I just lay there in bed, thinking. I was awake — wide awake. But I couldn’t move. Wouldn’t move. I had to burn the images into my mind.

They were images of a dream from which I’d just awakened. This wasn’t some sort of prophetic dream — heck, it wasn’t even a dream I’d say God crafted just for me. But I do believe He gave a pass on this one.

It was a short conversation, my dream. In it, I’m trying to skateboard — and failing. I get up and walk away, disappointed, angry, and frustrated. Suddenly, someone grabs me and asks what’s wrong.

It’s my dad in this dream; I know that much. But it’s not my actual dad. It’s someone else.

He calls me “son” and treats me as such. I tell him about failing to skateboard, and he assures me it’s okay. He then offers to help me. Together, I manage to skateboard a little more successfully. He gives me a big hug and walks me back to my friends.

The morning after, I processed this dream over and over. This “dad of my dreams” was unlike my dad of reality. He was affectionate and involved. He helped me — didn’t just tell me to fix whatever was wrong. And he stayed with me.

A few weeks later, I had a repeat encounter with this dream-father. This dream was even shorter.

I was simply with him, not doing anything. We sat with each other, just talking about life. He put his arm around me and told me how proud he was of me. I placed my head on his shoulder and we stayed there for a bit.

I woke up from that dream wide awake as well, attempting to burn the images into my mind. Again, this dad of my dreams was just present with me. He cared deeply and expressed it.

What’s more: this dad of my dreams was proud of me. Not for anything I did; he was proud of me simply because I was his son.

There was a moment, after each of these dreams, when I could have let them drag me down. My dream-dad did what I’d always wanted from my reality-dad. He did things I still long for but know will never happen.

But I decided not to ruin these dreams with such comparisons. First, that’s unfair to my reality-dad who did what he could to care for me.

And second, I have a Heavenly Father who loves me perfectly. He does those things my dream-dad did.

Perhaps that’s what these dreams were — chances for me to see and experience, in some way, how God has been with me. In that case, I’m not actually chasing a dream-dad.

I’m simply seeing God’s love in my life from a new perspective.

Do you experience any longing in relationship with your father? Do you struggle to see God as a good and perfect Father?

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