I can't do this!

In the stillness of a closet I cried, saying over and over again, "I can't do this." On December 11 of last year, my world was changed. My wife and I welcomed our daughter into this world. For most of the day it felt like I was watching someone else's life. It wasn't sinking in that this was my life. This was my child. I was now a father.

During the course of the day, our daughter kept coughing up this fluid. This wasn't unusual, she was supposed to be doing this. But that evening she began to try to cough it up, and to me it didn't seem like it was going to come up. She began to turn red trying to cough it up and it scared me to death. This was unknown territory for me. I didn't know what to do. I'm the kind of guy that likes to be able to fix things. I couldn't fix this. And that thought scared me. It was in that moment that it hit me. I was a her father. I wanted to be able to protect her from all things, but there are some things that are out of my control. She did cough it up finally. Just not as quick as I wanted her to.

After this episode, I tried to regain my composure. I was quiet. My wife kept asking me if I was going to be okay. Finally, I went into a closet and just cried. To be honest, that's what I had wanted to do all along, but I was trying to be a man. I sat down in that closet, and I broke down and cried. I spent most of the time confessing to God that I couldn't do it. Up until that time, I knew that I was going to be the best dad in the world. I had watched Courageous, I had been to family ministry conferences, I had read books on how to be a great dad, and I just knew that I was going to be awesome. But in that moment, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to do it on my own. I needed my daughter's heavenly Father to guide me. I needed to trust Him to take care of her when I couldn't. I needed to believe that He would always do what was best for her. This didn't meant that I would just take my hands off of the wheel, but that I would always do whatever God asked me to do knowing that He knew the best way to take care of her.

Now for you who are reading this, it may not be an emotional moment with your inability to take care of your child. It may be finances, illness, family issues, or something else. But whatever brings you to the place of weakness can always be handled through time with God. The morning after this episode, I woke up with an overwhelming feeling that everything was going to be okay. I sat down with my daughter and read the 139th Psalm to her. I was reading it to her as a reminder to her that she was "fearfully and wonderfully made." What's amazing is that I wasn't reading that to be a blessing to her, God wanted me to read that to her so I would hear His words for me. The whole Psalm talks about God's presence with us and His knowledge of all that we are going through now and all that we will go through later. God wanted to remind me that all the while I was afraid, He was there with me.

So next time you are filled with fear or overwhelmed with the burdens of this life, remember that God is with you. Take time to talk with Him, and He will comfort you with His presence.