Friday, April 12, 2013

Oh How He Loves Me

I have struggled all of my life to really feel loved by God.  My head knows it but my heart has wrestled with feeling loved.  Over the years, I have identified many reasons why this has been a struggle for me--neglectful parenting, legalistic churches that used fear of God's rejection to keep the congregants in line, overwhelming feelings of unworthiness, shame, etc.  But the birth of my granddaughter brought a swift and immediate end to this struggle.  She barely weighs twelve pounds now and has only been on this earth for a short time but she has taught me so much about Papa God's incredible love for me.

While I remember the overwhelming and immediate love I felt when my own kids were born, parenthood is fraught with the fear of not measuring up, of failing these precious gifts or not being able to provide for them.  So the love I felt towards my kids was always tinged with fear and responsibility.  But grandparenthood has none of those fears--I am not responsible for raising this child, age and experience has taught me that kids are far more resilient than we give them credit for and I am not exhausted by the daily tasks of caring for a baby--I get to sleep without interruption!

So, how do I love my sweet Gracie?

  • I absolutely delight in her--every expression, vocalization and belly laugh.  
  • Her tears break my heart and I would do absolutely anything to prevent even one from falling from her deep blue eyes.
  • I can't get enough of her--no amount of time spent holding, cuddling or rocking her is enough.  I always want more.
  • Every developmental milestone or first is a cause for elaborate celebration.
  • I can spend hours just staring at her with a silly grin on my face.  
  • I find deep contentment and joy when she studies my face and stares into my eyes.  Her interest in me is deeply gratifying because a continued relationship with her is what I most want.
  • I am so very proud of her--not because of her accomplishments (really, what can a five-month old do?) but just because she is.
  • I only want the best for her; the thought that someone or something could harm her makes my blood boil.  
  • I am fiercely protective of her.
  • I cannot fathom life without her; the life I lived before her birth seems bland and colorless; life with Grace is rich in color and texture (pun intended).
  • I think of her continuously and scour her parents' Facebook pages for a new video or picture or tidbit of their lives as her parents.
And God feels all of this and more for me.  It overwhelms me.  It is humbling.  It is comforting. It is amazing.  He loves me, he really does.  It took the birth of a tiny little girl to convince me of this amazing story of grace and love.  Oh how he loves me.  And you!