I spoke to a wonderful group of people today - the Sonshiner's Club at Southside Baptist Church. They are a group of older men and women who truly love God. I just love that generation and I have so much respect for what they have been through and what they have seen.
Since it was their February meeting, they asked me to share my "love story." The lady who called to ask me said she knew that we had a story of love and they wanted to hear it.
I thought about this today as I drove there. It's interesting that they would say "love story" because that usually conjures up thoughts of a man and woman and their relationship. But, I realized something on the way there today.
I didn't truly understand the meaning of love until I became a mother.
I didn't know what selfless love looked like. I didn't know what it meant to put my needs behind everyone else's needs. I didn't know what it meant to worry as you held a sick baby during the night. I didn't know what it meant to have your heart melt when your child said "mommy" for the first time. I didn't know their scraped knees could make me feel so bad. I didn't know my three-year-old telling me "I love you" could make everything okay. I didn't know there was a love so powerful that my heart would hurt whenever my children hurt.
I didn't understand the heartbreaking pain of loving your child with every fiber of your being - and then losing her.
I didn't understand that kind of love until I became a mommy.
Then I thought of something else.
I didn't truly understand the love of Jesus until my daughter died.
Yes, I had been a Christian since I was a little girl and I had been raised in church. I knew Jesus loved us. For pete's sake, "Jesus Loves Me" is the first song you learn as a child in Sunday School.
But, I didn't understand his all-encompassing, unwavering love until Melissa died.
Because of his love for us, he sent his son to die for us. Because of that, my daughter is in Heaven. She is whole and she is happy. And because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour, I will be there too one day. With her. Death does not separate us forever.
Do you know what that means to a mother who has lost a child? That is hope beyond hope.
Then I think of the fact that he loves us more than anything. That one always gets me. How in the world can anyone love my children more than me??! I mean, I love them so much that I can't even put it into words.
But, he loves them more. That one just blows me away.
It makes me see Valentine's Day a little differently this year. It's not just a time for me to get all excited about what Chris is going to get me. :) It's a time to really think about that word love and what it means. It's a time to remember how much God loves us, and what He did to prove that love to us.