Me. Us. Them. These three words summarize in time order how my priorities have changed over the last ten years of my life. They explain the journey of moving from a young single woman to a wife and then a mother.
When I was single, my priorities related to me. My goals were me-oriented and my prayers were me-focused. In reading the Bible then, I related it to my own life. And when I was baptized, I tried to use my experiences in life and love to magnify my understanding of God's love for His people.
It was the best I could do with my limited understanding of what it was like to love someone else with a deep, everlasting, unconditional love … until I got married in the fall of 2002.
Being blessed with the love of a wonderful husband changed everything I thought I knew about the love God has for His people. Suddenly I had someone who loved me unconditionally—even with my endless list of shortcomings.
It was different than knowing your parents loved you "no matter what," because they didn't actually choose you! My husband chose me—and deemed me worthy enough to bind himself to me forever. Now I have an even deeper understanding of the blessing of being one of God's "chosen generation."
His Word tells us, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).
How blessed I am to be one of the chosen daughters of God!
I discovered that with this understanding of the depths of unconditional love came the change from a me to an us focus. I was no longer as concerned about my own interests as wanting what was best for us. Even in my prayers, I asked that everything I did physically and spiritually would enhance my relationship with my husband. The prayers for me were directly related to our growing together.
But then I took another step. Now it's not just me and us anymore. It's them.
My boys are my pride and joy. Seeing the world through their eyes brings a greater appreciation of what it means to come to God as a little child! The biggest change they brought to my spiritual life was to help me much better understand what it was like for God the Father to give "His only begotten Son" (John 3:16).
My heart breaks when my boys get hurt—no matter how small the injury! I can only begin to imagine the depth of emotion God felt when He witnessed the crimes committed against His Son and then saw His death. It's something no parent wants to experience!
My priorities are directed toward my children. The majority of my prayers are devoted to their behalf—from me helping them learn about God, to me setting a good example for them, to prayers for protection for them from the evils in this world. It's no longer all about me. It's not just about us. My focus is now on the future—for them.
Of course, this broadening of focus helps us to focus more outwardly on not just our own children, but on all of God's children in the great family He is building.