Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Love of a Mother

Every now and then someone crosses your life's path and says something that impacts you in a profound way. The memory of that moment of impact is burned into your mind forever. You remember the environment, the voice, the tone, the emotion. I had one of those moments today.

I was speaking with a very jolly, kind hearted lady today, and we got onto the topic of children. She was telling me what a wonderful teenage daughter she had. Great in school and athletics. Loves the Lord and church. Prays on her knees and talks to God like He's her best friend. She summed her up as a "good girl." "But," she said, "You need to make sure that when you're ready to have children that you're ready to give of yourself more than you ever have. You have to be completely committed to them. Your life basically revolves around their activities and their emotions." This seemed pretty reasonable to me. It was nothing I hadn't heard before. She told me she got pregnant at a young age and had to mature to raise her daughter quickly. She then reiterated what a great daughter she had, with amazing potential. I said, "I'm sure it has been tough, but you seem like a great mom. I'm sure if you could do it all over again, you would still raise your beautiful daughter."

"Absolutely not. There's no way I'd go back and have her again. It's too hard. I don't want any kids." Impact. Memory burned.

Wow. I was speechless. She could tell I was speechless, and I told her that her answer was NOT what I had expected to hear. Granted, I'm not even a mother to a dog. I have not walked in her shoes. However, I cannot imagine my mom telling me she wished she could put her life in reverse and take me out of the equation. Moreover, I can't imagine ever saying this about my own child. This impacted me so deeply. I guess I never thought it possible that someone would wish their beautiful child away. I felt like I lost a piece of my naiveness or innocence to the way other people feel about children. A thought that all mothers would choose to keep their children...a decision I thought ever mother naturally made was ripped out from under my feet. A piece of innocence was stolen out of my heart.

I had to call my mother and tell her. I asked her if she ever wished Kacie or I were never here. "Never. Just one second of yours or Kacie's attention would melt my heart and make every obstacle worth it." That's the love of a mother. That's the love that Jesus demonstrates to children in the Bible, and to us as his children. We cause him heartache, undoubtedly. But, instead of wiping us away and starting new, he made us new. He sacrificed himself so that we could be in His glory and presence eternally. The love of Jesus and the love of a mother are sacrificing and eternal.

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