Day Ten’s words of love come from my friend Piperi. I first met Piperi as a missionary in Minnesota, and immediately loved her. She is hilarious and strong and so kind. I loved the light radiating from her and her beautiful children. Some of my favorite memories are with her older daughter Gabby (who has a birthday today, woohoo!) – doing her hair, and exploring art museums. They are such deeply good kids and have such a special relationship with their mama. I love what Piperi wrote about them, about their love, and about God’s love:
“Love. I experienced love and loving when I had my kids. There is nothing like looking into the eyes of a child, at their innocence, and knowing you mean as much to this little person as they mean to you. My kids are my world.
Before I became a mother I was a completely lost soul. I had just stopped going to church and had wandered off on a completely different path than what I had grown up knowing. At that point I really didn’t know my purpose in life; it was almost as if I hated myself and was so angry so many unfortunate happenings had taken place in my life. So instead of praying and turning to God for comfort and peace, I was angry at Him.
But the moment I gave birth to my oldest child – my son – I felt as though I was given a second chance. It was as though God still wanted me to know He was there and He loved me, so He blessed me with this amazing little boy, an innocent soul to look after. He had given me His precious treasure to care for, and the fact that He trusted me with such treasure made me feel inadequate, but grateful, because the way my baby looked at me when I held him for the first time gave me a feeling of completion.
To be honest I had no idea how I was going to care for this child being young and unwed, but knowing that God trusted me, a sinner, with a precious piece of His treasure made me feel as though maybe He loved me after all. And everything that had happened before, the things that I was so angry at Him for, were not to punish me but to lead me in the direction that I needed to be going. My son made me grow up very quickly because I now had someone to care for. Someone who, when they saw me, got really excited and smiled at me with such love. He needed me and I needed him. At that moment, I again knew what love really was and wanted to be better and do better.
Not long after I had my little guy, I had my beautiful princess. During this time I had begun to acknowledge God again and accepted His love, but still, I didn’t do anything about it. My little princess is such a beautiful soul and as she grew she started to ask me about church. I remember at one point she came home from her grandparents house and asked, “Mommy, where is your church, and what does it look like?”
At this point, I felt I needed to be able to show my kids that Mommy did have a church, that God is real, and so is His love. That was the moment I retraced my roots, so I could show them how to pray and they could learn about Christ. I am still by no means a perfect person, but I know and feel that God is using my children, His precious treasures, to remind me to never forget that no matter what He has always been there. Even when I was angry at him, which I never should have been, He showed me the best type of love through my kids.
My daughter makes it a point to pray before I leave for work because she wants Mommy to come home safe. This is the type of love that I didn’t experience before – the love of a child for their mother, and love of a mother for their child.
I am still learning; however, I know that I didn’t believe in unconditional love until my kids were in my life and I couldn’t be any more grateful. Because of them I found God again, because of them I know what love is, because of them I know that God still loves me, a sinner.”