When my sister was born, I had to change a lot about how I saw the world. I used to have my parents all to myself. I did not have to fight for their attention. I would enjoy their company. I would also enjoy the possessions that they gave me. I did not need to share them with anyone. Once my sister was born, I had to learn how to share my parents and my possessions. Honestly, it was not easy. Whenever I would feel comfortable with my stuff, my sister would want to play with them. I was having fun, and she wanted to have fun, so she tried to take my toys from me. I would push her away, and she would cry and hug my mom.
I thought that the toys were my source of love and security. When I was good, my parents bought me toys. My grandma would give me gifts every time I would see her. My toys meant that I was loved. My childish brain could not comprehend that my sister needed love too. Not only that, but she loved me. She didn’t only want to enjoy my toys; she wanted to enjoy my company as well. She wanted us to have fun together. She wanted to be loved by my parents’ with me, not instead of me. It was not a competition between us. However, I was so used to having my parents’ love all to myself that I did not know how to share it with other people.
I didn’t realize that my relationship with my parents was not dependent on what I received. I was always going to be their daughter, and I was always going to be loved by them. My sister also had that relationship with my parents, but in a different way. It wasn’t until I became comfortable with my identity as my mom’s daughter that I was able to share my toys, my time, and my love with my sister. Now, my sister and I are really good friends. We share almost everything. We have both learned that our identities are not found in our possessions.
Even as an adult, I struggle with taking pride in what I have. One thing I take pride in is my joy. I have a lot of joy; even when people are angry around me, I have the ability to be joyful. However, I am so used to being the only joyful person around me, that it is difficult to enjoy being happy with other people. Sometimes, I feel like my joy is an indicator of my relationship with God. The more joy I feel, the stronger my relationship is with God. So when other people take joy in the things that give me joy, I feel like I have less of God. However, by sharing my joy with others, I am giving them the opportunity to experience the joy of the Lord as well. Not only that, but I am allowing others to rejoice with me, so that I am not alone. I am able to receive more of what God has for me; I experience true community as well as abundant joy when I share the joy that God has given me with other people.
As I go from childish to childlike, I remember that I am not the only one in the entire world that God wants to bless. He wants all people to experience his joy. My relationship with God does not change because of my responsibility to share my gifts. I am always going to be his daughter, and I am always going to be loved by him. Only from true satisfaction in our relationship with God can we truly share the joy that he has given us, trusting that he will provide even more.