If you haven't heard it by now, I'm a Daddy.
Just a little over a day ago, Sara gave birth to our first child - a beautiful, miraculous creation who we have named Eliza Lee. She had some respiratory issues right out of the womb, so they rushed her off to the NICU right away. This left both of us feeling like none of this was real - like the whole 26-hour labor process was just a dream.
But it's settling in now - we're Mom and Dad to this beautiful little girl. Our hearts are different - God's doing something in us through this scary but joyful time. Eliza has been in out in the world, fighting it out for over a day! God has been gracious with us. He's already strengthened Eliza so much, helping her regulate her temperature on her own (!) and helping her get her oxygen on her own (no nasal cannulas! !!!). We are a grateful family. And we are hoping to get Baby Eliza out of the NICU and into our arms within the next few days.
Throughout all of this, there is a lot of opportunity to panic. And we have panicked. I've been frantic at times. The scariest time in my life was yesterday, during delivery, when Sara was delirious with pain and Eliza's heart rate dropped way below normal. A team of 8 nurses, midwives, and doctors rushed in, fear on their faces. In this period of what seemed like hours (but may have just been minutes), I felt so helpless, crying and holding Sara's hand - pleading with God on my knees for the life of my wife and daughter. I've never felt so helpless. That's the worst part about watching your wife deliver a precious gift of a baby. But in the midst of my worry and my panic, God reminded me of my helplessness in all of life - that there is nothing I can do without his sustaining strength and endless wisdom. As I prayed through tears with the most intensity I ever had yesterday, crying out for the health and lives of my girls, God was showing me the way he feels about us, His children.
1 John 3:1 says "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." Yes - I've been a father for a while now (9+months), but I've just met my daughter and started a relationship with her as her Daddy. Likewise, God has been the Father of all of humanity since the very beginning of time. He created us and made us in His image. But just as I've only recently begun this relationship with my daughter, where I hold her close and guard her and show her my love, there comes a point in our lives when we can choose to let God be our father. Rather than run ourselves to the ground trying to do it all on our own, we can submit to His will and take on His name, calling ourselves children of God. It's such an easy thing to do - just call out to Him and surrender your life through Jesus' name. That's it.
As a new father, I pray that Eliza will one day call on the name of Jesus and join in the family of Christ. That day will truly be a joyful one. In the same way, I pray that for all of you - that Jesus will be your one and only trust. I pray that you will join in God's eternal covenant and ask Christ to be Lord of your life.
Thanks, guys. We love each of you and we so appreciate your prayers for Eliza. You are such good brothers and sisters to Sara and I. Our hearts overflow with joy and gratefulness for you! Stay tuned for more updates and photos. :)