If you have ever met Daddy Moreno... you know that he is a rockstar. He can't sit still during pageants and consistently paces in the back of the theater, loves his family beautifully, and probably the best pageant escort ever.
I want to share a memory I hold closely to my heart with you all.
Growing up - I dealt with a mass amount of bullying about my weight and appearance. My dad watched as my heart would break after a long day of school or challenging ride on the school bus. We seldom spoke about it, but my Daddy always knew what was going on. He is a MASTER at reading me and probably knows me better than anyone else in the world.
Our family was gearing up to go on a cruise one year. As someone who was struggling with body image, the need to be in a swimsuit 99.9% of the time on a cruise freaked me out. I remember trying on swimsuits at Target and being completely miserable. I expressed to my Dad that I couldn't find a swimsuit and I just wanted to give up on finding one. Dad, being the amazing man he is, was not going to let his "little Princess" have a tainted trip because of her challenge. Daddy packed me up in the car and we ventured from our hometown to Atlanta for Phipps Plaza.
Phipps Plaza is our high-end mall. One of those where you almost have to pay for even breathing the air. I couldn't fathom shopping there. I come from a humble family - we don't live extravagantly. The thought of paying more than $30 for a swimsuit just seemed frivolous (I outgrew that - no worries.)
With all that in mind, we went in and picked looked around at the different swimsuit options. Filing through the racks, we found two that were worth atleast trying on. Walking into the fitting room seemed like a nightmare... too many mirrors and not enough coverage. I tried them on and Dad praised them complimenting the colors and how wonderful I looked. To my surprise, I didn't think they looked terrible. I told my Dad that I couldn't quite decide which I liked best. I felt emotional. We decided it was best to step away for a bit to get lunch and organize our thoughts.
I sat with Dad at the most upscale restaurant the mall had - the white table top kind. Dad kept loving on me, asking about school, and discussing various memories we had. Once finishing our meal, Dad asked the dreaded question.... "So which one do you like?" I told him how uncomfortable I felt in swimsuits and that both of these helped me feel confident. He looked at me, smiled, and gave me a big hug.
We spent close to $400 dollars on swimsuits that day... but what my Dad taught me and the way he made love a verb that day outweigh any amount of money. You see, my Dad was pursing my heart - showing me how a man should treat a woman - and telling his daughter through his actions the importance of confidence and body image.
Did we have $400 to spend on swimsuits? Probably not. It was a sacrifice that Mom and Dad both made for me. This happened when I was 10 and now 13 years later I still remember this date with Pops. I will forever remember the way my Dad expressed his love that day. I vividly remember him handing me the bag once the order was complete then giving me a big hug and kiss on my forehead.
Honestly - it could have be $4, $40, or $400 dollars for the swimsuits. The financial investment he made for me pales in comparison to the love he showed. He made a sacrifice for me, loved me, and became an earthly example of God's love.
God's love will always be unmatched, but moments like these give us a glimpse of how amazing He is. God made the ultimate sacrifice and gave His one and only Son so that we may experience Him. My Daddy made a financial sacrifice so that his daughter could experience the self-love she needed. Pops had no idea how much this would stay with me over the years.
I use this story to illustrate the importance of Dads when it comes to the development of a young woman's confidence. Whatever it may be, your daughters need you to show them God's love. Make sacrifices, pursue their heart, take your daughter on dates, and be a living example of God's love.
Daddy - I love you and I will ALWAYS be your little girl.