Fair warning: if you are an only child you probably won’t completely understand this blog. Just use your imagination =)
I feel like I should start with a few other important disclaimers, but I’m going to skip them all. We all want to be the favorite child in our family – or at least feel like we are loved just as much as all of our other siblings. In a perfect world that would always be the case, children wouldn’t clearly know which child is the favorite and which one is not, disappointment and confusion wouldn’t run rampant in the child who isn’t the favorite. But this, dear friends, is not a perfect world in which we live.
I love my family – let’s just begin by saying that (despite the fact that I just said I was skipping the disclaimers). My brother has come home from college for two weeks and it has been wonderful seeing him and spending time with him since he’s been away for so long. However, in this and his last trip home it has become abundantly clear to both of us that he is the favorite child. Perhaps I am the older one and I had my day, but we both agree there is more to this change than our ages or the passing of time. It doesn’t even come in the big things, but in the little things – I get sick and I’m banished to the basement, he gets sick and gets checked on and runs are made to the drug store for him and I get blamed for passing on that wretched cold as if it was my intention to get him sick in the first place (it was not). It continues to come out in all the little things, and I could go on but the point is that my brother and I both quite clearly see that he is the favorite child.
It was funny to joke about at first, with each new little thing that showed his “favorite child” status we would look at each other and laugh. But the more I think about it, and the more little things that come about, the less funny it is – the joke, quite frankly, is over. So what am I to do? Sit here and throw a temper tantrum (which, oddly enough, has actually crossed my mind)? Complain and yell to anyone (and/or my parents) about how I am not the favored child? The joke really isn’t a joke anymore and with each new little thing that confirms my suspicions I feel even more disappointment and confusion – what did I (or didn’t I) do to clearly not be the favored child? I’m left with nothing but ill-feelings, confusion, hurt and disappointment…and a seemingly endless list of questions, most of which begin with “why”?
Last night as I ended a beautiful Christmas evening with Mr. Irish, we prayed over each other (one of my very favorite ways to end our time together, but more on that in another blog!). I asked for prayers for my family and for the way I feel about recent events and not being the favorite child. Earlier in the evening when we talked about this topic he told me that I am his favorite – a nice sentiment, but I’m not his child (and thank goodness for that). But as we prayed he opened his heart to our Heavenly Father and the words and wisdom of God came spilling through Mr. Irish as he lovingly reminded me that I am the favorite in God’s eyes. He reminded me that no matter what I do or where I go I am always, always the favorite in God’s eyes…and in His heart.
As I said earlier, this world we live in is far from perfect, but there is a world that we were made for that is perfect: Heaven. In that world God’s love is so radiant, so wonderful that all of His children are loved the same (though I imagine that Jesus may in fact have some extra pull with God). We, individually, are all His favorites – isn’t that what we long for? To be someone’s favorite? Whether it is our parent’s favorite, our sibling’s favorite, our significant other’s favorite, we want to be someone’s favorite, but all too often we fail to realize that we already are God’s favorite. He dotes on us, I can even imagine Him bragging about us. I am His favorite, and so are you – yet another mystery of His unending love. You, dear child, whether you realize it or not, are God’s favorite. Allow that truth to sink into your heart, permit God to write that truth in your soul.
Father, help me turn to You with greater fervor and frequency. Help me and all of Your children to know that we are Your favorite, no matter how far we’ve fallen away from You. Your approval, Your love are all we need. Father, I need help in finding who I am – help me and all Your children find ourselves in You, help us to see ourselves through Your eyes. Help me hear Your heart and fill me with Your love, all I ask is that I come to know Your heart. AMEN.