Love is Always Worth the Fight
by Dawn Aldrich
I ran across this story told by Christina Norton on Facebook a few weeks ago. Since it portrayed breakthrough so beautifully, I asked her to share it with us. May you be inspired and challenged to love hard.
We decided to up our exercise game.
Day one. Luke sat out.
Day two. Caleb raced me to the TV. Couldn’t wait to start. Awesome. My six-year old, Luke, planted his pouty self on the couch and picked up a video game. He sometimes struggles with anxiety and for some reason he was afraid to try this new thing. Fear gripped him… hard…bringing tears to his eyes and a quiver to his chin.
After thirty seconds of inward deliberation I gently, but firmly, told Luke to stand up and come to me. He did, tears spilling over, quiver becoming a whimper. I bent down and eye-to-eye told him this is part of school and I expected him to participate. No participation, no video games. His little hands covered his face as a sob escaped his throat.
I stood behind him, my arms wrapped around his, my hands gently grasping his wrists, as together we shuffled to the left, raised our hands, then shuffled to right, over and over again. We punched it out, Luke crying and jabbing the air, picturing my face in front of his, I imagine. Front kicks and back kicks and football sprints and bicycle spins and Luke sobbing, “But I’m the littlest one in the family! I want to stop!”
Heart squeezed and ripping, with great love, I told Luke he was doing amazing; that he COULD do this; that he had nothing to fear; that he is an overcomer, a winner, a champion, a warrior. He said he wanted to sleep. I said no. I pushed him harder, I loved him harder, I fought for him harder.
And you know what happened?
The tears stopped. He started to smile. A giggle bubbled up from where a sob had once been. He gleefully began jumping around. I stepped back, watching the transformation. I teared, I smiled. I inwardly cheered my heart out.
We have a choice: Will we break or will we break through?
Love doesn’t enable. Love doesn’t take the easy way out. Love doesn’t cater to fear. Love doesn’t quit. Love is patient and kind, yes, and gentle. But love is also strong and bold. Courageous. Fearless. Powerful. Transforming. The easy way out is no way out. It’s a way into bondage. Love does not go quietly into that dark night. Love rages, rages against the dying of the light.
Love is always worth the fight.
Christina and her husband, John are founders of Hope Immanuel Mission (HIM), an inner city outreach aiming to provide food, clothing, and eventually shelter for the needy. It is their goal to bring the Kingdom of God to the streets. Most importantly, they aim to share the love of God with all those they meet–by meeting and loving others right where they are. John & Christina have hope because God is with us! Their mission is to share this hope with others.
To help support their family and ministry, they sell Mission Coffee. (“We always knew coffee would help save the world!” they say.) They offer the following roasts: Boldness, Fearless, Victory, and Freedom. Each bag is $10 and can be purchased by contacting theym by phone (860-463-1050), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Facebook (www.facebook.com/johnandchristina.norton). Their website will be up and running soon, and at that time purchases can be made online as well (www.missioncoffee.net).