Uniquely and Collectively His

I’ve been browsing through early family photos the past few days. With that activity always come vivid memories and strong emotions. Most of the pictures take me back to times of joy or sweetness, precious moments or family celebrations. Others have difficult feelings associated with them. However, each one reveals a small part of our family story.

Danny NICU

The snapshot of me touching 1-day-old Daniel through the door of the NICU as Dave held him (I couldn’t go in for nearly a day due to sporting a rash of unknown etiology), brought me back to the confusion of those early days of our firstborn’s life.

Danny and Mom NICU





My husband and I were clueless and emotionally overwrought. Bringing Daniel home at 1-week-old, we gingerly laid him on our bed, looked into each other’s eyes, and with all the wisdom of first-time parents voiced, “Now what?”

Soon we will release him to the world as he graduates from high school in the spring.

Photos of our second son, Zachary, inevitably bring a smile. His birth and early childhood held little in the way of surprises, comparatively. He was (still is) a charmer. His grin brightens up any room. Throughout his early years, bumps and bruises were his constant companions.

Rachel’s contribution to our family can be found in those pictures capturing her joy in life and will to persevere. Her birth ushered in the beginning of a journey we didn’t expect or feel prepared to handle but one that has brought me to a whole new meaning of love and grace.

Rachel walking with cane, 2002

Learning to walk!

Joseph’s competitive nature often shows up in his photographs. From Day 1 of his life, our precocious tail-ender, fought to keep up with those bigger boys. He is my companion and playmate as the older two are spending less time at home.

Joey 2002


I couldn’t love my children more. Each of them is unique and holds a special place in my heart—a place that could never be filled by anyone else. I adore each one for their individual personalities and gifts. They are an integral part of a family story that is solely ours.

It amazes me that God feels the same way about every one of us!

We are all unique and precious to Him. None of us are dispensable.

It is breathtaking to realize that out of all the people who have ever lived since the creation of time, the Lord looks at me with adoring eyes. And He gazes at you with the same delight. Every single one of you!

In the same way our children capture our hearts, so we capture God’s.

Beyond all comprehension, the Creator of Heaven and Earth wants to be intimately involved in our lives, to share the sweet times and the sour. He desires to walk with us through each moment, creating a Family story that involves every one of His children, not just the prettiest or the most successful or even the most Christlike.

Each one of us occupies a special place in God’s heart, a place none of His other children can fill. We are uniquely and collectively His beloved—His Family.

It is amazing to think that the Father of All directs that kind of love my way. I can only imagine…

Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ he has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children—this was his pleasure and purpose. Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!” (Ephesians 1:3–6, Good News Translation).

By His grace ≈


Encourage Others by Sharing This Post

Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “Uniquely and Collectively His
  1. Linda Thomas says:

    You’ve written a lovely piece, overflowing with love and awe. Thanks for your inspiration.

    After I had kids, I came to understand God’s love in a new and better way. Until I had children, I hadn’t experienced such a fierce yet tender love, and once I recognized what I felt for my kids, I could more deeply grasp how God feels for us, His children. It has made me recognize so much more how He loves each of us. Your blog post today reminded me of that discovery of mine. What a blessing!


    • juliesunne says:

      Thank you, Linda, for your moving comment! I truly am in awe of the unfathomable love of the Creator for someone like me who gets it wrong so much. He is grace!

Join the Discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.