Where does the time go?
Last week I sent the kids back to school. Where did the summer go?
Last week I sent my oldest child to middle school! Where did the years ago?
I swear we brought her home from the hospital just last year! I remember looking at her, thinking, "I don't have a clue what I am doing! But oh my heavens do I love her!!" I loved her with a love I had never experienced before. I loved her instantly. I loved her with a love that was all consuming. I loved her unconditionally. It made no difference what she did or didn't do, how she would grow or who she would become, there was nothing that would ever change how much I loved her.
A few months ago she was a toddler (at least it feels like it was a few months ago) and life was messy. She was messy, the house was messy, I was messy. She had her share of temper tantrums, honestly, I had my share too! But it didn't change my love for her. I loved her with an all consuming love. I loved her unconditionally, even in the messy moments, even in the middle of her temper tantrums. It hurt me to see them, but it didn't make me love her any less.
Last month she was a preschooler. She seemed so big that first day of preschool, with hair in barrettes, clothes clean and pressed. She brought home art work that I couldn't decipher and writing I couldn't read, her work was FAR from perfect, but I loved it! I loved her! I loved her with a love that was all consuming. I loved her unconditionally. It didn't matter that her stick figures were missing most of their parts, while her peers were drawing far more detailed pictures. It didn't matter that language skills came harder for her. I was proud of what she drew, what she had accomplished and who she was. And her imperfect attempts didn't make me love her any less.
Last week she started kindergarten. She was officially a big kid now. Some of the school work was hard for her. She wasn't the smartest kid in class, she wasn't the fastest or funniest or coolest. But I loved her just the same. I loved her with a love that was all consuming. I loved her unconditionally. It didn't matter that other kids won amazing awards, or were recognized for stellar performance. I didn't love Isabella any less when she didn't get the accolades or honors.
Yesterday Isabella started middle school. Through the years I have gotten to know her better. I know more of her inner thoughts, her fears, and her feelings. And she knows me better. Our relationship is changing. She is starting to see me as a person and not just her mom. She knows what my dreams are and I know what hers are. She knows what I am scared of, what keeps me up at nights, and I know the same about her. Though we are closer now, I don't LOVE her anymore. I still love her with a love that is all consuming, just like I loved that baby. I love her with a love that is unconditional, just like I loved that messy toddler. I love her now, just like I loved that preschooler and school-ager.
Our relationship has changed over the years, but my love for her hasn't.
The same can be said for our Heavenly Father. I don't know where you are in your spiritual journey. I don't now whether you are at the infant stage of your faith or the toddler stage; maybe you have a school-age faith or maybe you have a mature adult faith. Whatever stage you find yourself in, your Heavenly Father loves you. He loves you with an all consuming love. He loves you with an unconditional love. He loves you even when you are messy. He loves you even when your very best work just doesn't compare to others around you. He loves you even when you are not the smartest, funniest or coolest. He loves even when others are winning awards and your work looks like kindergarten work. He doesn't love you more the more mature or further in your faith you get. Your relationship with Him will change, but His love doesn't.
It doesn't matter if you have the faith of an infant, toddler, preschooler, school-ager or someone more mature. He always has and always will love you. He loves you with an all consuming, unconditional love.