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Encouragement Article

Helplessness In Hope

As I write this, my beautiful wife and 3 day old son are peacefully sleeping next to me, so I'll keep it short.

Words cannot describe the respect, admiration, and love I have for this woman.

No thoughts written can truly capture the innocence, vulnerability, or peacefulness of this child.

There are a multitude of things I could write and reflect on in this moment. But given this site is to encourage and equip fathers, today I want to talk about the feeling of helplessness experienced when your wife is giving birth.

As I go through fatherhood, there are moments I look back on and wish a heads up had been given for what was to come. Whether I take the information to heart or merely brush it off, it at least has been brought to my attention.

That is why I am writing this today.

As a husband and father, many roles lie on your shoulders. A large one being the protector of your family. In any and all situations it is your job to actively keep your family safe or preemptively put measures into place to passively keep them safe.

You are the one they look to for safe guidance when navigating unknown territory. You are the one they are going to stand behind in the face of danger. You are the one that is going to intervene and insert yourself between a threat and your family.

However, there are few times in life when there is absolutely nothing you can do and you feel utterly helpless.

Your wife delivering a baby is one of these times.

I experienced this feeling of helplessness during the births of each of my three boys.

In these moments, the person you love the most, your world it seems, is in the hands of others. You see the pain she's experiencing. You feel the guilt of it not being you. Outside of holding her hand, attempting to be a place of comfort, all you can do is hope, praying the Lord will instruct the minds and guide the hands that care for her.

It was a difficult moment this past week as my third boy was coming into the world. It's even more difficult as a first-time father.

I don't write this to scare or worry. I write this for the soon to be fathers to be aware of this emotion. Being aware of the potential feeling, you can work through it more effectively and bring the focus back to your wife. This moment is about her and the baby she is bringing into this world.

Be her comfort.

Be her stress relief.

Be her unwavering rock.

Even if you feel like an untethered raft.

Be Present. Be Intentional.

-Chad Vrla

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