A few weeks ago, I was making dinner for a family in our church that has been dealing with some undiagnosed health struggles. My daughter came in to ask what I was doing, and as I explained the situation to her, I thought to myself, “I want them to know this was important to me. I want them to remember that their mama loved people.” There are so many things in our days that I hope they don’t remember as the big issues of life. I hope they don’t remember that I sometimes love my sleep more than I love them. And sometimes, I seem like I love my clean house more than I love them. As I finished cooking, I continued to mull over this thought. What do I really want them to remember about me? I do want them to remember that I love people. But what if their gifting doesn’t lend them to hospitality and service? What if people are tiring and loving others is a challenge to them? I still want them to remember that I loved people, but there’s more.
I want them to know that I loved them. Hard. I hope they know that I loved them more than I ever knew was possible in my body. But, even that is not enough. Because while I hope they know that they are loved by me for every breath they take, what about the day that I am gone? What does that leave them with beyond a memory? A legacy, I hope. A love that teaches them how to love others, and builds confidence in them; I pray it gives them that. But will that change their life? Give them strength and vision for their hard days and the calling God puts on their life? Maybe in some ways.
But still, my love is not enough for them. But there is a love that is. And that is what I hope they remember, and know without a shadow of a doubt. I hope that one day, when they think about their mama, they can say, “My mama? She loved Jesus. With everything she had. Loving Jesus made her love us, and other people, and our daddy with strength only He can give. She loved us, and sometimes she yelled, and sometimes she chose the wrong things, and she wasn’t perfect. But she loved Jesus.”
I hope that one day my kids want to be like me. I hope I give them an example they want to follow. But if He calls my sweet girl to a life of singleness and missionary life in another country, I don’t want her to be floundering for how to live life because she just wanted to love her kids like her mama did. And if my boy is introverted and struggles to love people, I don’t want him to feel like he’s failing. I hope and pray that they go after Jesus with all their heart, soul and strength. That they can say to themselves “In living this life, I’m gonna love Jesus. No matter what. Just like my mama did.”