Everywhere you turn today you can hear the words I love…whether it be said to a person, a new food you just discovered, a celebrity, a new outfit, you name it. It’s probably the most cliché 3 words you’ll ever hear and yet its meaning is deeply rooted in something other than a fascination with the newest smart phone. Where it stems from is something far more meaningful than anything we’ll ever experience this side of heaven.
I’m not a Bible scholar but I know enough about God to know that when He says I love you, He means it. He sent His only son to die on a cross for sins of people not even born yet. Jesus’ sacrifice will forever be regarded as the epitome of selflessness. I know it can be hard to comprehend when we think of how selfish we tend to be. The sins we commit daily, the ways we abandon our faith if we fear we might offend someone. Yet He still loves us just the same, no matter how may times we fail or fall. I can honestly say I’m only recently coming to terms with the realization of agape love. The dictionary defines it this way: Agape (/ˈæɡəpiː/ or /ˈæɡəpɪ/; Classical Greek: ἀγάπη, agápē; Modern Greek: αγάπη IPA: [aˈɣapi]), which means love: esp. compassion, forgiveness, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God. It also means unconditional, which is also a concept lost in today’s society.
Worship music has taken on a whole new meaning for me as I learn about the ways He loves us. Quite frankly, it brings me to tears at times. It’s somewhat unfathomable to me, except when I think about how much I love my own children. And even then, I know it pales in comparison to how God feels about each one of us. One of the most recent songs to speak to my soul is Hawk Nelson’s Drops In The Ocean. From the chorus he says If you wanna know how far my love can go, just how deep just how wide; if you wanna see how much you mean to me look at my hands, look at my side. When I think about the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross it hits me like a ton of bricks. To think I’m that important to the Creator of the universe that He would send His son to die for all mankind, it leaves me speechless. And maybe that’s why the older I get and heal from the scars of my past, my heart softens and things impact me on a deeper level. Looking at my kids and knowing the sacrifices I would make for them, that God entrusted ME to care for and raise them, it blows my mind. I don’t feel worthy but let me be the first to say how grateful I am He saw something in me and gave me the opportunity.
As a mom of 6, I’m always learning new aspects of God in what He’s showing me on the journey through motherhood. There are days I feel overwhelmed and inadequate to fulfill the needs they have. On those days I know He’s reminding me to seek Him for strength and endurance. There are so many challenges to being a parent in general, but with 6 all in different places in their own lives, it can be a struggle to keep up. But there’s never a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for each and every single one of them. Especially when there was a time in my life where I was so low that I thought they would be better off without me. God knew what He was doing and I can say with confidence that I need them more than they need me. Each one has taught me something about myself I wouldn’t have otherwise learned. They make me grow, learn, test me, they challenge me. I don’t want to imagine what I would be without them.
With Mother’s Day coming up in a few days these things have been on my mind. I lost my own mom at the age of 5, so being a mother is significant to me in that it pushes me to be the mom I always dreamed of. I strive to be the best one I can be so that they can experience something I missed out on. And I am very aware that I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them and use them as teachable moments so they see I’m human too and in constant need of grace. I know I’ll never be perfect and I’m ok with that. God has granted me the opportunity to make a difference in the world and I pray He will continue to equip me for this journey.