In 2021, I became a father. More specifically, a girl dad. I’ll never forget the sight and sound of her first experience in the world—outside the sacred protection of her mother’s womb. Held up by the doctor, with remnants of afterbirth on her-she cried. I marveled at the miraculous happening right before my eyes. To see the strength of my wife allowing her body to give life and the adjustment of my daughter outside her womb was breathtaking. I began to think of the weight of the responsibility to raise her with the same level of protection my wife’s womb provided for her. I was both happy and nervous at the same time.
Shortly after her debut, the doctors assessed her and I cut her umbilical cord. My daughter was still crying from all the commotion, and the nurse walked her to my wife. As “Daughter” by John Mayer played in the background, she was put on my wife’s chest and suddenly stopped crying. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.
As I embarked on this fatherhood journey, I started to have revelations. Here are a few things I learned about myself and God:
- My parents impacted the way I saw God and interpreted the Bible. My father’s absence made it hard for me to believe that God would never leave nor forsake me because my father wasn’t in my life during my formative years. His absence shaped my theology and gave me an incorrect perception of God. My mother’s commitment and faithfulness to raising me made it more accessible for me to trust God if God were a Black woman in the Bible. My mother, aunties, and female friends were/are loving, caring, and faithful to me. I have experienced more hope and healing through my experience with Black women than men. So, before becoming a parent, I thought if God were a man—He would abandon me like my father. However, becoming a father changed that. If God felt anything I did about my daughter, it made sense how much God loved me. Recognizing this brought me closer to God and improved my trust in Him.
- Becoming a parent made God’s role in my life straightforward. The depth of love I feel for my daughter and my commitment to her development and protection gave me a deeper understanding of God’s love and commitment to me.
- There is no good thing I desire to withhold from my daughter, and if I feel this generous towards her, it makes sense why God is so gracious to me.
As a result of what I’ve learned, I’m grateful for God and believe my fatherhood journey reflects God’s journey with me. My fatherhood journey has just begun, and I wanted to share my process this far. I will conclude with this scripture—“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him(Matthew 7:11 NLT).”