I love hearts. I’m really crazy about them. Any hearts really but I especially love the red Valentine hearts. My all time favorite however is a heart with wings. I don’t know why I love it so much. I guess because a heart with wings to me, symbolizes love without limits. That’s a concept I can’t understand. I know God’s love is without limits but I’ve never had any earthly example of it. That is until I had children. Then it all made sense.
My childhood was dysfunctional. I so looked forward to the day when I could make a family of my own. It would be perfect. It would be safe. It would be loving. It would be all that God intended family to be. I’ll never forget the night before my first child was born. I spent the entire evening in his room crying my eyes out to the Lord. I didn’t know how to be a mother. I didn’t know how to be loving. I didn’t know how to make cookies or do PTA meetings. I didn’t own pearls. I wasn’t anything like all the “good” mom’s I knew. I was terrified.
The next morning I went the the hospital and 17 hours later my first born was placed in my arms. I can’t explain the feeling. It was surreal. It was overwhelming. It was good and pure and perfect. It was God’s promise to me fulfilled – Joel 2:25 “I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten.” I immediately knew the meaning of love without limits. For this little bundle of joy I would give my life without hesitation. I would wake up every hour and 1/2 for a year because he was a hungry boy. I would fight dragons or a bear, or a bully on the playground for this child. I finally had a small sense of how God feels about us.
Later came the births of my 3 daughters and with each birth that feeling overwhelmed me again. I have never, ever been happier in my life than when my children were placed in my arms for the first time. In that moment every pain I had endured, every hardship in my life was worth it to get to that moment. God gave me the most incredible gift – 4 times. He restored what the locusts had eaten. I made a new family. A complete family. A loving family. A happy family.
But there are wings…. That heart I love so much has wings and so do my children. It was my job as a Mom to build those wings so when the time was right they could soar. This past October both my son and my daughter got engaged. They will both be getting married in April. My mom’s heart is breaking a little. Not because I’m not thrilled for them. They both picked perfect spouses. (God picked them actually). But this perfect gift that God gave me – my family, is changing. We won’t be waking up together on Christmas morning anymore. We won’t be taking summer vacations all together anymore. I will have to share my perfect gifts with two new families.
So when people ask me “are you excited?” I am. I am so happy for my children. But I’m also sad. Sad for my that my perfect family unit is now changing. I’ll get through it. I will cry uncontrollably as they both say their vows. I will welcome my new son and daughter in law with open arms and try to be the best mother-in-law I can be. I will love my “new” children with the same fierce love that I have for my own children. I will watch them soar with pride. I will be their biggest cheerleader.
But one day, when I get to heaven I’m going to ask God why he gives us these incredible perfect gifts, with wings that can take them away from us. That’s when he will remind me of his love without limits.