I never spent much time with babies until my sister and my sister-in-law started having kids. I had never really held a baby much less changed a diaper until about six or seven years ago. I got more comfortable with it over time and now I’m all pro; yesterday Clara’s first four diapers were poopy and I didn’t even bat an eye or plug my nose.
I love my nieces and nephew and cherish the time that we’ve spent together. I love talking to them and hanging out with them. When I see my sister’s kids they come running up and expect me to give them a giant hug, an expectation I am more than happy to meet.
There was always that moment, though, when no matter how much they loved me, they always wanted to go back to their mom or their dad. I could be holding them or playing with them, having an amazing time, and then a switch goes off and they want to go back to their parents.
Now that we have Clara, though, I’m always one of the people to whom she wants to return.
For the past few weeks Clara’s been going through a little separation anxiety. For most of her life we could pass her from person to person and she didn’t really care that much. She was more comfortable with those with whom she was more familiar, but she really didn’t seem to care who she was with.
Recently, though, she’s been clinging tightly to Alycia and me. She doesn’t want us to hand her off and, in situations with a lot of people, she never wants to let go of our hands. To be honest, after so many years of my nieces and nephew rejecting me, Clara’s affection feels pretty good.
In Psalm 18 David prays:
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
David was the apple of God’s eye, the center of God’s affection. All those years I spent bummed out because my nieces and nephew liked their parents more shouldn’t have bothered me. We should never be overly concerned about a lack of affection and attention from other people because we are the apple of God’s eye. God loves and he sent his Son to die for us. The hairs on our head are numbered and if given a choice he would choose us; he wants to be with us.
This can be encouraging for those of us who sometimes feel alone. Before I got married I always wondered if there was someone out there for me. I came to the realization that it didn’t matter if there was someone out there for me, because God was right here with me. I was the apple of God’s eye and he was everything I needed.
Obviously human relationships are important, but too often we wallow in a lack of those relationships, which distracts us from the sufficiency in our relationship with God. At some point Clara is going to go through a stage when she only wants her mom and then she’s going to go through a stage when she doesn’t want either of us. And even though I pray those seasons will be short, I’ll be able to weather them because God will still want me and choose me.