Have you ever known a love greater than what you feel for your children? I am amazed at how much the heart expands to allow love to grow for another human being.
It has been almost twenty years since I was in labor with my second child. As I did with Hannah, I did not know if I was having a boy or a girl until Connor made his appearance. And just as with Hannah, I absolutely fell in love upon first sight of him.
Because Hannah was already two years old, we had spent months preparing her for the arrival of a new sibling. I worried that I would be unable to adequately share my time with a high maintenance toddler and a dependent newborn. I worried that she would continue to demand the same level of attention I had been able to give her.
I was worried that jealousy would be the ruling emotion at our house after the birth.
You know what? I had nothing to worry about. She loved him immediately and wanted to be a part of all of his care each and every day.
And I was amazed at my heart as well. Not only was I capable of loving more than one child at a time, I was able to love them differently, in ways (unfathomable, unquantifiable amounts, of course) that were unique to their very dynamic personalities.
Many years later, I met my stepdaughter Lauren when she was only six years old, and I fell in love with her big brown eyes and bubbly personality. And my heart expanded a little more and I loved her as my own.
When Abbey was about to be born almost nine years ago now, I knew that allowing more love into my life would not damage my other children, so I was very excited to meet her and see how she would change my heart. True to form, my heart once again grew and there was another beautiful person with whom I fell in love.
Then came sweet Cooper, our grandson---that is another whole level of soul love. Goodness.
Most recently, we became foster parents of newborns and the four beautiful souls that God has placed in our homes and in our hearts have transformed my heart even further.
Some days I wonder if God feels this way. You know, able to get excited about each one of our lives and able to love us in the way that will translate into love for us. Do you think He falls in love with us, His creations--regardless of our skin color, our bank account, our mistakes?
I do. I believe He loves us and doesn't stop loving us. He is incapable of doing so. Can you stop loving your child? Regardless of what they do? I certainly can't. I don't always like them and their choices, but I never stop loving them.
For God to stop loving us would be to go against His very nature. And I smile at the thought of God being as in love with me as I am my own children.
"What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God!" 1John 3:1