Who’s Your Daddy? I AM

“A wise son brings joy to his father…” (Proverbs 10:1a NIV).

Although my name’s not actually Joy, my husband did bring me to his father, as well as to my own, when we were merely kids, announcing, “She’s my girlfriend!”

My slightly bewildered daddy shook his head. To this day he likes to joke, “I told Maureen she couldn’t date until she was sixteen, but she brought Billy home at thirteen, and he never left.”

To make matters more interesting, we share the same last name. There were, in fact, quite a few Millers in our small community in rural Ohio. There’s no relation between our families, though some have said in jest, “So that’s why you chose to adopt.” Seriously, we’ve checked our family trees, and we’re from different varieties in the orchard. Promise!

Still, school kids loved to chant, “You won’t have to change your last name when you get married.” I just grinned because, in junior high, marriage seemed a long way off.

But they were right, and on a hot August Saturday in 1989, we said, “I do,”—sealing the deal, deeming me Mrs. Maureen Miller-Miller.

Besides not having to change monograms or the name on my social security card, keeping the same last name has had its benefits, though it’s caused some confusion over the years. Take, for example, when I’m asked to give my maiden name for official business.

“What’s your maiden name?”


“No. Maiden name.”

“It’s Miller.”

“I don’t believe you understand. Not your married name but your name prior.”

“I’m a Miller who married a Miller. Therefore, it’s Miller.”

After a pause, “Why didn’t you say so?”

And then there’s the fact that both my husband and father have worked as physicians in our small town. On several occasions, someone at the hospital who doesn’t know them or our family but knows me from our church or school community has inquired, “Now who’s married to Maureen?”

To which the daddy of my children chuckles, then replies, “I am.”

This has me thinking. After all, we’re approaching that special day when we’ll celebrate our fathers as well as, at least for many, the daddies of our kids. And another Father referred to Himself as I AM.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you'” (Exodus 3:14).

When Moses was afraid to rise up and lead God’s children out of Egypt’s bondage, his Father—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—spoke to his fear and told him what to say. Directed him toward the purpose He had for him, despite this 80-year old shepherd’s lack of confidence.

Likely Moses felt torn between two cultures, even questioned his identity. It wasn’t custom in those days to have a last name linked to lineage. Maybe he wondered–Am I the son of an Israelite or an Egyptian? Just who is my father anyway?

As parents of three adopted children, each was given Miller as their last name on what we call their Happy Day. But, as they’ve grown and matured, they’ve had questions about their biological families. Because we have open adoptions with their birth mothers, it’s their birth fathers about whom they’ve most often wondered.

“What’s his name?”

“What’s he look like?”

“Where does he live?”

Thankfully, we’ve been able to give them answers to varying degrees, which brings clarity and resolution, and, thus far, each is secure in his or her identity. Still, such hits home for us as parents the angst which Moses perhaps experienced. Makes us empathize with his plight.

Moses’s heavenly Father charged him to boldly approach Pharaoh, then tell this mighty ruler when he questioned the command to let his work force go, proclaimed by a smelly sheep herder to boot–

“I AM sent me.”

Just as God spoke to Moses’s fear, directing him toward his divine purpose, so, too, godly fathers.

In turn, sons and daughters grow in confidence and wisdom. They’re better equipped to walk in the gifts God gives them to fulfill the unique plans He has for their lives (Jeremiah 29:11).

And, just as the wise words of Solomon state, this brings their fathers (and mothers) joy.

Yes, even when the steps of a righteous young man, guided by the counsel of his Father, led him to a girl who shares his last name.

Dear Abba, thank you for godly fathers. Bless them today! Amen.

Maureen Miller

Maureen Miller, wife, mother, and "Mora," lives on Selah Farm, a hobby homestead nested in the mountains of western North Carolina. She believes in the beauty of collaborative writing, including guest blogging, and she strives to encourage others along life's journey. Praying to have eyes and ears open to experience God in His created world, Maureen writes about such at https://penningpansies.com, and she regularly shares stories in her local newspaper.

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