"I thought about the whole notion of "reproduction," and what it really means to replicate yourself. Is it merely about the passing on of eyes and chins and hair color? Or is it, rather, the replication of the heart? Do we leave a bigger mark by passing on our genes, or our thoughts?"~ Shannon Woodward, author ofInconceivable: Finding Peacein the Midst of Infertility ~
Tick tock, tick tock. If I listen carefully I’m sure I’ll hear the unmistakable sound of my biological clock ticking away. Not foghorn loud of course but loud enough to remind me that Ill never see twenty-five again (except as some sort of anniversary maybe). I know I’m far from over the hill but I had always envisioned having a family at a young age. However, my mothering instincts are not wasted since I am the oldest of six daughters (yep lots of estrogen in my household :D).
My youngest sister, Arielle is eight years old. When she was born I was just out of high school and I remember taking care of her for the first few months of her life while I was looking for a job. Not exclusively, of course but I was her unofficial nanny. I fed her, bathed her, took her for walks and defended her still bald head. I read books and agonized over when she should begin eating solid foods; planned her daily menus and so on. It’s not that my mother was neglectful or unloving but my heart clave to the child and instead of being hers she was ours.
Recently Arielle raised her hands in church when our Pastor asked for those wanting to be baptized. I was so happy. No just for the obvious reasons but I remembered something that the Lord had spoken to me the year before. In our yearly thanksgiving service someone had remarked that seeing us together they could easily believe that I’m her mother or some such thing. Laughing she had thrown her arms around me and cried “Mama”. I laughed myself but in the wake of the moment the Lord spoke to me saying that, in fact, that is what I was to her. Not biologically, but spiritually He had entrusted the care and development of this child to me. I was impressed with the seriousness of this responsibility and resolved to do my best. That little upraised hand was a signal to me that inspite of my own failings He was still able to move in the life of this child. She has a lot of life left to live but I’m assured that right now she is on the right path
I may never have kids of my own but the influence that I have in my sister’s lives (both my parents are unsaved) and the difference I have made in them by just making sure they go to church and listen God’s word has been rewarding. I may never look into a young pair of eyes and see my own but I think the best part of being a parent is the molding of a young heart to be just like Christ’s. What’s more important than that?