My husband and I went to dinner this week at Outback to celebrate my getting hired at a new job. My mother watched our twin girls, so it was nice to go out on a date just the two of us. During our conversation, I told him that it's easy for me to love him. From the moment I first met him, I fell in love with him and as our relationship has progressed, my love has grown stronger and deeper. With our girls it's not the same way. I feel like loving them is a lot of work and I wish I loved them like I hear other parents talk about loving their children ("the first moment I saw them I never knew a love like that existed," "I couldn't imagine loving someone more than I loved my spouse,"...blah blah blah).
You see, when I delivered my girls, they were immediately taken to the NICU because of their being born 5 weeks early. So, I delivered Audrey first, they let me kiss her head and then I delivered Grace, kissed her head and then they had to finish up some things with me before I was taken back to my birthing suite. My girls went to the NICU with my husband while I was wheeled back to the room to recover and rest. My husband took many trips to the NICU with various family members to show off our girls. The nurses in the NICU took pictures of the girls for me to see since it would be awhile before I was physically capable of going to see them. When Brandon brought me the pictures, he set them on my lap and said, "Aren't our girls beautiful?" I looked at the pictures and right away replied, "No, they aren't" and I thought that. Audrey was making fish lips and bug eyes, Gracie had scrunched up her forehead and looked like an old man. What's funny is that as soon as I delivered the girls, Brandon's eyes were glued to them. He instantly fell in love - me...not so much. It has taken lots of time for me to fall in love with them and oftentimes I still struggle with loving them unconditionally and I wish it wasn't such work for me to love them.
After I told Brandon how I felt, He asked me a very important question, "Do you think that's how God feels about us? That we take lots of work to love sometimes?" With that question, I began to realize that God loves me even when it's hard to love me, when I am not acting loveable towards Him, when I am doing things that anger Him, disappoint Him or even against Him - yet, He loves me the same as when I do things that honor, delight and glorify Him. He doesn't love me just for what I will become, but who I am now. So, with that being said, I am praying that He teaches me to love my girls the same way - right where they are at, when they frustrate me and when they delight me...unconditionally.