I am an only child. If I am completely honest with you, when I first thought about parenthood I had no idea how I could possibly love more than one child.
When Emily came into our lives my heart was hers, totally and completely. I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly share my time, attention and heart with another child. But Brian convinced me otherwise. “Mona”, he said, “we need to have another for Emily. She needs a sibling”.
After 27 months of Emily being an only child, Tyler came into our lives. As best I could I prepared Emily for this intrusion. She got a “big girl bed”, with the much desired Beauty and the Beast comforter set. I even bought a present to be given to Emily at the hospital by her new little brother or sister. Emily was not going to be pushed to the sidelines by this new baby. I was determined.
My thoughts were with Emily while I laboured at the hospital. Was she okay? Did my mom feed her? How was she going to adjust to the new baby? Did she know that she was always going to be special? How was I going to love another child as much as I loved the one I already had?
And then it happened. Tyler was born. I took one look at him and my heart doubled in size. I fell in love instantly. How could I have ever thought that I couldn’t love them both?
After Tyler’s arrival the family gathered and gifts were exchanged between Emily and Tyler. When the extended family left our foursome enjoyed very long cuddles in the hospital bed. Yes, a family of four can fit in those hospital beds! At 11 pm it was time for Brian and Emily to go home.
Then it was just me and my new little baby.
He was perfect! When he cried his bottom lip quivered, which melted my heart. It wasn’t long before I figured out his cries: the “I’m hungry” cry, the “I need to be changed” cry and the “I am tired” cry. Soon we both settled, even though the hospital floor was noisy with other crying babies.
It was at about 3 am when a nurse came by and told me that she was going to take Tyler to the nursery. “We’re are just doing some blood work,” she said. “You rest and I will bring him back shortly.” (For those of you shocked by this, remember this was 22 years ago). I was groggy with exhaustion and nodded to the nurse.
I dozed back to sleep until I heard a familiar sound. It was Tyler’s cry.
There were other babies crying but I heard Tyler. I jumped out of bed, stomped down the hall and found Tyler in a line up of other babies in their bassinets, all crying. I was incensed. I picked Tyler up and soothed him in my arms, telling him I was there. He immediately stopped crying as though he knew me and my voice, just like I knew his.
I looked at the nurse sternly and said, “I am taking my son with me, when you are ready for him you can come and get us” and out I stomped.
It was in that moment that I knew for sure that there was room enough in my heart for both my children!
This week we began a new series looking at four of the seven “I Am” statements that Jesus made to describe himself to us. Last week we looked at “I Am the good shepherd”. I love the verse in John 10:27 that says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
The sheep know the shepherd’s voice. Just like I knew Tyler’s and he knew mine.
Get to know the shepherd’s voice. God can speak audibly and God also speaks through his Word. He speaks through circumstances, and he speaks through people. God speaks in many different ways and the sheep who belong to him know his voice.
The shepherd’s voice soothes their fears, warns them of danger and then calls them home. They understand the pitch, volume, and tone. When the sheep hear the shepherd’s voice, they respond. And that’s the way it is with the God and those who follow him.
This week, listen to the Good Shepherd’s voice. He knows you, loves you, and cares for you! He will always speak the words you need to hear just at the time you need to hear them. Just listen and then respond.
Join us this Sunday, and don’t forget to invite a friend!