“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5, ESV)
I remember getting countless comments from strangers when they saw me with my three boys. We could be walking into the grocery store or out of the library or sitting at restaurant tables. The words were the same. “Oh, what a shame you don’t have a little girl!”
I would smile, politely. I knew it was idle chit chat. But honestly, those comments made me furious. As if I was missing something. They were my boys. Acorns-in-pockets, dirt-covered, loud-voiced, picky-eating, sweaty, athletic, poetic, sensitive, aggressive, big-hearted boys.
Never was I one of those moms who was desperate for a girl.
And then one day, we got her.
She was brought to our home with our foster care social worker when she was four months old. She was beautiful and quiet. She was a mystery to me if there ever was one. I didn’t know a thing about taking care of a baby girl, but I remember holding her and loving her instantly.
I realized based on her feeding preferences that her biological mom must’ve been left-handed because baby girl liked her bottles from that side. I discovered she would wake up, eyes wide open, but wouldn’t say a peep. I learned about her, grew to know her, and carried her into our family and our future with great hope.
All these years later -- years after our foster care journey ended and our adoption story began -- I tell people this: I never was desperate to have a girl. But I was desperate for this girl. She is our beloved daughter.
And that is how God views us and our children! He was not desperate for just anybody. He was desperate for us. He created each of us with intention and precision and design. He created us specifically. He knew us before we were born. And consecrated us. Planned for us. Knew us inside and out and loved us before we even began. We were meant for Him. We are His beloved.
We know as parents how much we love our children. We know that with every fiber of our being. But what a realization it is to know that our heavenly Father loves them even more -- and loved them -- from the beginning.
In those quiet, still moments before bed, let’s take a moment to tell our little ones that God is so happy they were born. Tell them God planned for them -- and was excited for them. That He couldn’t wait to celebrate their birthday.
As we repeat this truth, day after day, we can pray that our little one’s heart will someday understand that they are loved by a big, big God, from the very beginning until eternity. Amen.
Katie Kenny Phillips is the author of the God, You Make Me Feel series for children and the upcoming picture book, Jesus Loves Everybody, due out this Easter. She also serves as Sr. Writer and Editor for bestselling author, Shaunti Feldhahn. She lives in Atlanta with her five kids, her husband Jeff, and their ridiculous dogs, Norm and Coco.