Lessons from a Dirty Diaper

Rosanna Marie Photography

By Jared Herd

After nine months of painting, hanging, woodworking, assembling, and hammering, my son, Dane Everett, came into the world. The pregnancy process is such a fascinating time, beautifully built into the rhythm of life by God. I thought the nine months would drag on, but we loved and needed those nine months to ready ourselves. And I now consider it an act of grace that one’s wife doesn’t run in with a pregnancy test crying one morning and the next day you are handed a crying infant. That would evoke all the emotions of a car crash for me, and the nine months make it feel like a pot of gold at the end of rainbow.

It was the night of January 8, 2012. I had just finished watching Tim Tebow knock off the Steelers, and like most American males, I was running around the house tebowing. We finished dinner, went to bed, and around midnight Rosanna let out a noise of grimace that only a woman who is two days overdue can make. Subsequently, I ended my tebowing and immediately shifted into The Black Eyed Peas “I Got a Feeling”—in particular, the line that says, “Tonight’s gonna be a good, good night.” This excitement continued as I drove us to the hospital at 3 a.m., on the foggiest night in Georgia history, all the way up until 11:29 a.m., when Dane was born. I was so excited in fact, that the doctor told the nurse to keep an eye on me, because she feared I was going to pass out. As Rosanna pushed and cried, she still managed to laugh.

I don’t remember all of it, but I do remember a complete reordering of my value system the moment he was born. I felt a literal shift in my spirit (and continue to feel it) towards the things of life that matter most. To be more specific, how I spend money, how many hours I work, how much I turn my cell phone off when I walk in the door, how I settle disagreements with Rosanna and others, and many other areas of life have shifted, or perhaps a better way to say it is that things that seemed to have an inflated sense of value have been put into their proper place. That has been a beautiful gift Dane has given to me.

Perhaps the most profound lesson I’m learning is that God’s activity is here in this moment. There are days I want to sprint ahead to Dane’s first steps or T-ball practice, but just like pregnancy is preparation and cultivation, so is this period. God has me in this moment with Dane, not the next one. I see God’s brilliance in that more and more. Perhaps you find yourself unsure of your current place in life, or unsure whether you want to be in it, but staying focused on the present, not longing for the past or just hoping for the future to hurry up, allows us to experience a gift. I look forward to a lot of moments in the future, but for now, I’m grateful for what lessons I find about marriage, life, and humility that come in the form of a dirty diaper.

Jared Herd serves in multiple capacities at Orange. He is also considered by many to be one of today’s freshest communicators, traveling the country sharing the hope of Jesus with a humorous and captivating approach that has reached thousands of teenagers and college students. Jared, his wife Rosanna and son Cane live in Cumming, Georgia.