I started typing this as a reply to Traveler's thread, but felt by the time I got to the end of it that it would probably just end up railroading or detracting from things. So here's what I had going:

I really really struggle with this.

I "know" what God says about me, but receiving it, and accepting it is so hard.

While my father didn't sexually or even physically abuse me, his distance and non-involvement really makes so much in my life difficult, from figuring out my own role as a father and even my role as a man.

This whole father thing is definitely a raw wound in me right now and I certainly don't have the answers to fixing it.

I even said to my wife last night that I feel utterly stupid as a grown man to admit that I need someone to be a father to me. I need those things I didn't get, but how in the world does one get that once you're all grown up? I certainly don't have any men in my life or even at my church that I can even begin to imagine filling that role. And if someone tried, it surely wouldn't take long for them to run away as they realize the utter destruction laying just beneath the surface of my broken and shattered heart.

And at the same time I haven't a clue how to let God fill that role and even struggle to accept and truly believe that He even wants to.

I truly do NOT know how to connect with other men. I feel like I'm a leper on the outside of a group of healthy people. I've never felt like I've belonged to this "Club of men" that seems to exist. I don't feel like a man. I feel more like some other entity that just has male plumbing, but not really a man.

Yet in all this, I know God is really the only answer. I keep praying. Keep asking for the healing He promises. I know some here would say that that is just proof that He doesn't exist, but He's answered enough prayers in utterly amazing ways, so I know beyond any doubt that He's there. I just struggle with the idea that He might actually care and want the little misfit, tainted, and broken creature that I am.

(The other thing my wife told me last night was that every time I utter the words that I'm feeling like I'm in a really good place that there is surely a huge crash right around the corner.) At least it's a little reprieve before I fall back into the pain.