I’m the ‘baby’ of the fam.. what that means is you often feel “special” when you grow up… and even when your don’t feel special- you feel special because your have a lot of favor, with everyone in the fam. For this reason I’ve favored, I believe ‘special relationships” have always been like really important to me. Growing up, I would try to make every kid I know feel special… especially the little friends I had who were easily hurt by words because they didn’t look like everyone else, smell like everyone else, or have a family like everyone else.
The ‘friends’ I knew would be people lI found time to be kind to because I knew they didn’t have the same resources I had, or seemed lonely. My mother noted that when young, I was really compassionate. I didn’t understand how people who had so many needs could be treated so unkind by others. It just didn’t seem fair. And so, whenever I could, I would try to smile or talk to them and just be a kind face and notice them. My mother taught me the importance of kindness. She was a teacher, and would take me to school sometimes with her and she’s show me how to treat the kids kindly – because some of them had special needs, in her classroom setting. I learned how to be considerate of others, very young. My mother didn’t know, (or perhaps she did know) that I was a “social worker in the making.”
Family was important to me when i small, and still is important. Several of my siblings are compassionate. I have a sibling who have bee pastors, another who’s been a coach, and several who are social workers in my family. When I was little my big brothers and sister were ‘everything’ to me. This ‘specialness’ I found came with certain privileges- and because of the privileges – I’ve always was wanted to be around them, up under them, would try to sleep in my brothers rooms often and my sisters , too…at times. Some would call it spoiled, other would call it ‘well-loved’.. and whatever it was , i’m learning today, it was really ok. It didn’t ruin me. This kind treatment showed me how to love on’ folk. And that was just plain ole’ goodness.
I remember most of this goodness as being special memories with my family- how as a family we’d go on long car rides to the country ; and go to cabins in the woods ; trip rides to LaGrange, GA and do things together as a fam… because that was family to us. I just loved being with my family.
Family was so special, It never occurred to me that one day I wouldn’t have my own biological children. I am grateful for those who have become family, for me and weren’t even related to me. My womb did not naturally produce my own children, and this is huge. I have what i consider to be “children” who are mine, and others have birthed – yet they are my kids, because spiritually I’ve played a huge part in their development. ( They may not know it, but I’ve been there.) There’s a scripture in the Bible that says: “more are the children of the desolate one-she will have many more children.”Galatians 4:7 This means something to me. (It means I have more children than I really know.)
I searched the word ‘desolate’ & it led me to the word agape. Agape means a “God-kind of love”- in the purest sense of the word it means the highest kind of love you can give humans. I had to pause here, because it made me think less about what I didn’t have, and although children were never born from my womb; the children I couldn’t have – gave me a greater love that was borne for those who needed it, perhaps even more than those born with their naturals parents. And “crossed my paths” they did! Crazy . Inasmuch as I would have loved to have bio children, the blessing of not having children has made me more spacious for welcoming and cherishing and inviting more ‘children ‘ in – more space to love on and be warm and kind to those who come across my path to nurture more fully.
Agape love is a love that’s redemptive; lasting and eternal. It’s more than enough. Hmm…Fits perfectly.
Grateful to know God chose me as His ‘carrier’ of such love. I’m definitely feeling the impact and the grace it’s left over these 54 years of life and in my profession, ministry and life path. As a teacher, professor a social worker, chaplain, leader, diversity trainer, missionary, therapist and life coach… life has shown ‘my children’ to have so much more because I had the precious time to invest in them.