When I’m in the car, I often listen to the radio. If I’m alone, I crank it up loud and sing along– I’m talking air drums, hand motions, the works. If I have my little one in the car, it’s a different story all together. With him in the car, I try to create a more relaxing, quiet environment. Car rides often occur close to afternoon nap time, which leads me to cross my fingers in hopes that he will doze off and snooze for a while as we run errands.
On the way home one evening, over an hour past my boy’s bedtime, I opened up my Spotify app and clicked on my Contemporary Christian Hits playlist. Soft, easy music with positive messages– just what I want my little one to hear as he snoozes.
“How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan came on and I began to sing along quietly, not getting too amped for fear of waking my sleeping babe. He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane; I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind a mercy. I begin to focus on the words more than I had in years. I’ll be honest in saying that worship just hasn’t been doing it for me for a while… in the singing form. I’ve felt distant from God for a while. However, this night things changed a little.
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory. And I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me.
As I listened to these words, continuing to sing as I cruised through the dimly lit streets, it hit me. It’s weird to say, but I felt the Spirit in my car. At that moment, I finally knew what it meant to be loved by the Father. I have been a Christian for almost my entire life– attending church consistently from a very young age, volunteering often, going to camps. Decades of time spent listening to Christian music, taking notes during messages, attending small groups, and worshipping, before I realized that I didn’t fully understand the love of the Father until I became a mother.
The Father created us. He cares for us, encourages us, rewards us, and answers our prayers. He has compassion, sees our value, and listens to our stories. These are all things that I realized that I do now as a mom. Of course, my child is teeny so he’s not coming to me with his problems quite yet. However, I am his source of care and comfort, just as the Lord is to me.
I began to think about the love I had for my sweet sleeping babe in the backseat of my car. The emotions that I had no clue existed within me until I held him in my arms for the first time. I didn’t know I was capable of these feelings– this amount of love, joy, and overall contentment in life. I regularly daydream about his future. What choices will he make? Will I be able to guide him down the right path? What will I do if he goes astray? In a split second in the car, as I sang the words How He loves us, Oh how He loves us… I felt what the Father must feel when He thinks of us. The amount of love and joy (and sometimes disappointment) that must stream through His mind daily. The emotions really hit me. I admit that I even teared up a little.
True, complete, full, unconditional love. A love I knew existed but didn’t understand. Becoming a mother has taught me that I am so loved.