“Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply.” – Henri Nouwen
The 61 days Ryan lived at UCLA Children’s Hospital were permeated with love. A kind of love that never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. A kind of love that far exceeds my comprehension or ability, all the while graciously inviting me in. A kind of love that embraces brokenness and recognizes that “true community is a fellowship of the weak.” There were mountains and valleys and endless opportunities to understand more fully: how wide, how long, how high and how deep God’s love truly is.
We entered the hospital with the hope of healing for Ryan. After battling hard and long, we came home with the deepest sense of gratitude. Not only for seemingly favorable and miraculous outcomes but for the love of God that certainly has held us through it all.
This journey was not only about the love we could give but also what we needed to receive. It helped to sustain us in both joy and sorrow. As Nelson Mandela writes, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere. Oh, but may it come with healing in its wings. For all who have loved and supported us along the way, we will be forever grateful.