From the time he was little, I have tried to let my son know that he is a blessing to our family. That without him our family would be missing something.
“What would I do without you?” I would sometimes ask him.
“I don’t know.” He would say.
“I would have no little boy to read to, or tuck in bed, or tickle until he laughs,” I would say. Or something similar to let him know he was loved.
One day, when he was around 6 or 7, we were in the kitchen together and I asked him if he knew how much I loved him? “No,” he teased.
“Well bigger than this toaster. Bigger than this kitchen.” I said.
“Bigger than our town?” he asked.
“Oh yes. Bigger than our town. Even bigger than our state.”
“Bigger than the world?”
“Bigger than the universe,” I said.
And then I asked. “What would I do without you?”
And for the first time he didn’t even hesitate. he said, “Without me you would be sitting around the house all day just crying.”
I was a bit surprised. “I would?”
“Yup. Because your heart would have a big hole in it and you would be sad.”
I smiled and glanced at his sincere face that was waiting for an answer.
Now rationally I knew I would not be sitting around crying 24/7 without him, and I almost opened my mouth to tell him, and then I stopped.
“You are right,” I said. “Without you I would be crying all day with a big hole in my heart.”
He smiled and walked away. Content in my love for him.
Later that week when I told the story to a friend she asked why I hadn’t told him the truth? Was I giving him the wrong idea by not letting him know his older sister filled part of the hole in my heart? Wasn’t I promoting a mistruth by letting him think I really would be sitting around all day crying if I hadn’t had him?
I told her that of course I would not be sitting around crying all day, but wasn’t it sweet that he thought I would?
Over time I thought about her words. Should I have corrected him? Should I have promoted something not entirely accurate?
And the more I thought about it, the more I knew I did the right thing.
Because when it comes down to it, we all want to feel loved. Needed. A necessary part of a bigger group or family. We want to feel that without us, others would be sad, their life a little less bright. It’s a desire we are born with and one we die with.
I had a childhood friend who was told she was a mistake as she was growing up. The reason of her parent’s marriage. That if her mom had not gotten pregnant with her, then her parents would not have had to marry and their life would have been so much better.
What a heavy burden for a child to carry. What harsh words to weigh upon her soul and identity. What a sad message those words conveyed to her.
Who wants to be told they are not necessary? That they ruined other people’s lives? That the world would be a little brighter and nicer without them?
No one should ever hear these words.
But some people do.
And some people have.
And if you one of those people, then my heart breaks for you. And I want you to know that those words were a lie. They were selfish. They were pulling life from you, not nourishing you. No child should ever be told they do not matter. No one of any age should hear these words. These words are not a blessing. They are a curse.
Because when it comes down to it, we all want to know we are needed. A necessary part of the world. A blessing to those around us.
The tiny newborn needs to feel and hear they are wanted and precious. The picky eater playing with their Legos and learning to count needs to know how valuable they are to the family and how much they are loved. The teen with a defiant attitude and earbuds in their ears needs to know they are a blessing and joy. The mom who feels she is failing as a mom and is at a loss as how to get her child to eat some vegetables needs to hear how valuable she is. The man who is worried about providing for his family and connecting with his kids needs to be told that he is loved heart and soul. The worker who can’t seem to please their boss and doesn’t feel like they fit in with their coworkers needs to hear they are part of the team and needed for more than their output. The person in a wheelchair that feels like life is moving on without them needs to feel they are valuable and loved no matter their abilities. The 92-year old neighbor whose kids rarely visit needs to know she makes a difference.
We all need to know we are special, that we make a difference, that we are loved unconditionally, and always will be. That others delight in us and enjoy us.
Our enemy wants us to doubt the love from others, to feel negated, and not needed. Most of all he wants us to doubt God’s love for us. He wants us to ultimately believe we are unlovable ad steal our joy and hope. Because if we think we are unlovable we isolate our self from others. We don’t love others and they can’t love us.
If we really knew the deep love that God has for us, nothing could stop us. Nothing. It is the most important thing in the world. The most powerful, motivating, and life changing thing. God is love. Always and Forever. He will love us because it is his nature. He can’t help but love us. And that is a wonderful thought.
He sees us through eyes of love. He sees us as valuable, necessary, and wonderfully made. He uses many terms of endearments to proclaim his love for us. We are his beloved, his children, his treasure.
Remember this fierce love he has for you, now and forever. Especially on dark and long days.
No matter what anyone has ever said or told you. You are valuable and necessary. Without you the world would most certainly be a little darker, a little sadder.
Believe this. Live like you are loved. Like you do make a difference. Because you do.
Now, go tell someone today how much you love them. That they make your world brighter.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important!
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Join the Discussion: What makes you feel loved?