In early 2019, my wife and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. With blond hair, blue eyes, and a smile that can light up a room, I was a goner from the moment I first saw her.
Now just over 2 years old, little Aurora – “Rory” for short – is talking, climbing, running, jumping, singing, playing, counting, laughing, and growing.
Her entire developmental journey has been mesmerizing to watch, and it gets better every day. (She is currently learning how to play hide-and-seek!) Rory is the light of my life; I love her more than she will ever know and more than I ever thought possible.
Like most kids, Rory is curious about everything. She frequently asks questions like “What’s this called, daddy?” or “What’s that sound, daddy?”
She has also started to test the waters of mischief – saying no to things, doing things we tell her not to do, and just generally being 2. We are teaching her about saying sorry when she hurts someone or disobeys, and any time she apologizes for something, we give her a big hug and tell her it’s okay and that we love her so much.
As is often the case with toddlers, when Rory gets in trouble for something, it won’t even be 5 minutes before she’s right back at it, trying to do it again.
The interaction usually goes something like this:
“Rory, daddy told you not to stand on the couch. Sit down, please.”
*** Immediately stands back up on the couch ***
*** Flashes an adorable grin that says “I know I’m not supposed to be doing this, but I’m doing it anyway” ***
The thing is, no matter how many times she repeats this (and sometimes it’s a lot) I still love her inexpressibly.
Sure, we have to discipline her from time to time, but I am always anxious to give her a big daddy hug and welcome her back. There is nothing she could ever do that would keep me from wanting to give her a big daddy hug.
I can’t fathom a love deeper than the one I have for my family, but somehow – miraculously – God’s love is even deeper.
I sin all the time, often all too willingly. I hate this about myself, but it’s true. I repeat the same mistakes over and over, just like Rory standing on the couch after I tell her not to.
The good news is that God always, always welcomes me back when I repent. The limitless love that I feel for my family is nothing compared to the love God feels for us, and I can’t even wrap my mind around that.
It is easy to fall into despair about the depth of our sin and depravity, but God’s unconditional love gives us hope for forgiveness and reconciliation. He’s always anxious to welcome us back in a loving, fatherly embrace.