Today you may need to hear – obligatory card holidays are stupid and you are not alone.

If your dad was crummy, know that you are not the only one with three blank cards sitting up in your cabinet, purchased because you want so badly to be normal, but can’t find it in your heart to send your crummy dad a “World’s Best Dad” card. As you read through the generic ones, it exacerbates the gap between the way you wish things were and your reality…unsent because although you could muster buying the generic card, you can’t find it within yourself to get that card into the mailbox.

Father’s Day may leave you walking by the card aisle, seeing all of the cards you wish you were buying your husband, as your empty tummy and heart cry out in pain.

Maybe you count out the cards for their daddy, and you wonder, do you buy three or four, and the ache deepens as you miss your baby who can no longer give their daddy a card.

Card holidays hurt feelings because as much as we wish it to be true, this life is not lived in the Hallmark aisle. The cards glare back at us – this is the way life should be, this is the way everyone else’s lives are…and maybe they are. Perhaps yours is. You can still buy your card, but be aware of what these obligatory holidays do. For the gal down the aisle, be aware that this social norm is breaking her heart. Let her know that you see her. That God sees her, and that He wishes she could buy that “World’s Best Dad” card as much as she does.

I’m not saying you don’t purchase your “World’s Best Dad” card if you truly do have the world’s best dad. I’ve got a good one. But I’ll do it remembering those who don’t, those who would love to make their husband a daddy, those who will celebrate without all of their kids, or maybe without their dad at all this year. I’ll ask God to fill the gap like only He can and I’ll anticipate the day when He makes all things new, restoring what He longs to restore. To know God as our Father brings an intimacy that will never be reflected by a simple card; and a relationship that is available to all of us.

May the gap reveal what we long for, and may our hearts find it in Him.