I don’t want to love them too much.
I don’t want to hold on too tight.
I mean, it was amazing when I was in Haiti – when two little boys with big smiles fell into my lap, when one fell asleep on my shoulder and I didn’t dare move so I could enjoy the sleepy weight of him, when I coaxed out deep belly laughter that rang like music in my ears. In those moments, my heart expanded with love so deep and rich and big, that I could hardly contain it.
But then I got home and they’re far away.
And we got word that the mom of one of our boys didn’t sign the paperwork that needs to be signed, and we can’t take a single step forward until she does.
So a voice in my head says, Guard your heart! Hold on Loosely! Don’t love so much because this will hurt way too much if it doesn’t go through.
Love is a risk.
But here’s the truth: Love is always a risk.
It’s a risk to love my husband. We never know what tomorrow will bring. A dear friend recently lost her husband in a matter of months. Her heart is utterly broken, her family devastated.
It’s a risk to love our friends. Life is transient and unfair and harsh sometimes. Friends move or fall away.
It’s a risk to love, period.
So the more I try to figure out how to guard my heart and still fight for our boys… I realize it can’t be done. It just wont work to hold on loosely when our boys need us to pray, hold tight, love deep.
When Brian and I were in Haiti, I snapped this picture of Brian with Laurentz.
The hand of a protective father holding his baby boy, Brian’s strong hand is planted right over his heart.
I look at that picture and my heart melts.
I realize that’s how we will love our boys, in spite of the risk. I realize that’s how we can allow the expanding of our hearts as we hold them, pray for them, fight for them.
Ultimately, even if our hearts break, the one who fixes broken hearts is right there with us, his strong hand upon us. He is big and kind and good. And He risks more than any of us. He loves each and every one of us deeply and passionately. He longs for us to be his children. And yet so many of us never realize it, or we say no, turn aside or walk away. I can’t imagine how his heart breaks!
If we can trust our hearts into anyone’s hands, it’s his.
And so we pray:
Please, Lord, if you would be so kind—bring our boys home. Hold that mother close and help her to know how much we will love her son. Pave the way through government red tape and financial need. Expand our hearts and our world. Fill us with battle-fighting, prayer-warrior, mom and dad kind of love. And then open every door to bring these boys home, that this risk will have it’s precious reward: a family united.
And if by some painful twist of events, things don’t turn out as we expect, hold us close, wipe our tears and teach us to cling to you.
Teach us to risk as you risked for us,
Elsa and Brian