When I opened the card, I almost couldn’t believe it was real.
I had waited to hear this news for months, and now the day was finally here.
“Only the best sisters become…”
My brother and his wife had just found out they were expecting their first child, and they couldn’t wait to share the happy news with my parents, my sister, and me.
I’d been waiting to become an aunt ever since my brother first got married. I was determined to be the best — and craziest — aunt my niece or nephew could have!
As my sister and I started to talk about what it would be like when our niece or nephew arrived, we realized that the experience of being aunts had a lot to teach us about love: both our own human love, and God’s love for us.
1. God treasures us long before we are even born.
The experience of waiting to greet this new family member is more exciting than I was prepared for. Ever since my brother showed me the first ultrasound picture, I’ve been imagining what my niece or nephew will look like and sound like.
I haven’t even met this child yet, but I’m bursting with love and an intense desire to know them.
It reminds me of God’s foreknowledge of us. “Your eyes saw my unformed body,” writes the Psalmist. “You knit me together in my mother’s womb…all the days ordained for me were written in your book” (Psalm 139:13, 16).
Before we ever enter the world, God waits for us and longs to know us! He’s delighted by us and the creations He knits together, and His love overflows beyond anything we could imagine.
2. God prepares every detail of our lives in advance.
I won’t meet my niece or nephew for months, but I’m already planning the gifts I’ll give to them and the ways I’ll be involved in their life.
My brother and sister-in-law are preparing a nursery for their coming baby, and my parents are deciding what they want their grandchild to call them. In our own ways, we’re all planning our lives around this new life that’s on the way.
God prepares and plans our lives in the same way. He sets aside gifts for specific times in our lives, decides when to bring certain people across our paths, and marks the moments when He’ll work in mighty ways for our good.
Just as I’m planning all the creative ways to show this child my love, He plans the details of our lives to reveal Himself to us.
3. God has more capacity to love than we can imagine.
When you grow up in a close-knit family like mine, it can be easy to think you couldn’t possibly have room in your heart to love one more person. And no matter who you are, every new relationship and opportunity to love is uncharted territory.
But the minute I learned I was going to have a niece or nephew, I felt as though my heart had expanded! Even though it’s not even mine, I couldn’t imagine not loving this child.
Likewise, sometimes we struggle to comprehend how God can love all of His children. The earth is full of billions of people — how can He possibly love us all?
But He can – and He loves us so much that He gave Himself for us (John 3:16). His capacity to love isn’t diminished with the birth of each new person; instead, it’s eternally, unfathomably big.
4. God’s best gifts may come at the times when you least expect them.
My parents, my sister, and I had waited a long time to find out if our family was going to expand. We didn’t want to pressure my brother and his wife, though, so we kept questions to a minimum and waited for them to tell us.
So, when the announcement came, it was an overwhelmingly joyful moment for all of us. The process of waiting made the gift so much better than I could have anticipated.
If we wait for the surprise of God’s wonderful gifts instead of straining to see what’s ahead, we have the chance to trust Him and enjoy His plans as they come to pass.
If you’re preparing for the arrival of a child in your life, remember that your love (whether it’s for a niece or nephew, daughter or son, or anyone else) is only a fraction of the love that God has poured out over you, even before you were born!