[Editor’s note: The author explains her family’s Lenten commitment to take the Love Dare here . Regular updates will be posted all through Lent. Click here to catch up on previous posts. Due to CE staff scheduling, we will not be able to keep up with these posts daily, but we will make sure they are all posted, even though it means they run past Lent. ]
Choose to love today and to say, “I love you,” even (especially) if the other person cannot return the feeling.
“I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord” (Hosea 2:20).
Ugh. I started out today so badly!! My daughter* screamed at me (my youngest girl with the Asperger’s and delays) and like an idiot, I finally screamed back. Then my older daughter, hearing my frustration, came down and was kind to her little sister. (At that point the little one was completely locked in and melting down, hence my own meltdown.) I couldn’t help but think how my older daughter’s new-found love was giving her extraordinary patience. Isn’t that what I am supposed to do in today’s dare? I am called to use the extraordinary graces the Lord provides to care for my children, even when…especially when…they try my patience. Shouldn’t the love I have in my heart for the Lord transform me the same way my daughter’s new love has transformed her?
Having a child with a form of autism means that you do not always automatically have the love or response that you expect. Some times I am moved by love for her, I reach out to her and she (due to sensory issues) recoils. My heart falls. Other times I try so hard to understand her point of view, but it is based in a world that doesn’t work like mine and frustration reigns on both sides.
Then there are the laughs and joys too. The day she actually played with another child for the first time. I wanted to shout it to the world, but the world wouldn’t understand why it was so important. She makes me laugh. My sweet little girl takes the world so literally. One day I told her to, “Hop into the car.” and she did, hop, hop, like a bunny. Another time the radio announcer reminded everyone to, “Get up on the right side of the bed tomorrow.” She looked puzzled and said, “If I don’t get up on the right side of my bed, I’ll be under my sister’s bed.” (They share a trundle and she sleeps on the lower part.) These things endear my little girl to me. I love her so much.
I’m sorry I reacted so badly to her this morning. I pray the Lord will help me to do a better job tomorrow.
Lord, loving someone who isn’t showing you love is so hard. How did You do it? We hung You on the cross and yet You loved us as You suffered. Help me to love like You do, even when I am suffering.
*In case anyone is wondering, I am purposely not using my children’s names. It was the promise I made to them when they agreed to let me chronicle our story. It does make it a little harder to write these entries, but a promise is a promise. Thanks for understanding. God bless.