This month of September marks two years since I became an aunt.
Even though my little nephew wasn’t born until April, my status of aunt began the September before when my sister told me she was expecting. I immediately bought baby books, teeny tiny socks, footie pajamas, baby fabrics, and every adorable thing you could imagine. Once little Jonathan was born, the gifting didn’t stop; it only progressed into something more tailored for his boyish personality. Dogs, tractors, dirt, and even music are on his list of favorites, so of course Auntie Amanda spoils him in every area possible.
My summer vacation this year was to Wisconsin to visit the cute little boy, and you can bet I was prepared! I had goodies galore to shower upon him, and I was sure that he would attach himself to me instantly and absolutely. After all, I loved Jonny so immensely; how could he not return this love?
I arrived on a Sunday morning, and bonded with Jonny on the car ride to church. The little boy gave me some side-eye at the beginning, but who could blame him, seeing me before 10am is not for the faint of heart! On Sunday afternoon, I volunteered to babysit Jonny during his nap while my sister and brother-in-law were at choir practice. The plan was to play with Jonny until it was time for the evening service, then I would dress him in his suit pants and snazzy tie, and drive him to church to rendezvous with his parents.
That was the plan.
“I won’t hurt you! Don’t you realize how much I love you?”
What happened was quite unexpected for me. When Jonathan awoke from his nap to see me, the unfamiliar auntie, in his bedroom, and no mama to be found, he immediately cried. And it wasn’t a naughty cry or a temper tantrum; it was more of a fearful and terrified cry. Who is this crazy lady who keeps trying to grab me and kiss me?!
Despite his resistance, I picked him up out of his crib, thinking he would settle down eventually. Instead, once on the floor, Jonny pushed me away, scurried to the nearest corner, and sat sobbing into his blankie.
Fighting back my own tears, I said out loud, “I won’t hurt you! Don’t you realize how much I love you?”
While the words were coming out, they almost choked me. Isn’t that what God must say to me all the time when I’m fighting His plan for me? When I’m clinging so tightly to what I think I want, and pushing away His loving hand?
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:11
I can’t help but wonder if there have been times when God tried to give me exactly what I wanted, but like a child, I was too busy crying in the corner and pushing Him away.
Sitting on the floor next to a now-whimpering Jonny, I thought of that verse about a father giving good gifts to his children, and how much better God is to us, and it crystallized for me. I am an aunt who desires to spoil and dote on my precious nephew, and would never inflict any pain on him. In fact, in this instance, my purpose was to bring him to where his parents were, which was exactly what he wanted. And I could explain it to him all I wanted, but his 16-month-old brain wasn’t going to comprehend it.
I can’t help but wonder if there have been times when God tried to give me exactly what I wanted, but like a child, I was too busy crying in the corner and pushing Him away. Even my humanly-intelligent 26-year-old brain cannot comprehend the thoughts of God which are higher than my thoughts.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Let’s be real, ladies. This is a single girls column, and this article seems mistakenly categorized, right? My connection is this: as a single girl, are you trying to manufacture a relationship? Or are you refusing to serve God until He sends you a man? Or are you crying yourself to sleep, wondering how God can take you from this stage of single life to a married one? Don’t you realize how much God loves you, dear girl? God would never hurt you, and He has only the absolute best in store. Stop crying into your blankie and throw yourself into the arms of the One who truly loves you.
PS – Don’t worry, little Jonathan warmed up to crazy Aunt Amanda within a couple days, and we had some sweet and silly times together!
The goodness of God led Amanda to repentance when she was a 12-year-old girl, and despite a heart prone to wander, He daily draws her to Himself. She continues to attend Lehigh Valley Baptist Church where she was raised, and enjoys sharing digital art and snippets of what God is teaching her on her Instagram account (@amandaangrrr). When Amanda isn’t working her day-job of managing an insurance agency, she is likely to be found trying a new local restaurant, sipping a coffee delicacy, learning something from a podcast or audio book, or finding an excuse to show off pictures of her nieces & nephews.
My heart was blessed as I read this testimony. I’m reminded of how much the Lord loves each of us and how He uses events in our lives to draw us closer to His plan for us. We have so much to praise and thank Him for each day. I love you, Amanda !! The thought of you brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart!!
I second Grammy Coulton’s expressions. You had me teary-eyed here, Amanda. Isn’t it a joy and comfort to realize how God loves us? Thank you for this vivid reminder.