Most of the time, our clients are in a vulnerable position, in a place they never thought they would be, facing a choice they never thought they would make. They feel alone in that space.
I met with a client recently who finds himself in this lonely, vulnerable place. He shared that he was trying to turn his life around and make decisions that would help him succeed. He was planning to go to college and had career aspirations he was working towards. He had a troubled youth, and he was determined to be better than his own father. He explained he could not be a parent right now because he was not in a position to take care of a child and a family. His own family was pressuring him to abort, and he was passing that pressure on to his girlfriend. However, he confessed he was really undecided about what to do and concerned about what the abortion would do to her emotionally.
The client’s father had passed away from addiction to heroin. As he shared about his relationship with his dad, he became emotional. He paused and stated, “I wish I could talk to him about this.” It became apparent that this young man had not had the space to grieve the loss of his father. It was a fresh wound, and the prospect of his own parenthood had ripped the wound wide open. He was sad, scared, and angry. He felt overwhelmed and alone.
It was evident that this young man had dealt with much loss in his life. Discovering that his girlfriend was pregnant felt to him as if he had lost his future as well. In that moment, he had no room in his mind or his heart to hold the thought of being a father. Often, one of the best ways we can minister to our clients is to provide a safe place for them to share and someone to listen to them. I was able to show him that he was not alone. I assured him as he grieved his father and contemplated his own fatherhood that his heavenly Father loved him and had a plan for his life.
His girlfriend had an ultrasound at Assurance, and he was able to witness it. Afterwards, she said she would not be able to abort and had decided that, with or without his support, she was going to have the baby. After seeing the baby himself and hearing her decision, he confessed he wasn’t sure about his own feelings. He has a lot to process. I will be here continuing to offer him the space to sift through his emotions and to encourage and equip him to embrace his role as a father to this baby.
This Father’s Day, as we celebrate fathers, will you join me in praying for this young man and the other dads we serve? Thank you for all you do to make it possible for us to minister to fathers in their time of crisis.
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” Malachi 4:6
By Aaron Bullock, Men’s Program Coordinator