The countdown has begun. In just a few days Steph and I will be welcoming our newest edition to our family. Braelyn is due on my birthday, June 27th, but as we have been told by many, the due date is not very static. We do know however, that if she has not come by Monday the 26th that we will go ahead and get the ball rolling. The reason being that I only have 2 weeks at home to enjoy my baby and my wife before I head back to summer camps.
I am about to be a father... A FATHER!!! We have been showered with encouragement, tips, suggestions, warnings, and everything else under the sun. However, until it actually happens we are quickly realizing that we don't really know ANYTHING! The nursery is ready, we have all of the stuff we need that we know of, and everything is in order. We have been EXTREMELY blessed by our friends and families with their love and gifts providing much of what we need to meet the physical needs of our sweet little baby and we thank God for His faithful provision through those near us.
We are praying that Braelyn will wait to come anytime after June 23rd because I am still responsible to preach at one more camp this upcoming week in Marshall, TX. As I have shared this with my friends I have received many different remarks, laughter, and smirks. However, the Doc said that we should be okay, but I will be ready to leave if things should get rolling. Please join us in praying for anytime after the 23rd! :-)
God has been teaching me that my role as a father is HUGE! Being that I minister to thousands of students each year and counsel many, I realize that the father can either bless their child or curse them. A child's early idea of God comes from their father and if the father abandons, abuses, mistreats, neglects, or does not show love and encouragement the child's ability to grasp the idea of God as Father becomes very difficult. I am praying that I would not be a stumbling block to my daughter. I long to be a faithful, loving, and encouraging father. My only hope is found in God's faithfulness in guiding Steph and I as we take this step of faith.
I am also very aware of my calling to be the provider for my family, which I embrace and long for. The biggest tension I sit in at the moment is the temptation to lack faith and try to generate income rather than trusting in God's faithful provision. This is very silly of me because God has FAITHFULLY provided for all of our needs since the launching of this ministry. However, the impending reality of Steph no longer working, which means the loss of that income along with health insurance brings along even greater responsibility. I am grateful, though for all the family and friends that God has placed in our life to encourage us back towards Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. He is our provider and will provide. My prayer has lately mirrored that of the father in Mark 9, "I do believe, but help me in my unbelief."
What a privilege it is to be a husband and a father! Even with all of the worldly concerns that I may wrestle with, I am confident in God's ability in spite of my own. In closing, I would love to share with you the promise I read from Genesis 28 this morning that God made to Jacob,
"13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
As God promised to Jacob to be His God, His provider, and His leader, He promises this to us as well as we too are heirs of this promise in Christ. So, with the anxiety that comes from becoming new parents, we also rest in His faithfulness.
We love you and covet your prayers...