I was 19 years old, and Ryan was only 21 when the 2 lines popped up on our pregnancy test— positive. Our whole world changed in an instant. We were terrified of what our future held, so much so, that we walked into an abortion clinic thinking that ending our child’s life might give us a better one. With Ryan waiting outside praying for God to fix everything, God was doing just that.
I ended up hyperventilating and passing out in the abortion room before the procedure could ever happen.
With each breath I fought to take in that temporary moment of panic, God began showing me His heart for my future family: the man in the waiting room that I wanted to marry and my child that I was carrying. He helped me see that we couldn’t make a permanent decision based on a moment of panic and fear.
Becoming A Fearless Father
I walked out into the waiting room, looked into Ryan’s eyes, and told him we were still pregnant. A slight relief washed over us. Even though we were worried about how everything would work out, our plans to abort never happened. We found out we were having a son, and we ended up getting married halfway through the pregnancy. Things started to fall into place as we trusted God more and more each day.
On the day I gave birth to my son, Jess, my favorite part of the day was seeing my husband hold his baby for the first time. He wept as his heart burst with pride and love for this gift God had given him. The day he held his child was the day he decided that he wasn’t going to let his fears dictate our future. From that moment on, Ryan has tenaciously worked hard at building a legacy of love for our family.
If you are unexpectedly a new dad, congratulations!
You may feel nervous, or you might even feel like running away, because of so many unknowns in your future. Maybe you never had a father yourself, so you’re not even sure what a good dad looks like. You might be worried about how to afford a child, or embarrassed about what your friends might think. Your fear may cripple you sometimes just as ours did in that season of uncertainty. But what you might not realize yet is that your child is the best gift that God could have ever given you!
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” —Psalms 127:3
Stay and fight to be the father you always wanted or always hoped to be, even if it’s not the way you thought it would happen. You won’t always be perfect, but you’ll never have to fight alone. You have a Father in heaven that loves you so much and will show you exactly what to do and how to do it.
Every Father Is A Warrior
Your child is the arrow. You are the warrior.
“Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.” —Psalms 127:4
The Bible tells us that children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior— their impact on the world can be quick and broad. But effective arrows need preparation by a warrior, and that’s you! Out of all of the men in the entire world, God chose you to be this baby’s father, this child’s warrior! God doesn’t always call the equipped, He equips the called, and He will equip you with everything you need to steward this life and raise your child to change the world. With God on your side, you’ve got this!
Your baby will bring new meaning and a sense of purpose that only a warrior father can understand. He or she will give you the drive to make the world a better place through the legacy of your children.
So much beauty and wonder can be born from that which we never planned. God planned this child all along and knew that the strength and courage that you would find amid this unexpected season would endure even beyond when your arrows were old enough to fly on their own. And perhaps what is most amazing is how an immense love will rise up inside of you for this new life, whether it was intended or not, that will inspire you to stay and lead your child with love.
Unplanned But Beautiful
Ryan and I have now been married 22 years and have four awesome kids. We have one finishing up college, another finishing up high school, one in middle school and the little one in elementary. It’s organized chaos in our house daily, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Every once in a while, when we’re all in the kitchen trying to cook dinner and help kids with homework, Ryan will come up behind me, hug me, and whisper in my ear, “Thank you for being so strong and walking out of that abortion clinic, years ago.”
But what he needs to know is that he is the reason our kids are who they are today. He has sharpened them, straightened what was crooked, and buffed out any rough spots so that they know what their purpose is and can be effective in the world. The values and character that he has instilled in our children will be known for generations to come.
Happy Father’s Day to all the unexpectedly expecting dads. Stand up and fight for your children, guide and lead them to the heart of their heavenly Father.
You will soon realize that God likes to turn our ‘mistakes’ we may make into beautiful miracles.