The Capacity of a Heart…
I thought Tarcisius was going to be a dejavu child, a replica, an afterthought, a double take. After all, when he was born he looked indistinguishable from my others and his birthday is the same week as 2 of them. I thought that the fact that we didn’t travel during his pregnancy to pick out his name (like we have with all the others) would make him less special. I thought that somehow he was going to get lost in the busyness of 4 children. I thought that he would forever live in the shadow of my first boy who even daddy is jealous of most of the time. I thought I wouldn’t have enough love to go around and that I wouldn’t be a good enough mom once I was stretched this thin… but I was wrong.
This child, this wonderful child, with the receeding hairline, the old man “frowny-brow”, and the clearest, deepest, happiest eyes in the whole world has stolen my heart as well. My whole being responds when he cries. My soul aches for his happiness.
My heart is completely his.
… but, my heart has been stolen before.
I met an amazing man 8 years ago and gave away my heart for the first time. I had never known such love was possible.
… and then we had a child.
I was honored and terrified, excited and worried all at once. Again my heart was stolen completely and irrevocably.
17 months later we had another daughter. I thought I had wanted a son but she was more than I could have ever hoped for. Again, in a seemingly impossible way, I gave away my heart again, never knowing it was possible to love that much.
Before he was even born, I knew my first son was going to be the love of my life because I had dreamed of having a son as long as I could remember. I’ve been completely wrapped around his little fingers ever since.
But, even after all that, for some reason, somehow I doubted that #4 could live up to all the intensity of the first 3…. How wrong could I be?!
Up until now I’ve been thinking “logically” that somehow, in order to love as much as I needed to, I was having to divide my heart… but, I’m beginning to realize that with each new time I give my heart away, my heart is not divided but rather multiplied. I do not have less, I have more. I am not less capable, I am just starting to find out what I’m truly capable of!
I find this to be true as well in the little moments of every day. My little sacrifices increase my capacity for love. Every time I give my heart away I get back twice what I gave away. Every time I die to myself I come a little more alive. Every time I think I can’t do anymore, somehow I do. Every time I wonder how it is possible, I get an answer. Every time I’m brought to my knees in tears, I am held.
There is only one explanation for this. Every day miracles. Proof of God.
When I wonder what life might be like without God, I finally understand why so many people are trapped in their tiny version of the world. I see people afraid to truly give away their hearts and thus prevent them from being multiplied. I see people so “comfortable” in their tiny life that they don’t even know how much more there is, what they are missing.
When I think about what life would be like without God, I imagine my life without my children or my husband. How empty! How alone! How purposeless!
How grateful I am to have taken the leap, to have done what normal people consider insane…
So, don’t be afraid to let go, to give away your heart, to open yourself up to more than you think you can handle, to die to yourself… without it we can’t experience miracles! Without it you might never come to know the capacity of your heart!