WALTON COUNTY, Ga. - It was one of the biggest tests Jacob Council has ever faced--be there for the birth of his first child or take his final exam to become a sheriff's deputy.
Council has worked at the Walton County Sheriff's Office as a detention officer since 2015, but he wanted to advance his career and become a deputy. He and his wife, Kelsey, said they worried about what to do when he found out that the 11-week course he needed to complete at the Georgia Peace Officer's Training Center would end just two days before their son's due date on March 26.
"We were both a little nervous about it," said Jacob Council. "But we, from the first day of discussing it, we started praying about it and we just kind of trusted God that you know, the timing of everything would work out."
God, as they say, works in mysterious ways and Council was at a study group the night before his final exam when his phone rang.
"She said, 'Jake, my water broke,'" Council recalled.
The couple met at the hospital about an hour later and spent a sleepless night waiting for their son. The next morning, baby Jonah had not yet arrived and the couple made the difficult decision that Jacob needed to go take the 200-question exam and interactive performance test.
"It was hard. I was kind of nervous," said Kelsey Council. "Thankfully, I wasn't too far along and one of the nurses, right when he was getting ready to go, she said, 'Don't worry, I'll tie her ankles together if I have to.'"
Council said it was difficult to concentrate on his exam, knowing his phone could ring at any minute.
"I would kind of knock out a few questions and then I would find myself, you know, is my phone about to go off? You know, like, is she about to call saying that this is it; he's coming? My mind would kind of trail off there and then I would kind of have to just focus back in to get it done," Council said.
Council finished the exam and was back at his wife's bedside by noon. He would later learn that he scored a 91 on the exam.
"He does well under pressure, obviously," said Kelsey.
Jonah Patrick Council was born at 3:44 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day.
"God's with us and He's watching over us and especially watching over him," Kelsey said of her newborn son.
The family attended Jacob's graduation on March 24. They have a few weeks off together before Council has to go back to work at the sheriff's office.
The Councils said they will share the story of Jonah's birth with their son for years to come.
"He's going to be like, 'Oh my gosh, why am I hearing this again?'" Kelsey joked.