From his times counseling folks on the verge of divorce, a pastor friend once said, "Always amazes me that the one they want to get rid of is the one they hand-picked after getting to know them. They want to keep the kids about whom they had no choice."
Rev. Zimmerman said that years ago in a sermon and it's stuck with me. How interesting - that we are so attached to these people that come into our lives about whom we get to choose nothing. We don't know their personality, sense of humor, intelligence, medical issues - we do know their parents - but that might not be a good thing.
Is that why the state of parenthood strikes deep in us, even in those without children? Is it because it is an opportunity to be our best self? To relinquish control of all those things we so love to control and love anyway? To sacrifice anyway? What a wonderful mystery. What a wonderful example for how God calls us to live our lives.
Today I've been a mom for half my life. Our oldest turns 24 and I had him when I was 24. It's impossible to go back to the moments before he was born when we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl, the color of his hair, number of fingers and toes. Impossible to think of all that not knowing.
Once again - I'm just amazed at God coming up with something like parenthood and turning it into a constant opportunity for redemption. That God is one smart cookie.