With appreciation for all the fathers and father-figures still on our hearts, we found it especially fitting to have Catie Smith share about her dad’s influence today. Catie is a wife to Andrew, mama to Cole, and LifeKids Coordinator at Life.Church OKC. She is a lover of writing, nights at home with her boys, and of course, ice cream (can we get an AMEN?). We are honored to welcome her to The Well and know you will be blessed to hear from her too.
-The Women of The Well
From the time I was very young, anywhere we went as a family, someone would inevitably want to stop and talk to my dad, Pastor Craig Groeschel. Sometimes it would be a little inconvenient, especially if they wanted to talk for a while. Honestly though, I usually didn’t mind it. I knew and respected that my Dad was a pastor, and loved hearing about the life change that people had experienced. As I grew older and more independent, I went places where people didn’t know whose daughter I was. If they found out, it was always “I had no idea…you look just like him!” and then the questions would roll. “What’s it like having Pastor Craig as your dad?” was the most common, and that’s the question I’d love to answer today.
My Dad is an amazing pastor and leader. He is a wonderful communicator, and I am so proud of him and honored to be his daughter. He leads with integrity, and he puts God first. I could continue to tell you these things, and they would all be true. More than anything though, I know my Dad as my Dad… and he is a great one. When I think of the love he has shown me, and the way he has led me with truth and grace over the years, I am absolutely overwhelmed. Much like our Savior, he has taught me, caught me, given me everything I need and more, and loved me always, no matter what. Dad, you are a wonderful example of our Father’s love. For that, I cannot thank you enough.
There are so many stories I could tell you that embody the qualities I just described! He has forgiven me, challenged me, and cheered me on in my lowest days, and in my greatest victories. He believes in me, and always encouraged me in my dreams. My Dad is my biggest fan. I’ve never had to wonder if I’m beautiful, because he told me I am. When I prayed for my future husband, it was easy, because I’ve seen the way he loves my mom, and the way he leads our whole family spiritually.
I recognize that not everyone reading this has had a dad who has shown Christ-like love like mine has. Maybe you have even lost your dad, or have never met him, and for that I am deeply sorry. If I can encourage in some way, here are the 3 biggest things having my Dad as my Dad has taught me:
1. You don’t have to have a great earthly father to know the ultimate Father, our Heavenly King.
Although my Dad really is a great example of Christ’s love, nothing compares to my own personal relationship with Jesus! Throughout every season of life, no matter how beautiful or hard, Jesus is the one who ultimately fulfills me, and gives me hope, life, and joy in everything! If you don’t know Him very well, or are not sure how to trust Him as a father, just run to him, give him your worries, and He will lift you up, love you, accept you, and bring healing right where you are. My friend, He will cherish you!
2. You will never measure up, or be good enough, but Christ’s love and grace is more than all you need.
Through every mistake I’ve made, my earthly father has loved and forgave me… and how much more so has Christ forgave and loved me! I am far from perfect, but man, just from being in God’s presence and experiencing his work in my life, I know that it’s through Him and Him alone that I am saved, and I have learned to forgive and love myself, and others, in everything.
3. Living your life to lead others to Christ is the greatest calling.
You don’t have to be a pastor to lead people to Jesus. In whatever role you have, whatever season you are living, take each day as an opportunity to share God’s love in the words you say, the things you do, and the life you live! You don’t have to know everything about the Bible either. All you need to do is use your story, your talents and flaws alike, and love others where they are, as you are always being who God created you to be!
Well, there you have it! Thank you for reading. Please, take some time to thank the dad or father-like figures in your life, and then remember to run to Jesus! You are His child and He loves you and longs for you. I am praying for you, friend, and love you dearly!