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Friday, November 10, 2006

More Love

I longed for the days of chauffeuring kids to football practice, cheerleading practice, and confirmation classes to be over. I longed for peace and quiet in the house, but when it happened, it wasn’t as glamorous as I had dreamed. When I was alone and shopping, my head still turned when I heard a child call, “Mom.” The roaring sound of a VW Baja Bug in the night still woke me from a deep sleep because it made me think of my daughter, and I still winced when I heard the racing of a motor cycle because I thought it could be my son. I missed my kids, and I prayed for them. I prayed a lot. I filled the quiet evenings with knitting, reading and writing, and I took vacations to British Columbia and across the United States in our motor home with my husband. Yet nothing filled the void that came when my kids left home. When I called them, it hurt to know that they were too busy to talk to me. Why didn’t they miss me as much as I missed them? When my emotions got the best of me, I thought there was something wrong with me or my faith.
On a Sunday several years after my youngest left home, our pastor held a precious baby for dedication. “If you would like to hold him,” he said, “he’s usually in our nursery. And there are more babies that need loving arms.”
“I have loving arms,” I said to myself, “and I love holding babies.” I signed up, and I looked forward to the Sundays when it was my turn to work in the nursery.
After my grandchildren were born, I loved holding them and giving my children the welcome breaks they needed to go shopping or out to eat. But I still felt lonely and empty when they left. At church a need for Sunday school teachers was announced. “If you want to know more of God’s love,” the pastor said, “just show up for Sunday school. His love will come through these kids to you.” I considered what he said, and questioned if this was what I needed – more love. I could handle more love, I thought, and I showed up to teach Sunday school.
A whole new world opened for me. Like little cherubs arriving on the scene, the children blessed and continue to bless me with their love. Their simple faith inspires me to trust God more. It’s fun for me to think of ways I can make Sunday school more meaningful. Through Bible stories and games that apply Godly principles, we learn the basics of our faith and how we can please God.
The children give me something I can look forward to and things I can pray for. We experience more of God’s love through our interaction with each other, and together we are building a better tomorrow by focusing on our faith in God and using it to make a positive difference in our world and our future.

5 comments:

Nellie said...

This is a well written piece. I feel as if I can really understand what the author is saying. Like we have a strong bond. My days for carting kids to practice and cheerleading, and of kids driving their own vehicles are still ahead of me, yet I know the yearning for peace and quiet and of a moment alone while shopping (for myself). In addition, I know the feeling of "more love" when it comes to the children. To see my little ones smile or giggle, brings me great joy. The children teach me new things everyday. Not just my own children, but others' as well. Our children are true gifts (although sometimes it feels like a full time job with lots of overtime and no two weeks of paid vacation). Their smiles are payment for a job well done.

Diane said...

Hi Sue, I love your story. I can relate to some extent even though our child has not left the nest yet (atleast physically) I want to know the goings on in his life, but don't want to feel as if I'm prying. To some extent they leave before they are even gone. I too remember the voice of need, and thought I would never have a moment of peace. Gee, I never thought I would miss that.
Just know that you are loved and appreciated by all your family no matter how busy we get!

DiDo said...

Your post spoke to the emptiness that I too experiece now my children have made independent lives for themselves and left me with an empty nest. In fact when my last one left, my husband also said he was done with our 39 year marriage! Like you I sought a spiritual healing knowing that is what I needed. So I turned to my church and became a volunteer in the nursery. The joy when one of those little ones recognizes me for the first time, or accomplishes a small milestone, is unbelievable. Has it taken the empty feeling away completely? No, rather it has placed a warm embrace around the empty next syndrome and allowed me to give more of myself to others. Jesus at work.
Great post Ms. Sue!

daspin said...

This was a good piece Sue. I could relate to how God grants us comfort through caring for other children in various setting. Teaching Sunday school and ministering to the kids at Juvenile hall for years has also provided a welcome nurturing outlet for me as a single woman.
Thanks for sharing your heart!

G. Scott said...

All I can say is WOW. Very inspiring.