I ran into someone at the grocery store the other day.
It was an acquaintance of mine with whom I've not had a lot of interaction with since Joshua's death.
It was good to see this person even though the conversation was typical of the type of conversation between two people who don't know what to say to each other after so much time and heartache has passed.
During our conversation, they asked when I was due and if I knew what I was having.
I told this person that we are expecting Luke sometime in November. I also told this person that from everything we have seen, he seems to be perfectly healthy and we don't expect to have any problems after he is born.
This person was extremely excited to hear that all was well and that Luke is so close to arriving.
However, something at the end of the conversation struck me. One of the final words that were exchanged was "Well, as long as he's healthy, that's all that matters."
As I thought about that statement as well as our experience with an extremely unhealthy baby, I couldn't help but think how untrue that statement is.
Don't get me wrong. I want more than anything for my baby, or any baby for that matter, to be perfectly healthy, but does their healthiness determine our excitement, anticipation, and love for him?
Joshua was born with a half of a heart. Caleb and Hannah were born completely healthy. My love for all 3 of my children, I would consider, was the same. If anything, I loved Joshua with a fierceness and intensity that I had not yet experienced because we truly didn't know how much time we would have with him. (and that fierceness and intensity has since overflowed to Caleb, Hannah, and Luke since in reality, we never know how long we have with our children- healthy or not!)
Yes, I was devastated to hear that Joshua was sick and that his chances of survival were so slim. Yet, it didn't matter. He was my child. He was created in love, put together perfectly in my womb by a God who knew the number of days ordained for him. It didn't matter if he was healthy or not. I loved him and he was mine.
This statement didn't offend or hurt me in any way, but it caused me to think. What does matter when it comes to a mother's love for her child?
My answer? Nothing.
Nothing matters. Our children are a gift. We love them despite themselves. We love them no matter what or who they become. We love them despite imperfections. We love them deeply and fully. Of course we want the best for them, but no matter what, they are ours and they have our love.
And that, my friends, is just a small taste of God's love for us. A love that run deep for us, no matter what!