I read Goodnight Whispers to my boys, got tears in my eyes, and began a new nighttime ritual. Little One would pretend to be asleep, but when I whispered in his ear, a grin would spread across his face. I think he was staying awake just to hear what I would say.
In this book, a father whispers affirmations into his daughter’s ear each night. When she grows up and faces challenges, she still hears her daddy’s words in her head. “You are good!” or “Everything will be all right!”
This story speaks truth. I know this because I do just what the grown-up girl in the story does! My father’s voice still reassures me, even at my age!
I have been struggling with an illness, and Dad said, “You’ll be well by spring.” How often I repeated that to myself with hope! Sure enough, as spring fades into summer, I can finally say I am well.
Recently, I asked him to read a story I’d been working on and dared to believe in. He read it and wrote me, “This shall be published!” Each rejection letter tries to bury his words, but they nudge themselves back to the surface to give me courage to try again.
My father gave me the confidence to write in the first place. We were at our favorite Chinese restaurant the summer after my freshman year of college. I’d shared with him a creative essay I’d penned, and Daddy looked at me and said, “You are a writer!”
Why do I sing around the house and to my children? Largely because of my musical father’s encouragement: “I love singing with you.”
When life gets terribly hard, I hear Daddy’s words to me, “You’re stronger than people think you are.”
Sometimes a picture book has many layers, one of them being a lesson in parenting. I wish all fathers (and mothers) could read this book. The words we speak to our children have power!
Dear reader, if you are wishing you had an affirming father or are missing the wonderful one you had, the sweetest whispers are meant for you. The loving voice of your Heavenly Father longs to give you confidence and hope.
“And I pray that you . . . grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3: 17b-19 (NIV)
Happy Father’s Day!!!
P.S. More “whispers” from God, our loving Father:
Ephesians 5:1; I Peter 5:7; II Corinthians 1:3-4; Hebrews 13:6; I John 3:1; I John 4:16; Matthew 5:4; Matthew 10:29, 31; Philippians 4:13; Zephaniah 3:17; Ephesians 3:14-21