She comes running in from playing outside with her daddy and proudly presents her fistful of dandelions. “Let’s put them in a vase Mommy”.
She throws her arms around me after finally peeing on the potty (but before she wipes of course) and says, from her heart, “I love you Mommy”.
I overhear from the kitchen when she asks her daddy “Why is there Mother’s Day?” and then, after I hear whispering, she comes running in to give me a hug and kiss.
I know I’m getting back what I gave to my mom. The hyper-emotional, crying loudly to make sure I’m heard from the bedroom tantrums are familiar ground; it’s just not me doing it this time. In those moments I remember the first few weeks with Cora, the overflow of love as I held her, and realizing that is how my mom felt about me. My mom loves me with that breath-catching, tear-producing ache that I feel towards my daughter. It was, and is, an overwhelming realization to know that I am loved like that.
But it goes further. Not only does my mom, and dad, love me like that, but my Jesus loves me like that. My heavenly Father looks at me with a breath-catching, tear-producing ache of love that will never fade. Despite my adult tantrums (which honestly aren’t too different), despite my lack of patience or forgiveness towards others, God still loves me. He loves me enough to put it all on the line and endure hell so that I don’t have too.
And what do I have to give back to Him? Just me. Which seems trite, like my own fistful of dandelions. And yet, how precious to me are those dandelions wilting in a bud vase? As precious as my life surrendered is to the One who gave me life.