I have heard it said that a woman becomes a mother the moment she finds out she is pregnant, and a man becomes a father the moment he holds his child for the first time. I feel inclined to believe that's true at this point in time. Everything seems so surreal right now. I don't think I can fully wrap my head and heart around what it will be like to see my child for the first time. Joy, Peace and Fear are a few of the emotions I feel right now.
Getting to watch them take their first bite of chocolate cake. Watching as they learn to take their first steps. The first time they ride a bike. Bath time. Story time. Doodle days with Dad. Walks in the park. Attempting to explain the mysteries of the world to a child who probably grasps them better than I do. Watching them as they sleep. Listening to them talk. Letting them know they are loved. Encouraging them to try again. Telling them about God... these are just a few of the things that bring my heart joy.
In the midst of all thing that could go wrong, I still have peace. Just as Jesus spoke to the storm on the sea of Galilee, so too he speaks to the storms that arise in my soul, "peace, be still." As I've been meditating on the fact that there is a miracle going on just beneath the skin of my wife's belly, I keep coming back to the words David wrote in Psalm 139:
"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
This is where my peace comes from. While I sit here and wonder what sex our baby is, or what kind of things they will experience in their life, their Creator knows them full well.
I believe there are two kinds of fear in this world; the 5 o' clock news kind of fear and the reverent fear of the One who made everything. I'm not sure how the two relate to having a baby, but I do know I've already begun to experience a hint of fear when I think about the great responsibility it is to raise up a child in this world. I know it's not healthy to get ahead of myself, and I fully trust to learn by making mistakes and the wisdom and guidance of those around us, but I don't want to discredit any emotion through this process. I believe fear, just like joy or peace, can be a healthy part of planning for papahood.