“The question I kept asking myself was how can I be the best dad I can be, how can I provide her the future she needs,” he said.
He found much of the answer in his faith.
“I knew I couldn’t do it. So on my knees, my prayer was that God would sustain me,” Lawler said. “My prayer was that he would help me do the best for her.”
It was essential to him that his daughter would look back on her childhood with fondness.
“I remembered my parents. I remembered their love and hope for a better future for me,” he said. “What was my daughter going to remember? A mad dad, a stressed dad, fear, frustration? Or was she going to remember happiness?”
With that mindset, Lawler determined to be strong and make the most of his time with his daughter, even after long days at the office.
Lawler has since remarried and has 8-year-old triplets, a 6-year old son and is expecting another daughter.
Lawler said the support he received from family, friends, his church, his company and his community was critical while he was a single dad.
“Everyone is facing challenges,” he said. “As we march through life together, we need that support. We have to support each other.”
He said he plans to be involved with the network in the future.
“It’s a huge need, and this is a very worthy organization,” he said.