I’m definitely not the girl who “always wanted to be a mom”. I never owned a doll as a little girl, and never played with Barbies or any type of other doll. In fact, any time our church did a Christmas play, I begged them not to make me play Mary, because I didn’t want to “be pregnant” or “have a baby”. For some reason my young self was just so put off by the whole pregnancy and having babies thing.
Once, I was selected to be Mary in front of our class as a rehearsal, and I legitimately cried in front of everyone, because I was so embarrassed. My mom was there, and she and the teacher tried to console me and convince me it wasn’t real and just to pretend for a few minutes. Don’t ask why I was so terrified of being a “mother” or being seen as a mother, just know that I was not your typical little girl.
Yet, here we are. I’m in my late 20’s now, just a few weeks away from having my sweet baby girl. I guess I grew up a little and something changed along the way, because I couldn’t be more elated to become her mom.
I think it was when I was about 18 or 19 years old, that my heart took a turn.
As a teenager, I observed the world around me – my culture, and society. It was pretty broken. So much pain, darkness, suffering. It was clear that society was sick, and needed healing.
While I was noticing these things, I began to wonder what the root of all the sickness was.
What is causing this?
Why is it like this?
Why do things have to be this way?
I prayed and asked the Lord for wisdom, and for him to show me what he sees.
As time went on, I found that my heart was getting wrecked, in a totally unexpected way. It seemed that everywhere I went, I kept hearing, seeing, feeling the word family.
I didn’t understand it at first. Yet God kept speaking and I started to see his heart – and it blew me away.
I began to see the great value in the design of the family – mother, father, child.
I began to see the fruit of the breakdown of that design – broken hearts, wounded souls, shattered dreams, empty lives.
A huge part of his heart is for the restoration of the family in my society, in America, in the world.
What does every heart long for? What does every single person on this earth desire more than anything else, when you really dig down deep?
Love. Belonging. Security. Identity.
What happens when children grow up in broken homes?
The security isn’t there. There may be love – a little or a lot – or there may be everything opposite of love. They may feel that sense of belonging, or they may not. They may struggle to find their identity as they listen to who the world tells them they are.
What happens when people aren’t surrounded in a close community, but rather isolated and alone?
The same things.
I want to do my part to change this. I want to play my role, small as it may be, to change society. To shine a light on the value of the family. To bring little light-bearers into the world.
I want for every good couple I know who feels that longing to bring children into their loving and stable homes. I want to see godly families being built up everywhere. I want to see good people making more and more good people, and for all those people to start shifting the culture of our nation.
I view a solid family as the greatest possession a person can have on this earth. Those in loving and steady families are the richest people alive, and it has nothing to do with their bank account or tax bracket.
And it’s not just biological families.
To quote from one of our household’s favorite movies of all time: No one is a failure, who has friends. And by friends, I think they mean family. And by family, I think they mean those friends who may as well be blood-relatives. I think the two are interchangeable. I view my family as genuine friends, and my closest friends, as family.
In case you hadn’t noticed, our culture is not the most friendly toward big families. They’re often looked down upon and viewed as irresponsible, selfish, or lazy. “Another baby? Haven’t they heard of birth control?”
Society does not admire families with lots of kids. They’re obnoxious, loud, wild, and out of control. They’re a whirlwind, and a mess wherever they go. They are too much to handle.
And maybe some families are irresponsible, selfish, or lazy.
But I believe that underneath it all, God’s heart smiles on these families. He doesn’t see what the world sees. He is a very happy author, writing away a hundred different stories that will come from each little life. He’s connecting pieces and dots and people and places – weaving stories together in ways we will never know this side of heaven.
He loves the mess and the chaos, even when it makes tired moms and dads collapse in exhaustion. He gives grace and strength to keep going.
And one day, those tired moms and dads find themselves surrounded at a long table full of amazing people that they helped shape, in awe of what God has done.
Among many other things, it’s a dream of mine to have a big family. Whatever that looks like. It may be that I have a bunch of babies. It may be that we foster for years, or adopt. It may be that we just mentor those who come underneath our wing. It may look like a big house with a bunch of bedrooms, or it may look completely unconventional.
I want to raise up little people into God-fearing, wise, loving, confident, secure, successful individuals who change their world.
I want an army of little ones who do mighty things.
I want a group of warriors who bring light and life wherever they go, and send darkness running.
I want to shape little souls and hearts. I want to mold lives.
I want to be a potter next to God, forming the clay of these tiny people into what He has dreamed for them to be.
Whether these children come to me through natural means, foster care, or adoption, I want to fully embrace with open arms the calling to bring in, nurture, nourish, cultivate, raise up, and send out.
What an incredible opportunity to watch lives be built, to see personalities grow, to witness hearts come alive.
God is really into stories. In fact, he happens to be the greatest story teller of all time. He writes really good stories, the kind that connect and intermingle and weave through time and people and places, and at the ending, you see it. You see what was really going on back at this point in the story. You see how that part of the story was connected to this part all along.
God writes the kind of stories that leave you stunned, jaw-dropped and breathless at the end, the kind where all you can say is “Wow” at the intention and intricate detail involved.
And that’s how I know his heart is for family. Because generations stretch across time, and legacies are built, and whole family histories are created. What our great-great-grandparents did back in their day now affects you and me, years down the line. And what you and I are doing now will affect our great-great-grandchildren, still many years away.
Your story is not just about you. You are wrapped up in a grand scheme that stretches way back before you were born, and will go far beyond after you’re dead and gone.
People are walking storybooks, some stories written by God, some written with stolen pens because of the evil of this fallen world.
I want a bookshelf lined with lots of storybooks, all telling of the goodness of God. I want lots of little stories that I get to be a part of. I want to be in a lot of books.
I want to be a part of many stories, watching and witnessing and molding the very beginning of a tiny life, into a blossoming adult with great potential and promise.
I want, by the grace of God, to help shape society and history through the kinds of people I raise. Because our world needs it. It needs good and godly people. It needs kind and loving people. It needs as many of those kinds of people it can possibly get. And I want to do my part to see that it gets as many as possible, through me.
I want to bring hearts home, nourish and nurture them, watch them blossom, set them free, and see them soar out into the world, leaving a spark of hope everywhere they go, pointing to Christ.
Ultimately, I want Christ to have an inheritance through my family. I want to pass down a legacy and a heritage that honors him for many generations to come.