A Love Like This
When I interviewed Holden McHugh about his family’s experience of taking care of his sister Hadley, he helped me to understand an important element to living a better story.
Wanting to gain insight into how he survived such a difficult time, I asked him what advice he would give to any family with a special needs kid.
His answer was simpler than I anticipated.
Love them unconditionally and God will fill in the rest.
The Secret to Surviving Difficult Times
How do you keep getting up day after day to continue in a story that is difficult?
How do you keep doing a hard work that seems to have no end in sight?
How do you face tomorrow when there will be no apparent healing for today?
How do you keep a smile on your face?
Love without strings attached. Love those who do not deserve it. Love because you choose to, not because it is easy. Love with an overabundance, giving all that you have.
Our Best Love
This love is tough. It demands everything that we have. Human experience struggles to experience such a love.
Perhaps the love a mother has for her long anticipated newborn son comes close.
Her son has grown inside of her, slowing forming from a single cell into a beautiful baby boy. Nine months are spent watching skin stretch thin and legs grow more swollen. Morning sickness is followed by afternoon and night sickness. All followed by hours of labor.
But when her son arrives, she asks him no questions. She expects nothing in return for her pain and suffering. She doesn’t even demand love in return.
She has no thoughts for herself. Her mind, and her heart, are for her child only.
But even her love for her own child will become selfish. When he is 2 months old and won’t stop crying because of colic and she needs some sleep, her love will fail.
When he is 7 years old and will not flush the toilet or brush his teeth or wash his hands without having to be reminded again, her love will fail.
When he is 16 and wants to hang out with his friends at the mall and she wants to hang on to the days when he depended on her for everything, her love will fail.
A Perfect Love
We have to look beyond ourselves to experience such a radical love. We have to learn how to love others unconditionally by accepting God’s love for us.
The creator of everything made you specifically to be you. Billion of years ago he planned you and then when the time came to actually form you, there was twinkle of delight in his eye. He made you to tell your story. He made you because he delights in you.
He loves you enough that he enabled you to rebel against him, free to choose your own will. Free to run away from home.
And he loves you so much, he gave you Jesus, God with us, so that you could come back home, always his child.
Since we are the kids of the a king, we can then we can live for him. We can love because we have known love.
And then we let God fill in the rest.
Have you been through a difficult trial? What got you through it?
Tell us your story in the comments.