I know that my purpose in life, simply put, is to love God and love others, but I often wonder why God even bothered with us humans in the first place? We are born. We live. We die. My time here on earth is short. I screw up constantly and I definitely fall short of my fulfilling my purpose on a daily basis so why did God take the time to put me here? Why are any of us here?

An insight into the answer to ‘Why?’ came while I was driving my kids home from practice as we were laughing at something only my son could manage to turn into something funny. I thought, “Wow! Being here in this pretty ordinary moment with my kids — despite the fact they were trying to kill each other on the way to school that morning — is something I wouldn’t trade for all of the money in the world.” And why is that? Because they are MINE. They came from ME and I have been granted the amazing privilege of guiding them through life and watching them grow. Because they are my children we have a special connection and I delight in being their mother. When I look at them and watch them grow I am filled with unconditional love.

Maybe that’s why God ‘even bothered.’ After all, why did my husband and I decide to have children? It was because we longed to share ourselves with something, to be able to experience what it’s like to love unconditionally and be loved. I know that without them part of me would feel empty.

When I think about God in that context, as a parent, then it all makes sense. He created us. He designed us so that we would crave love and look to Him to receive it. He cries with us and for us. He celebrates our accomplishments and growth. He is there for us (whether we believe it or not) when we screw up and wants nothing more than to help get us back on track, just as I hope my kids will do with me. He knows that we will screw up, just as I knew my kids would even before they were born, but my desire to love and be loved was greater than any fear. God allows us to experience that. He gives us choices and opportunities to feel that love He has for us by being in relationship with others. The relationship between parent and child is priceless. I can’t fathom a life without my kids so I can only imagine that’s how God feels about us.

He gave me life despite all of the possible mistakes I would make. He placed me on earth and said “Here… Look at all of this beauty I created for you. This is how much I love you. I want to see you experience the joy that happens when you appreciate what I have made for you. Just love me and love others so that they can experience it too.” Then before I know it, He will call me back home to Him where He is going to ask me all about it. Kind of like when I pick my kids up from a trip…I can’t wait to hear every detail. It’s so powerful though knowing that no matter how well I lived out my life He is still there waiting for me with open arms and is ready to welcome me home for an eternity more magnificent than my mind could ever conceive.

When I understand that every choice I make affects Him I realize that He is my biggest cheerleader. I want to see my kids succeed in life as painlessly as possible and when they celebrate or cry, I am right there with them. When they screw up, no matter how badly, I may be disappointed but my love for them will never change. Just like the father in the story about the prodigal son, God will never turn his back on us.

We were made in God’s image so we could have relationships. We’re wired for relationship because that was His point…to create us to be in relationship with Him just as we desire to be in relationship with our own kids.

So when I find myself wondering whether or not my life matters or questioning God’s intentions, all I have to do is think about my relationships, especially with my kids. Every moment I spend with them is priceless, even when it’s stressful. When they make good choices my husband and I celebrate and thank God because we know that it will pay off in the long run. God’s relationship with us is no different. He took the time to design me and give me life, the least I can do is trust Him and believe Him and take the time to thank Him for all the blessings in my life. When I honor God I know how much it means to Him so I want to please Him. God did not intend for my life to be a complicated mess and when I focus on the point and purpose of my life it really does become easier and very rewarding.