I started my family fairly young. I met my future husband when I was just nineteen, married right before my twenty-first birthday, and by the time I was twenty-three I was a mother twice over. It was a wonderful surprise, actually: I wasn't a girl who dreamed of getting married and having babies, but God had plans for me, and I'm happy with how it turned out. J and C are both now in their mid-twenties, through with their undergraduate work, and are beautiful, talented young women. If you've been around me for a while, you've probably heard me talking about them, and yes, I'm really proud of them both.
So, when I told my friends and family at my church about J becoming a mother, they decided to show how much they loved me (and my beloved J) by throwing a shower! And since J is in Denver and I'm in Raleigh, I got to be the proxy guest of honor. Cool! It's been a good number of years since I've been to a shower, and it was really fun to be inundated by beautiful and useful things for my future granddaughter. (Yes, it's a girl, name as yet to be revealed. I'll get back to you, I promise!)
Y'know what? I am very much loved. This is just another reminder of it.
It never ceases to amaze me, really. I grew up thinking that if I could work hard enough, be good enough, look pretty enough, be religious enough, that I could earn the love I needed. But no matter how hard I tried, it just didn't happen. There was always something I missed, something I didn't do well enough at, a standard beyond my reach. So, after a while, I pretty much gave up on the effort. I knew that I was a Christian, I knew that God had (for some strange reason) accepted me, but I felt like a second-class citizen. Never good enough.
It took Him years to get through to me that I was loved as-is. Not for what I might be someday, not for what I could do for Him, but just for being me. Quirks and all. Sometimes, I get angry, wondering what I did to deserve the bad things, the problems and stresses and griefs of life. But then I remember that I didn't do anything to deserve all the wonderful things I have, either. God is with me through all of it, and I am completely loved, no matter what. As the song says: