He’s A Father To The Fatherless by Marina Scofield, Volunteer Storyteller
The oldest of three children, Mary Doherty knows a thing or two about being a mother. She was just three when her father died in a tragic work accident. Mary’s mother was pregnant with her third child at the time, and as the first born, Mary was instantly propelled into the role of surrogate mom.
When her mother remarried, 11 year old Mary was thrilled to finally have a father figure in her life again. “Our family doubled in size, with one more to come later! It was crazy, but all I ever really wanted was a dad.” The kids were raised in a structured church upbringing, and Mary attended Sunday services with her family until she left for college. Life seemed to be going pretty well.
Mary was still a teenager when her parents’ marriage fell apart, and it left her yearning for a father again. “The stress of a bankrupt family business and my father’s infidelity broke them up. This deep desire for a father figure ultimately became an overarching theme in my life.”
As an adult, she married young, had two kids, and became the family breadwinner. “My husband was self-employed, but after a freak accident, he never fully recovered his health.” There were added problems that pushed her into a divorce. “He died just a few years after that. It was heartbreaking.” Mary became aware that even in the richest heritage of faith, life wasn’t easy, yet God was always faithful. “My life’s mantra became one where I needed Him to provide and help me. I’d say, ‘You’re my dad, my husband, my everything.”
She says we have to be vigilant and looking for it. “I have seen so many times how He fills the gaps in my life. The Holy Spirit kicks in with, ‘try this, or, how about this?’ He helps confirm decisions and He closes doors that weren’t meant for me. Like Pastor Paul said in a recent sermon, ‘If his answer is no, it doesn’t mean He’s not listening. Keep going until you hear differently.’ ”
Today Mary is grateful and at peace being single. “He meets my needs. He takes care of things. If God wants to change something, he’ll do it. I’m able to do things that I’m led to do, and I get to bless people.” Mary is also comforted knowing her Heavenly Father is always nearby. “Life is cumulative, and tiring. Circumstances catch up to you.” she said. “He walks me through this journey, keeping me for his own.”