Photo Credit: Shelby Deeter
By Rashele Birmingham
19 April, 2017
It is difficult to understand God’s love for us; almost impossible to really comprehend it with the human intellect. How could such an all powerful being love and care for me? How is it that God loves me even when I am ungrateful, selfish, and have strayed from Him on many occasions?
When reflecting on my own life, I have realized I did not truly believe that God loved me until I became a mother. Praise be to God for my husband and our children. It has been in these moments that I have had a glimpse of understanding:
The moment that I reached down and pulled our firstborn baby girl onto my chest and looked at her sweet face and already trusting eyes.
The fact that carrying babies inside my womb had permanently changed my body in ways that no amount of physical therapy can put back together, and the realization that I would do it all over again to bring life to another little soul.
The moment that all tiredness and selfishness evaporates in the duty to stay up all night with a sick child.
The moment that our second was born and our love instantly grew; somehow we could love her without taking away from the love we had for our first child.
The agonizing hours that I held our second daughter in my arms as she cried and cried and cried. I learned the true meaning of compassion as I suffered alongside her.
The moment that I realized no matter how demanding our children are, it does not diminish my love for them.
The moment that I have to discipline our toddler, watch the tears stream down her face, and count the seconds until her time out is over so I can wipe her tears and kiss her cheeks.
The moment when I realized how much I love our children despite the countless times I have repeated lessons that have not been grasped.
The moment I look at my husband’s face, weary and tired at the end of a long day, as he smiles and sings our toddler’s favorite song to her before bed.
The realization that losing a child from this world would be heart wrenching, but the thought of them being anywhere besides with Jesus in heaven is so painful it is unthinkable. “Not my babies; please Lord, keep them close to You and give them a great love for Your Church.” Oh, the pain that we must cause Jesus when we sin and stray from Him.
It has been these moments that God has given me just a glimpse of what His love is like; even though this pales in comparison to His love, it is a way of understanding that my humanness can grasp.
Just like parents give their children rules and guidance so as to help them avoid the pitfalls of life, our God and His Church give us rules and guidance so as to help us avoid eternal damnation. We need to trust in God’s goodness, and when we feel we are lacking in love we can learn by example from the Saints. In particular, St. Therese (who knew we cannot love God as He loves us) asks of God, “For me to love You as You love me, I would have to borrow Your own love.”
And so my prayer is, “Come, Holy Spirit, fire of mercy. Teach me to pray with my whole heart. Jesus I trust in you.”
Rashele Birmingham is a Catholic, wife, mother, and Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department of a large hospital. She and her husband are focused on raising their children and promoting a Catholic culture in the home. Rashele enjoys sunshine, hiking, all things family oriented, playing piano, making healthy food taste delicious, and action movies. Be sure to watch for her new website soon to be launched, featuring healthy food and healthy living: thenourishedfamily.com