Athens Review, Athens, Texas

April 5, 2014

Exhausted, but happier than ever

Chad Wilson
The Athens Review

Athens — Wow, what a rush!

I can not begin to explain the emotions I experienced on Monday, March 17 as Maylee Grace Wilson made her debut.

Yes, there were tears.

Yes, this “Iron Man” showed the emotion he hoped and prayed for.

Over the two weeks I was home with Maylee and my wife Lacie, I experienced a plethora of emotions - emotions rather rare in my life.

As expected, there was little sleep at the hospital. With the way Maylee acted her first night, I thought I might be able to catch a little shut-eye once we got home.

Oh, was I wrong.

Maylee flipped the switch and was not a happy camper our first night home. She cried, we cried and there was little sleep to be had.

Over the two-week span, sleep patterns fluctuated but it was clear Lacie and I were in a new phase in our life.

It has not been easy, but I would not trade it for the world.

Thursday night was another challenge.

I arrived home from a busy day at the Review to find hundreds of ants, two different types, making a home in our guest bedroom. On top of that, Maylee was entering her third week of life - a week the pediatrician warned us could come with a lot more crying.

The pediatrician was right.

It was a hard night. We had to clear the house of ants for the safety of the baby and my wife, Lacie is allergic to ants, but again - I would not trade it for the world.

Maylee cried and cried. The only way she would stop was if we fed, bathed or rocked her.

It was after midnight before I finally rocked her to sleep, a slumber that did not last very long.

It is a weird thing. The last three weeks have been like no other, yet I am happier than ever before.

Just to think about the happiness I’m feeling fills my eyes with tears.

No, I am not some sappy guy who cries at the drop of a hat, but this new feeling is amazing.

I feel so blessed to be able to call myself a father.

It is true, I have now been given the biggest responsibility of my life. Yet I have a calm assurance about it all, as I know God has a plan, a perfect plan, for Maylee’s life. I am just honored he chose me to play a major role in that plan.

While some may think that the feelings of happiness I am experiencing are just those of a new father, there is more to it.

I know I am in the center of God’s will for my life at this point. I am becoming the Kingdom Man he has designed me to be in every area of life.

As part of that process, I know he is guiding my steps and those of my family.

There were hundreds of ants, big ants, all over our house Thursday. Maylee and Lacie were not bitten once.

I was not in control of the situation. They were home with the growing ant infestation for more than two hours without Daddy, but God provided.

Sure, ants are not a major catastrophe, but it is a small example how God will protect those who are placed under his care.

I rest assured each day that the Abba Father will protect his daughters better than I ever can. I don’t know why some things take place, but I have placed my trust in the one who does.

It was not easy to leave my girls on Tuesday, and come back to work. In fact, Monday night, I slept in a separate bedroom for the first time in order to get a “good  night’s sleep.”

That night was anything but good. Sure I might have received a little more rest, but as I kissed my girls good night, I could not hold back the tears. It was hard not being in the room for every little cry, feeding and diaper change.

It is a challenge to raise a newborn. A challenge like no other I have ever faced. Lacie and I are adjusting, but it is still not easy.

All the self-help books are nice. Internet searches are helpful, but it is the promises of God that have helped us the most.

How happy are you?

Do the challenges of life, especially those you have never experienced, get you so far down, its hard to see up?

Maybe it is time to check the source of your happiness.

If I counted on the little smiles and noises from Maylee to make me happy, the nights where she cries uncontrollably would tear me apart.

I would not be able to function. I would be angry, and would lose control in the situation.

Instead, I know that my help, my joy, comes from the Lord.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

“He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

“The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,  nor the moon by night.

“The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore,” Psalm 121.

Do you believe this? If so, he is your rock, your shield, your joy. He will care for you, comfort you and guide you during all phases of life. The more you talk with him, rely on him and hide his message in your heart, your happiness, or joy, will increase, no matter the circumstances.