March 14, 2015

No Greater Love

What is love?
As I 'aged', this was a question I always wondered. Growing up, we're told parents love their children, and I knew my parents loved me even though they didn't verbally say it as often as any of us would of liked to hear. But we as children can be naughty and rebellious so we're told "no", or get scolded or grounded then we resent our parents because we think they hate us or just enjoy torturing us 'just because'. And they tell you, "You don't know until you have kids of your own" blah blah blah, we just rolled our eyes even though everything they did was out of love and what they believe was right for us.

Fast forward a few years, where I met my [now] husband when I was 13. I didn't like boys at this age, they still had cooties, right? We crossed paths on a dirt road at Whitewater State Park and with the attraction we had for one another, we eventually exchanged phone numbers. I recall giggling, a lot, for no apparent reason. I was a little girl, I mean c'mon! We became good friends; we spent long hours on the phone just sharing stories and laughing about lame jokes. Believe me, our parents were not happy about the phone bill. Our friendship progressed, and we started dating when I was 17. I didn't know what it was to love someone, to care so deeply, to give selflessly.. to fall in love with someone until a year and a half into our relationship. We dated for six years before he proposed to me. This was a step that was carefully considered, knowing that we were so certain we wanted to spend the rest of our lives, make every big decision with, and to go to sleep and wake up next to each other every morning.. is there anything bigger than the love of two people who were about to get married? I didn't think so..

Fast forward a few more years, we're married three and a half years now and we have a two-year-old son. Being a parent has been one of the most rewarding job hands down. When he was born, it was so tough; he'd cry and I'd cry. Watching him grow was so incredible to watch.. when he took that first step, when he said his first word (and no it wasn't "mommy"), when he first used the toilet, when he fell and had to get stitches, when he first slept in his big boy bed, all of it. I couldn't be more happy to be his mom, that person he turns to when he's scared or sad or just wants to be held and loved. My parents were totally right--I didn't know what love was until I had my very own kid. I'm not saying that I love my son more than my husband, but the love I experienced as a parent is so much different than when I fell in love with my husband. We're both so in awe with our kid so it's not just me. Even during the times when I'm short with my son and I'd yell or when I put him in timeout for being a bad boy, I don't stop loving him when I discipline him. I always make sure he knows that. I sit him down afterwards and tell him that I still love him and why I had to put him in timeout. 

Lastly, this thought made me realize one important thing, how much God loves me. His love is so unconditional that no matter how many mistakes I've made or how much I've sinned, he didn't stop loving me. Even during the toughest times of my life when I turned away from Him and blamed Him for everything that had gone wrong in my life, He didn't leave me. God has a plan for me and with his love and guidance, I can accomplish anything ahead of me. It's so great. As parents, we love our children so very much and want what's best for them. As children of God, I can't even begin to imagine how great His love is. There is no greater love.

Love each other as I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. - John 15:12-13

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