Almost twenty-one years ago a squirmy, wet, beautiful, little creature was laid upon my belly, crying, filling his lungs with air. My heart exploded with emotion because everything in me knew I had never loved another human being as much as I instantly loved this tiny one. My love for this person has only grown deeper by the day as it has for his brother and sister, as well.
Yet, my love—or any human love—will not be the greatest love my children could ever know.
As the days have gone by, I have tried to anticipate every possible danger or discouragement coming their way and seek out every opportunity for their good. From strapping fighting toddlers in car seats, to baking cookies for kindergarten birthday parties, to going over thousands of spelling lists, to washing dirty football uniforms repeatedly, to driving to hundreds of piano lessons, to filling out college applications—I have tried to be there for my kids.
Yet, I know I will not always be able to be there for them, and one day they will walk this earth without me.
I have held their faces in my hands time and time again and told each of my children how proud I am of them. I have complimented and celebrated them for the things I have seen them do well.
Yet, my words of encouragement and affirmation will never be enough to be their lasting security and confidence.
I have relentlessly corrected and disciplined them over and over again, often repeating the same things to eye rolls and groans. I have hoped my words of caution would spare them from pain.
Yet, I know I cannot always be there to whisper truth to them in moments of decision.
I have told them of a God who loves them even more than I do. I have pointed them to His Word and encouraged them that it is there they will find strength, direction, comfort, and hope.
Yet, they see my faith fail; and my human words fall incredibly short of the words the Holy Spirit has for each of them when they seek Him on their own.
I know as they grow, my ability to shelter my kids from mistakes and pain is dwindling. As their time apart from me increases, so do the temptations around every corner. Not only do my kids have a mom who cannot protect them from everything, they also have a real enemy. His plans are to rob, kill, and destroy. When they were small, he seemed to take little notice of them; but now that they are older, I clearly see that he is waging a very real war against them.
Yet, I cannot predict his next move, completely protect them, or see the wars waging in the heavenlies over my kids.
Since they were born, my every thought has included (at times, has been consumed by) my three children. When I say I would die for my kids, I mean it. I don't think I would even hesitate.
Yet, if I died for them, it wouldn't be enough to save them for eternity.
I am not enough for my kids.
Yet, there is One who loves my children more than I do, and the enemy has no power against Him. He is always with them no matter where life takes them. He can always speak to them, and His Words are perfect and true. He is lasting hope, peace, and strength. He is real security in an insecure, evil world. His plans for them are exceedingly better than they (or their momma) could ask or imagine.
While I have failed my children, God has not and never will.
And even if my love for them and my actions toward my kids had been perfect—it would not be enough. It would never be enough. Just like me, my babies were born with souls longing to be satisfied by the Living, Most High God.
My greatest prayer for the people I love so much is that they will know—really know—the One who loves them more than me.
The One Who left a throne in Heaven to die for them, has made a way for them in eternity, will guide their steps, will be their rock, their calm in the storm, their hope for tomorrow, their real joy no matter what life may bring, and Who will be there for them long after I'm home with Him.
And Who we need every moment of every day until then.
How will you apply this truth to your day-to-day parenting?
"I say to the LORD, 'You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.'" Psalm 16:2