In honor of Valentine's Day, this is my post for Titus 2 In Action...true love, real love...not candy or jewelry or flowers...I am blessed to know what real love feels like.
"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God ~ for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 John 4:7-10
It was a simple sticky note.
Stuck to my Bible on my nightstand. And it said,
"I'm not your baby anymore. But I still love you, mama."
I rubbed it gently between my fingers fighting my hot cheeks and imminent tears, as I grappled with the reality that my sweet kindergartener was beginning to show her independence and ability. I thought back to earlier in the day when I lovingly and with great affection answered my youngest with the words, "Yes, baby." Obviously, my gently used moniker for our little one left her feeling less than great. Compelled to tell me the truth, she left the note to make her point. How often does God point out the truth, painful as it is...always ending with, BUT I STILL LOVE YOU. A precious message and life lesson I received from my tender child that day.
This child...a child whom love escaped for quite a time. Living in an orphanage the first eleven months of her life, thrust into a new home, new world, new family. Not yet ready to love with full abandon, she eased her way into committment and attachment. Slowly, like a flower opening petal by petal, she grew and emerged, blossoming into the loving girl I now see. I adored her before I ever knew her; she had reason to doubt love. She has taught me daily about God's love...in the threshold of parenting, we can most closely feel that unconditional love God has shown us in the love we hold for our children. It is possibly one of the finest representations of that original love that we can find. He loved us before we loved Him. It is the simple truth.
As a toddler, our daughter held onto raw emotions, causing us to seek deeper, stronger, more passionately God's truths and how to parent her without shattering her beautiful spirit. The first time she uttered the words, "I love you Mama", she held my face in her little hands. She was two and a half and we were visiting my older daughter's school as they rehearsed for the winter concert. Literally, a choir of angels sang as she melted into my own frame. I have to believe that my rejoicing resembles that of the Lord's each time a new son or daughter receive Him lovingly into their hearts. Oh how He must dance!
May it be that in gladness, sadness, truthfulness, and life, we can accept God's instruction and guidance all the while knowing BUT HE STILL LOVES US.
"God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8