider, marrying my beautiful High School Sweetheart, and choosing to have a relationship with God.
While the birth of Aniah started the process and being married to such an amazing women who would not let me be a dead beat certainly helped…. the icing on the cake was truly having a relationship with God. I heard someone say once, “If something is broken your best bet to rectify the situation is to go to the owners manual.” It is in the manual where you will get the understanding of how different parts are suppose to function. It is in the manual where you can see the intent of the creator. In a time where I felt broken in so many places and had no clue how I would go forward, I am so thankful that I was guided back to the Manual. It is there where I discovered the heart of the Father. It is in the Manual where I understood what true love really was. It is in the Manual where I discovered the reason for discipline, provision, and stewardship. There in the Manual I realized that, although being an amazing father can be a strenuous task, I had help, and I would never be alone.
I am who I am today because of God….
I am who I am today because of family….
I am who I am today because of fatherhood…
When I started this journey, I had no clue what the future would hold. Somewhere along the way, I gained a confidence that helped me see that no matter what came my way, I would be able to handle it. When I started out, I was more inward focused—“how can I be a great Father?” or “how will fatherhood change MY life?” Now with 3 beautiful kids and awaiting my last prince, my thoughts are, “How can I teach my children to be great people? How can I show my beautiful girls that they have Identity….. How can I teach my boys how to be kingdom men…. How will my legacy effect their lives?”
We are here one day and gone tomorrow. What will be the imprint that you leave on your family, on your community, and on this world? What will your legacy speak of your life here on earth? We are only here one time, and we only have one life so we need to make the best of it.
As a father, my prayer is that my life is an example of what it means to love God, love my family, and love people.
Though my life story may differ from yours, I believe that any man can achieve success in fatherhood. If you put God first, humble yourself, and allow Him to lead the way, brighter days will always be ahead of you!
I may write again if Santana convinces me lol