My folks came to Seattle recently – I had been praying for a wonderful time together – and also an opportunity to witness to them and bring them over to church. One of the things I had asked for as well, was a chance to showcase my independence.
Growing up, an issue of mine was being the youngest in the family – the one who received the least responsibility and deference. (Trivia: Do you know that for job interviews in Manila, you could be asked about your place in sibling hierarchy?!) I had always felt bound to this role each and every time I came home – even as I grew older. Regardless of my positions at work, I would come home to the Philippines and still be “the baby” in the family. I longed to break away from this role and to be seen more as an adult. Wouldn’t you know it, when I had them meet the director of our school, my parents would tell her that I was their baby, their princess!!! However, they said it in such a way that didn’t feel condescending nor embarrassing; in fact, I felt cherished and loved.
It reminds me of a story I love rereading – the story of Joseph. Today, I decided to read all the way up to the chapter on Israel’s blessing for Joseph’s two sons (who became Israel’s sons as well) Manasseh and Ephraim. Since Israel’s eyesight was failing, Joseph placed the older son nearer his father’s right hand, and the younger son to his left. Even though Israel could barely see, he crossed his arms so that his right hand settled on the younger son, (Ephraim) and the left hand, on the elder. Joseph started to move his father’s hands to what he thought was the right position. But Israel knew there was a plan for the younger son. (His descendants will become a group of nations).
I read that passage and cried. I felt God holding me and calling me His. I felt a sense of awe at His plans for me, even though right now, it is uncertain whether I will continue to be doing the same thing in four months’ time. As much as I am my parents’ princess, I am God’s cherished princess. I am forever grateful!