So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
We went into this with one instruction from God: Love this family. As we said “yes” to Chrissy about adopting sweet Gwen, it was easy to love her. She was giving us something so precious, so wonderful: a daughter, a sister for our little girl, a new baby for our house! I didn’t even know I
wanted another child and yet, here we were!
When we lost Gwen, I could still hear those words resounding in my heart: love this family. But it was harder now. Every instinct in me wanted to cut ties and pretend it never happened. I wanted to pull back and stop talking to everyone I knew or who knew about Gwen. If I pretended it never happened, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much.
But that wasn’t what God was asking of me. More than anything, God wants me to show this sweet woman true, unselfish love. By loving her despite this loss, I am telling her she has value for being her. I don’t need anything from her to love her. She doesn’t owe me anything.
If Gwen had lived, the love would still be easy. It would still be so obviously because she had given me something and we all would have missed this most valuable lesson. God’s love isn’t about what we can give him! We can give him nothing! And still he loves us! We are broken, we are imperfect, we make mistakes every single day, and still he goes on loving us!
When we chose the name Gwen, we chose it because it means “blessed.” We thought we were referring to the fact that she would be so blessed to have so many people who loved her. In fact, we are blessed to have known her at all however short the time may have been. She brought us together and God used her in a powerful way while she was here with us: He reminded us just how much he loves us.