You Were Chosen

The joy of loving unconditionally.

by John Croyle


You, as a mom or dad, were chosen by God Almighty to raise your sons and daughters. He didn’t give them to anyone else—he gave them to you! Their specific talents and abilities were given to them for a specific reason and purpose. You were chosen to lead them, guide them, and direct them. You were chosen to teach them right from wrong. You were chosen to love them unconditionally.

Are you doing your job?

We have houseparents at Big Oak Ranch who were called to raise our children, children who come to the ranch through no fault of their own. Children who are abandoned. Children who are abused and neglected. Each houseparent couple is “Dad and Mom” to up to eight children. They provide 24/7, around-the-clock care. They were chosen—just like you—to guide and direct the children God put in their care. The only difference is that they might have a few more children than you do.

I want to share with you a letter I got a couple of weeks ago from one of our housemoms at the Girls’ Ranch:


I cannot believe that our family has been here for six months already! Our time here has been so blessed—I cannot thank you enough for allowing us to be a part of the amazing Big Oak family! I have so many stories, but this one I wanted to especially share with you.

Earlier this week, Bella (our 9-year-old—she’s been here three months now!) could not sleep. I went up to check on her, and she said she just could not stop thinking about all the people who care about her now, how all these people love her and don’t want anything bad to happen to her. As she was listing all of the people who love her here at Big Oak, I had tears streaming down my cheeks as I realized this sweet girl was finally, at 9 years old, feeling the unconditional love of family—amazing!

Thank you for your dedication over 40 years in creating so many “firsts” in the lives of children.  My heart is filled with joy!

This housemom did not write me this note to be published in B-Metro. She was actually hesitant when I asked her if I could share it with you. But I wanted to share it because I want you to understand the joy that comes from showing our children that unconditional love truly does exist. The kind of love that is shown on good days when everything is going great but that is also shown on the worst of days when things are not going so great.

Over the past 40 years, I have learned many things about raising children. One of the most significant truths is this: The safety and security that a child feels when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are loved no matter what is priceless.

Does your child know he or she is loved unconditionally?

If you have to think about it, maybe there are some things you need to change. Some days, you may feel like you do not have what it takes to give your children what they need to “make it” in this world. But keep in mind that God chose you to raise that child into the man or woman that he or she was meant to be, designed for a specific purpose.

Are you going to rise to the challenge? The fruit of your decision will be measured by what kind of adult your child ends up being. The best way to teach your child how to be a solid man or woman is to be one yourself. Stand up and be the person you were meant to be. Be the role model for your child that he or she needs. And make sure that your child knows he or she is loved unconditionally.

After all, you were chosen!

The adults who go out and do great things in this world were the children who had that confidence in themselves and believed that they were worth something—that what they did mattered. We must be instilling in our children the belief that they can make a difference in this world. One day, they too will be chosen to become the people who love unconditionally.

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