It’s happened. I’ve felt like shaking my baby to silence it. I’ve wanted to throw him against the wall because I’ve had enough. I’m frustrated, angry, and worst of all, defeated. I feel disempowered, ill-equipped, and unable to be the father I want to be.
Joseph sleeping on my lap.
For those of you who are not parents, let me say: nothing prepares you for parenthood. No amount of parenting courses, advice, or counsel prepares you for the physical, emotional, mental, and even, spiritual toll a newborn child brings. That said, it is the most rewarding and amazing experience I am yet to know, most of the time.
It is this momentary lapse of sleep deprivation and everyday stresses of life (because they don’t stop) that brings you to a point of brokenness and despair. There are two ways out, both on your knees. Both recognise the weakness and struggle, however, one leaves you with hope to continue on, the other leaves you growing with fear and anxiety.
You can choose to give in to your fear and anxiety, growing darker and looming larger over the struggle you face. Or, you can choose to fall on your knees and look to heaven, where Almighty God, our Heavenly Father watches and waits for us to surrender our fears and anxieties to Him. In these moments, prayer becomes a very real reality.
Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
— Psalm 61:1-3 (ESV)
This is but one example from the psalms of our freedom and access to the throne room of God. As the psalmist writes, God is our refuge and strong tower in whom we can trust and strength against the battles we face. No matter what life may bring, whether it be a newborn child, the loss of a job, or the struggles of a relationship, God is our fortress and foundation.