Just shy of 9 months ago, I found out that I was going to be a daddy. A greater sense of responsibility also came over me along with an urge to be better in everything. The thought of being perfect in everything is rather daunting. In my graphic design class, we talked about this quote which has been on my mind a lot lately, "Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.” As much as I would like to be perfect or a "know it all" in everything, I simply need to be good right now. A million questions flooded my mind as I thought about this new role and chapter of my life.
Over my lifetime, I have held many different roles from being a son, brother, missionary, friend and recently a husband. All seemed daunting at the beginning, but I have faith and believe that everything will be okay. Through all these roles I have come to learn over and over that He hears me, God hears me through prayer. A few years ago I was asked to speak at the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) here in St. Louis and I remember feeling really inadequate to be speaking in front of medical professionals and parents. (Read post here) Another time I had to speak in front of 100 graduates at Washington University. I remember praying during the whole drive to these events that God would help me feel calm and know what to say. After both of these events, my faith was increased.
Another role that changed my life was being a missionary for my church in Utah & Wyoming. Those two years proved to be some of the most challenging moments in my life. Being a missionary was not easy. In my role as a missionary, I learned more about service, love and to spend time on my knees in prayer. All the lessons I learned have helped me to be the best husband I can be. One experience in particular that comes to mind is my time in Wyoming. I had just gotten a new missionary companion and he was from "The Kingdom on Tonga" as he always said. The first day being together we got in a car accident. It was a really wet day and we ended up off the highway. We both were unharmed but can't say the same about the car. After we finally made it back to the apartment I remember kneeling in bedroom praying, feeling unsure of what to do. After I came to myself, I went to the living room and I saw my missionary companion sitting on the steps cleaning my muddy shoes and shining them. He taught me a lot about service through that one simple act. (View my mission video here)
Since then I have tried to apply the lesson of service in all I do, especially as a husband. Let's face it, pregnancy is full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. You never really know how the weeks or months will go. I had to develop greater faith as I watched my wife go through these different phases of pregnancy for the first time. There were times where I simply wanted to relieve her from the aches and pains of the pregnancy. All I could do was offer a hug, hold her hand, and offer some comfort. I found these three things to be key in our pregnancy experience: (a) have a love for mom and baby, (b) have faith through the unknown and (c) service for mom and baby. Being a provider is a big responsibility, but being a Father & Husband is a greater calling.
My favorite moments in the day are at 5:00 in the morning when I spend 10-20 minutes doing the dishes, tidying up the living area and doing little things that will help her through the day. During this time she is sound asleep after lots of tossing and turning through the night and getting the comfort she waited so long for. This has been my way of experiencing the pregnancy.
As I continue to watch my wife progress towards the due date next week, I stand all amazed at the tender mercies and the peace that God has put in our life. It is His way of reminding me that He hears me.