A year ago this month I was on the cusp of the big leagues. I had just come back up after being sent down to Triple-A and everything seemed unsure. Not that I’m sure of my future now, only God knows the plans He has for us. But my wife and I were living in a place of uncertainty in a lot of aspects. We didn’t know what to expect. One of the biggest unknowns was the fact that we were expecting our first child any day.
When we had Meira Joy, it was the most incredible thing! Everyone talks about how having a child is life-changing, and you know it will be, but you can’t fully grasp that reality until you hold her. Before she came into this world, we prayed that she would be full of the Lord’s joy and full of light to all around her. The amount of joy this child brings to us and everyone who meets her, even though she can’t even speak yet, is amazing! Seeing her develop daily, begin to understand the world around her, desire to be just like her mom, mimic me and the dog, and explore everything is so much fun. It’s so cool to see how the Lord has blessed her little life already and I’m extremely grateful He’s entrusted her to us to raise her.
It’s a crazy thing to think that this little 1-year-old is just as responsible for serving the Kingdom of God as we are. It’s our job as parents to raise her in the right way so she’s equipped for this. We want her to know the Lord and His love — to know His presence. That begins with her seeing the love her mom and dad have for each other and for her, recognizing that this love does not come from us, but from God and His Spirit within us. When she can understand that, she can be another generation of His light to others. When you think about this, you can’t help but admit that she is not our child, she is a child of God.
I had an idea of what having a baby girl would be like — everything from feeding her at certain times, changing diapers and having her on a scheduled bedtime. But things can be difficult when she simply doesn’t want any of those things. You realize parenting can be really hard! And my wife, who is basically a single parent for half of the season, takes the brunt of it. A lot of times while I’m on the road, all I can do is pray. I pray for Meira and I pray for my wife. I pray that the Lord would intervene during the hard times so they both can get the rest they need. That is one of the toughest parts of being a father — realizing how useless I can be outside of offering my best support and earnest prayers.
My wife and I have gotten in the habit of writing down our prayers and their answers. And I can tell you, God is so faithful! When I pray something as simple as rejuvenation for Ashley, that she would get 12 hours of rest in a season of restless nights, it has happened! God is able to give that to her even when it doesn’t make sense. I pray for a full night’s sleep while Meira is teething and hasn’t slept through the night in weeks, and she does! When I’ve prayed for help for my wife, along comes a nanny who loves the Lord. That was completely God coming in when we asked for help. He is constantly faithful. It’s little prayers like these that help us see God’s faithfulness and power in our lives.
“‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’” — Mark 11:22-24
I’m reading through Mark right now. In this passage, Jesus tells us that when we truly believe in Him, as long as there is no selfless ambition behind our prayers, He will answer them. He is faithful.
As we enter year two with our daughter, I’m excited to see what God has in store for both her and for us. I can’t wait for her to walk; she’s so close, it could happen any day now! I love hearing her say “Mama” and “Dada.” Hearing her say my name when I come home is the most heartwarming thing a man could experience. These milestones are big deals.
And I can’t wait to experience more of God’s miracles in and through her life in the year ahead.
— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers pitcher
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.