I Am Overcome With Love
I sit in my rocking chair, with the soft glow of the moon on her face and the sweet scent of her delicate skin and I am overcome with love. Love that springs tears. Love that compels me to whisper words of praise and thanksgiving to my God, words of desperate supplication: Lord, don’t let anything ever happen to her. Love that wrenches my heart and hurts like no other pain. I will do anything for you, my sweet baby. And then the fear: How will I ever be enough?
When I heard the heartbeat of my unborn child for the first time I experienced a deep and profound change in my heart. I knew and understood more clearly that my existence, my purpose, my vocation was to serve. God was calling me to a life of sacrifice and service. That is to say, a life of love. My life wasn’t about me any more. It wasn’t about my goals, my preferences, my comforts, my hobbies. My life was about love.
By calling me to motherhood, God was calling me to love as He loved, by laying down my life for my children. For them. For Him.
In the words of Blessed Mother Teresa: “Love to be real, it must cost — it must hurt — it must empty us of self.”
In this culture, those words are hard. To some, they are offensive, even unacceptable. This life-giving love begins with my spouse and extends to the children God has given us. In that shared love, we live out God’s design: as we become one flesh in marriage, we mirror His image and likeness, which is a perfect communion of Love.
The world tells us that we should not deny ourselves, we should put our needs first and that we should take what we want to make us happy. The world is filled with fear of sacrifice or suffering. St. John Paul II once said: “There is no place for selfishness, and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.”
In the quiet of my daughter’s room, I am enveloped in a deep and comforting sense that God’s love is perfect, that it is enough, that I have nothing to fear. I know in the depths of my heart that I can love because He first loved me.