Elizabeth Stone said, “Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” It resonates deeply with me, and you, if you are a parent.
As I was putting Luke to bed last night, I listened to him tell stories and pray. I held him tightly, overwhelmed with love for him. I could almost see how my heart is tethered to his. I could feel the piece of my heart that will be forever inside him.
It’s a part of me that I daily offer to him as I continually cover his heart with my own. It’s there no matter how much he tests me or disobeys me or frustrates me. It whispers, “Be loved, more than you can ever comprehend. Be protected, no matter what this world throws at you. Be blessed, as far as this life carries you.”
This is what it means to be a parent.
This is why before a mother takes her last breath, she tells her son that he will always carry a piece of her in his heart. It’s not a cliché. It is an undeniable truth.
This bond is a miracle. There is no other word for it.
I wonder sometimes if Luke and Joshua will ever be able to comprehend how deep my love runs for them. How can they ever understand how much I am willing to sacrifice for them? How, even when I leave this earth, this part of myself I’ve given to them will remain?
There is a bond that a parent has with their child that can never be dissolved. Not by time, distance, or even estrangement. It is so powerful and deep that not even death can sever it.
How much deeper God’s bond is with us, his children.
It endures when we are faithless, feeling as if we can never be redeemed or reconciled with a perfect, and what often feels distant, God. Just as we give ourselves to our children, he has forever given us a piece of his own heart. It’s something he does without hesitation, just as we do for our own children every day without fail. It’s a love that says, “I would die for you if it ever comes to it,” and he proves himself true to his word.
It whispers, “Be loved, beyond what your mind and heart can conceive. Be protected, because no matter how much others may hurt you, I am here to shelter you and give you refuge. Be strong, because no matter how many hard falls you take or how powerless you feel, I’m strong enough for the both of us. Be blessed, because though trouble may follow you in this life, I am always here to give you exactly what you need.”
Look at your children with that overwhelming love that uniquely bonds your heart to theirs.
Witness the same miracle he has given you.
His love for you runs deep, friend.