Before I met my husband, there was a man I was interested in but there was a complication: he had a five-year-old daughter. And, I wasn’t interested in becoming a step mother. I wanted to have my own kids. And from my vantage point, becoming a part of that biological puzzle would mean that I wouldn’t have a place in that family, and I didn’t like that—at all. The little girl already had a mom, which would—in my estimation—totally leave me out of having any purpose. So, how could I fully love a little girl who wasn’t mine?
One afternoon, I knelt on the floor to pray and I complained to the Lord, “But God, she already has a mom.” And then suddenly, it was as if the Lord pressed a simple message into my heart, “Yes, but I am her Father. That’s why she has value. That’s why she deserves love.” I realized that it didn’t matter if she already had a mother. The only thing that mattered was that she belonged to Jesus.
The relationship with that man didn’t work out, but the lesson I learned in my little apartment that day stayed with me: all people are valuable and should be loved for one reason. . . God made them. And because that lesson stayed with me, it has served me well in my new role as a wife and bonus mom to five grown kids. These wonderful young adults have a mom and I would never want to take her place. It’s a role of honor God has reserved for her alone. But, I love them because God loves them. He made them. That’s why they have value. And besides that, I think they are all pretty awesome.
Keeping my heart open to loving the way God loves has helped in ways I could have never anticipated. And it has resulted in blessings I could have never imagined. For example, yesterday I became a first-time grandmother when my sweet bonus daughter, Allie, gave birth to a precious baby boy. (Oh, what a beautiful yesterday!)
As my husband and I drove to the hospital around 12 AM, I cried. Then, when we entered the hospital room, I cried. And when I got to hold our new cutie, I cried some more. God is redemptive. And He is good.
But what would have happened if I had allowed hatred or fear into my heart? What if I had rejected my new family? I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed laughter during family holidays, sharing stories, prayers, and I would have missed this beautiful moment yesterday when I got to look into the eyes of my new grandbaby for the first time.
Okay, so maybe you aren’t considering becoming a part of a blended family. Maybe you aren’t dating someone with children. But without a doubt, there will come a time when God will call on you to love someone you find difficult to love. He will ask you to put yourself out there. And it will be uncomfortable, and maybe you’ll even dislike the whole scenario—strongly. But remember one thing before you give into virtues lesser than love. . . people have value because God made them. Period.
And you are valuable because God made you. Don’t forget it.