Like most freshman girls (and like many, many young people who are not freshman and not even necessarily girls) I hero worshipped my track coach. Mr. Wiles made a big impression on me and I worked hard to impress him. My hard work and subsequent success led to a bit (maybe more than a bit….) of arrogance and I frequently fantasized that Mr. Wiles wished I were his daughter. I dreamed of replacing Janelle (his biological daughter whom I had never met) in his affections. Given my incredible (in my mind) accomplishments , how could he not wish that I were his daughter?
Now, as a mother, I have an answer to that question. I am certain that Mr. Wiles did not wish I were his daughter for the same reason I do not wish that anyone else’s daughter (or son) were mine. While I cannot specifically wrap words around the reason, it is real. My children are part of me in a very literal, guttural, fundamental, chromosomal way. They touch my heart in places inaccessible to anyone else. I love them as myself, indeed more than myself. Physically they are an extension of my life. Emotionally they extend and enrich my life.
Wish that someone else’s accomplished child were my own? Never. Not for a nanosecond.
My children have done some great things--both Chick and Tanah recently earned raises and got promotions at work, Grace had the leading role in the high school play and just received her FFA State Farmer Degree, Miles was accepted into the Project Lead the Way program--but they also have some struggles, details about which I will not share because they are not my stories to tell. As great as our children are, there are children (many) out there more accomplished than ours--children who have earned better scholarships, who are better athletes, and who have served in better leadership positions--but there are no children anywhere that fit better in my heart. They fit perfectly.
I think we fit into Heavenly Father’s heart in much the same way.