"Kids: Images of Perfection, Portals of Grace and Hot Messes" by Christina Nagy (CatholicMom.com) Image by AnnRos via Pixabay 2016, CC0 Public Domain

Kids are something. They are adorable, trying, loving, challenging, giving, taking, forgiving, in need of mercy, etc. Basically, they are images of perfection, portals of grace and hot messes - all at the same time.  

One revelation that has really hit home after 4 of them entered my life here on earth is how important they are for my own salvation.

[tweet "Our children play important roles in our own salvation."]

I honestly shudder at the thought of where my life would be now if these amazing gifts hadn’t come into my home. What kind of decisions and choices would I have made? Would my thoughts be centered more on inflating my income than growing in my spiritual life? Would the thought of sacrificing well mean not mentioning that I skipped out on that cup of coffee instead of not complaining after a full day of schooling, work, laundry and running around?

Please understand that I am NOT proposing that having children is THE way to salvation and that the vocation to the single life is less than admirable. Actually, it really is the contrary. In truth, I’m admitting that I know my failings, and I am seeing with more clarity why God knew that I needed these 4 keys to heaven.  

I lived a pretty self-centered life before my oldest came into view. Even the gift of an amazing spouse didn’t seem to be enough to fully open my eyes. Without a doubt, it was the sacrament of marriage that broke me free from some of those old chains of the past, but my wounds ran deep enough that God knew I needed more help.

It’s funny how time reveals things. Back when my children were being born, my limited viewpoint kept me focused on the thought that these children were given to me so that I could raise them well and give them back to God to further the Kingdom on earth. Obviously, this is certainly true, but the effect on my own soul was completely overlooked.

Now, however, I feel that more of the veil has been lifted. Because of my children, life itself has become deeper. Instead of treading in a shallow lake, I’m diving to the depths of the ocean. I have grown in every aspect: in love, compassion, humility, mercy, gratitude, empathy, sympathy…and the list goes on and on. As a consequence of this, I see more clearly just how far that I still have to go, but I know that with my family in my life, I have a chance at growth.

In fact, I have more than a chance. Opportunity is the name of the game when it comes to growing in virtue, and the opportunities that are afforded in family life literally never end until death itself arrives.

The unfathomable wisdom of the Divine Planner . . . how great are His ways!!

And how grateful I am that He loves each of us so much that He would give us a glimpse into the workings of His eternal design.  

What are some areas of growth that have occurred in your life due to the existence of those around you?

Don't be afraid to take note of them and praise the One Who made it just so!

Copyright 2017 Christina Nagy