Over the past year my views on religion and my relationship with God have changed drastically. I went from desperately wanting to believe in God, but never feeling a true connection to Him, to feeling like He was guiding me through all of life's twists and turns. My journey to Christianty was not only tremendously impactful, but filled with beautiful friendships, inspiring word, and a newly found confidence in myself and where I was going.
Honestly, I think that Donald Miller describes the conversion to spirituality best. Miller writes, "becoming a Christian feels as though the world is a watch and God has lifted the lid so you can see the gears." This transition has the strength to "turn sorrow to joy, hardship to challenge, and trial to opportunity" and that's exaclty what it did for me.
So when these spiritual changes started happening in my life, so did my reaction to being chosen as the God Mother of my niece, Penelope Willow Pedroli. Hearing that my sister had a baby on the way was exciting enough, but knowing that I was picked to be the God Mother truly meant the world to me, much more than I think it would have before I knew the joy that came with knowing God.
To be honest, I have never really understood what a God Parent was. Sure, I knew that I had two of my own, but I never really knew what they were for or why they had that seemingly mysterious title. It always seemed kind of strange to me.
When I was younger I would think, do I have two sets of parents and one is called God so I can differentiate the two? Or, wow, I must be special to have God's mother and father as my own! At the end of the day, the term "God Parent" was almost as useless to me as lifeguards are to olympic swimmers.
But I wanted to know the true meaning of a God Parent, because now I had an increased care for understanding the terms and the roles I was now supposed to take on for my new niece. So as most people do when they have questions, I decided to follow up my confusion with an ever-clarifying google search.
If you google the term God Parent you will find numerous, fancy definitions about baptism and various legal responsibilites, but the definition of a God Parent that resonated most with me was "someone who aids in a child's life long spiritual formation." Simple, yet so important; the dots were beginning to connect.
Finally, I could not only better understand what it meant to be a God Parent, but became determined to do everything I could to provide my niece with all the support she needed in her spiritual journey. It was as if this joyful connection I now had with God transformed my role as a God Mother from one I didn't know or think much of to an incredibly important one; one that I would put in front of everything else.
Since I now understand the opportunity I have as a God Mother, I also feel the responsibility that comes with it. The responsibility to teach my niece about the beautiful world that our Creator has made, the great power and tranquility that comes with faith, and the endless love that God has for us. You can bet that these feelings of responsibility only increased when I looked into my niece's beautiful eyes for the first time.
March 26th, 2018 was the day that being a God Parent became my life's greatest accomplishment. Holding her tiny, brand-new body in my arms gave me all I needed to harness my role and feel totally secure in my abilities to give her unwavering support in her spiritual journey. That feeling was precious and that was a moment that I will never forget.
I used to wonder what it was like to be religious. I used to wonder what religion was for. Well, the day that my sweet niece Penelope Willow was born my questions were answered and it became clear what my year of spiritual growth was leading me towards.
Once again, God's path led me into a life-changing moment. The feeling of pride I had when holding my niece and knowing that I was her God Mother was one that I couldn't have had without the path that God had crafted specifically for me; a path full of exploration, discovery, and love.