Friday, August 4, 2017

Because We Are His (or ALL THESE BOYS!)

You will no longer be called “Forsaken”…
But you will be named my Delight…
For the Lord delights in you.
-Isaiah 62:4-5

Two years ago when I was seven months pregnant with our youngest, Michael, I wrote a post (more like a rant) entitled, Comments to Mothers of All Boys.  I shared about the bizarre, sometimes hurtful, and always unsolicited opinions I received from the individuals I encountered upon their discovery that I was pregnant with yet another boy.  Surely I had been hoping for a girl, right?!  Were we trying for a girl?  Would we try again after this baby was born and maybe next time get that coveted girl?  And on and on it went.  And these comments were made in front of my sons!

One dear friend and reader, who is older and wiser than I, suggested coming up with a simple song to sing to the boys— a way to speak God’s truth over them and to show them how special they are to us.  And that we wouldn’t have picked any other children for our family!

I am neither a composer nor a lyricist, but I took the plunge knowing how profound truths can be cemented in young brains through a simple song.  Here is what I came up with to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”:

“All These Boys”

All these boys,
All these boys.
I love them,
I love them.
God picked each one for me,
I’m so happy, can’t you see?
With all these boys,
All these boys.

Yep, that’s it, my one and only song I’ve ever written.  And it is the boys’ favorite song.  They absolutely light up when they hear it.  Why?  Because they know they are cherished when I sing it to them.  And why are they cherished?  Because they belong to me.  Not because I prefer boys.  Not because they’re perfect.  But simply because they are mine.  God entrusted these precious lives to Meade and me.

What does this mean for each one of us?  Just as I take great delight in John’s belly laugh, Daniel explaining his latest, highly detailed drawing (of some type of vehicle of course), Andrew tucking his arms in when we fold him into a big hug, or watching Michael wave goodbye and blow kisses, I am beginning to understand what it means, and the difference it could make in my life, to truly grasp the love our Father has for us. 

Honestly, even as I type that last sentence, I feel like a hypocrite.  I rarely grasp how much God loves me. (As an aside, I really don’t want y’all to come away from this thinking I’m the perfect mom.  I wrote one song.  I fail every single day.  I feel like the worst mom much of the time.  I crave alone time.  Hours fly by as my sons’ eyes are glued to the TV.  Just want to keep it real!)  Anyway, I struggle to allow the truth of God’s relentless love to permeate my life and outlook.  I know I am not alone in this struggle or with the lies our enemy feeds us. 

Christ’s love can feel intangible, too good to be true, unmerited, or lofty.  But I get a little glimpse with my boys and how much I cherish them, despite my shortcomings.  I think we need to shift our perspective of God’s sacred, consuming, and pursuing love.  It is not just an elevated version of how we care for ourselves, nor is it even close to our feeble attempts to “give ourselves grace,” as a good friend may urge.  God doesn’t love as we do; He is not harsh as we are harsh with others and ourselves.  His love isn’t based on our intentions, attitude, or achievements.  And yet, we do get a glimpse with our earthly relationships and the love that swells.  Nevertheless, God’s love goes so very far beyond that.

Undoubtedly, it is difficult to grasp.  Fortunately, the Lord’s love isn’t based on our finite understanding.  It is there regardless.  He loves us simple because we are His.  He calls you His Delight, His Beloved, a pearl of great price. He gives us His name, His covering.  He rejoices over us.  His steadfast mercies never fail; His love endures forever.  As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our missteps and failures from us.  Even when we cannot grasp it, and, despite the fact that we see in a mirror dimly, His love remains.

The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
the Mighty Warrior who saves;

he will take great delight in you,

he will renew you in his love;
he will rejoice over you with singing.
-Zephaniah 3:17

A few closing remarks:

I am very secure in my boy mom status these days.  I love it (good thing I was a tomboy as a child).  I am no longer caught off guard by the comments about my band of brothers, and now I typically cut people off at the pass when they ask how many children I have.  I smile and chuckle as I say, “I have 4 children and they’re all boys!  It is wild, and we love it!”  If I think they are up for it (or for added shock value), I may even tell them I have 5.  :)

I am beyond grateful for the older, wiser friend who encouraged me to come up with that simple song.  I would strongly encourage you all to invest in intergenerational relationships.  What a gift we have if we only take advantage of the people God has placed all around us!   If you don’t know anyone, I’m sure you can find a mentoring program at your church or just ask someone there to grab a cup of coffee.

Lastly, ALL human life has value, regardless of gender or ability.  Why?  Because we are His.