Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Hardest Question

We all dread those certain questions - ones like - "So, what have you been learning in your quiet times lately" when you haven't opened your bible in weeks. Or the "How are you?" questions on a Sunday Morning when you just spent all day Friday and Saturday in your pajamas eating popcorn and don't want to admit it. Or the "Where are you from?" question when you have lived in 3 different states and 15 houses before the age of 18. Each of those questions can leave us without a clear answer. I thought those were tough questions, but now I know the hardest one:

How many kids do you have?

My husband was the first to field this question. At bible study last week, the men all introduced themselves and told about their jobs and families. "I am married to Anissa, and have 2 daughters, Kaiden and Jordan...." Mark shared with me later how difficult it was to say he has 2 daughters. Don't we really have 3?

What does an elderly mother with grown children say when one of her 3 children dies - does she now only have 2 kids? If Lia had lived and instead we lost her as a youth - would we then count as having had 3 kids? Where do I fit? I have 3 pregnancy and birth stories, but only 2 stories of rocking infants to sleep at night. I have 3 little girls I have held in my arms, but only 2 with social security numbers. Where do I fit?

I have not had to answer this question yet - I am surrounded by people who know me and know my story. But how will I, in years to come, as we continue to move around and make new friends in new cities, how will I answer the most basic question of motherhood - How Many Kids Do I Have?

Oh Lord, I thank You that nothing with You is ever forgotten. Though years may come when none know of my little Lia and the short life she had within me - she is not forgotten by You. Thank You Lord that the story of our lives are not etched on earthly stones but instead in Your book, kept forever in Heaven. Thank You Lord that my identity is not in how many children I have - instead my identity is in You.

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