21 Comments
Nov 9, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

I have so many thoughts. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal essay. God bless you 🙏

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Nov 9, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

Thank you, Daniel. It takes a lot to open up like this - I salute your courage. What you wrote was as moving as it was well-written. And it sounds like your children have a wonderful, wise, and reflective father. May God be with you as you pour out yourself for them.

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Nov 9, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:4-5

Great story of God's power, protection, and guidance. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. It is encouraging to see how both you and Derek embraced the circumstances you were given.

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Nov 9, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

Daniel, I want to give you and Derek a big bear hug. God is so good. What a witness this is. You're absolutely right, God uses everything for our good. He most have great plans for you. I applaud you for wanted to be a strong father to your kids, the world needs this. May God continue to bless you and your family!

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Nov 9, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

Such beautiful insight. Thank you so much for sharing so openly. Praying for continued healing for you & your brother.

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Wow, thank you for sharing this story. This is essentially my introduction to you and your brother, as I had only seen your names around!

As for resources, have you heard of Dr. Anthony Bradley? He was a professor at the Kings College in NYC (up until it dissolved this year), writes books, has a podcast. He is passionate about the role of fathers and of the potential of good men. His most recent book is called Heroic Fraternities and delves into ways in which the best of them can form men into ones of virtuous action. Anyways, he cares deeply about the flourishing of boys and men. You could peruse his podcast episodes if that interests you! https://open.spotify.com/show/6JWoRZAJThqpIQt0QXWogH?si=199290b0b0b84cb7

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Daniel, what a heart-felt testimony to God's grace, mercy, and power to use the broken pieces of our lives for His purpose. The fact that you have lived through these experiences of fatherlessness and loss, but yet have found a firm hold in your life, leading your own family as a patriarch is an incredible blessing. I am sure that there are countless young men that could benefit from hearing your experience, finding encouragement that not all is lost if one has a broken start in life (sounds like a perfect ministry for you!). Thanks also for your generous mention, and I think your line hits the spot: "To be a great husband and father means that I cannot allow myself to be a distracted man." Blessings to you and your family.

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Nov 10, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

My dear friend, thank you so much for opening up about your past. Testimony has power and yours showcases Christ’s love and pursuit of us.

I hope you already know this, but from the time I met you in college, your wisdom and integrity have made and continue to make a lasting impact on my life. I see you as one of my spiritual fathers and dearest friends. The example you have set through our friendship impacts my role as a husband and father.

Thank you for partnering with our Heavenly Father to illustrate how the fatherless are never truly Fatherless. The divine poetry He has worked in your life is inspiring. Your family is truest blessed to have you and your readers are blessed to have your perspective laid bare.

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Nov 10, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

Thank you for sharing, Daniel. May God bless and strengthen you in your role as a husband and father!

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Daniel...what an incrediblely beautiful and difficult testimony. The loss of your mom on top of that lack of having your father...there are no words. Thank you so much for sharing your journey, your struggles, the insights you've gained. You and your brother are inspiring, and I'll hold you in my prayers as you continue your worthy work.

We've been witness to relatives in our family go through the journey of fatherlessness, as well as loss of their mother, and it's just excruciatingly painful. Your wisdom and insights, your mindfulness as you carve a way forward in your own family, are those touchstones of redemption that don't take away the grief, but do help to saturate life with love going forward.

Blessings to you and your brother - it was such a treat to meet you both via that write-in the other day!

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

o, Daniel, I love you two boys. I lost my brother, my father, most of my extended family, and pretty much all the men in my life, which meant “all I had” was my husband, Jesus & our Father in Heaven — who taught me a lot about where, indeed, your Treasure is. It’s not on my past, nor what happened to us as in my extended family, it’s on heaven.

God bless you & your brother & your sweet, sweet mama.🔥

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Nov 19, 2023·edited Nov 19, 2023Liked by Daniel Joseph Petty

Thanks for sharing your story. I also grew up without a father, though for different reasons. My dad died from cancer when I was four, oldest of three. My mom, with the support our church community, my godfather, and some friends' dads, managed to raise us without going crazy. It is a void that can never be filled. And inspiration to be good dad myself, even though I missed out on the role model and mentorship of my own. One thing I've noticed, looking back from age 45, is that I have never seemed to be able to connect with any other older men as role models or mentors. While some men were there for me when I was young, they could only be so present, and I never developed an intimate, vulnerable relationship with them; nor later, in my career or life, have I felt able to trust my cares to any other older men. I wonder if that is common among those of us who lost our dad at a young age.

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