What Kind of Love Does It Take?

What kind of love does it take?

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a broken girl who got there by constantly choosing a path running from you, attempting to escape to a life away from your love, denying your existence? Never letting go, you keep her safe and protected and covered in a love that has no limits, no conditions, no fear, no expectations. You give her your whole heart regardless of how much of hers she gives you.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl who is scarring and punishing and killing and shrinking what you so perfectly designed, your work of art, what you so beautifully and carefully and meticulously created and not get mad at her? There is no spite or revenge. You only love her more fiercely. You only pour out more grace.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl who ignores you and pushes you away and never leave her side? As she sits on the couch unable to move, lost in her own world, mute, unnoticed, you stay right by and allow your presence to warm the frigid air piercing her body. You let the peace of all you are give her mind brief seconds of silence, of freedom. As night falls and the world goes to sleep, you stay awake with her, bringing your light into her darkness, bringing your hope into her hurt, bringing your strength into her struggle. You watch over her as she slowly fades away to ensure she knows this is not her end.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl who is screaming at you to let her go, yelling in strained breaths to take her already, fighting your grasp in a near lifeless body and not for one second let her fall? To not turn your back with the rest of the world as she attempts a quicker end to what she begged for you to bring her, trying herself to fulfill a prayer she spent every second speaking to you. To not punish her for her escape plan but overriding it with your own. Turning her period into a semicolon.

What kind of love does it take to walk alongside a girl as the world points and gawks and whispers as she walks by and never run from her? To never hide, disown her, deny her but instead walk closer, hold her tighter, smile in her presence. To be proud to be seen with her, to have her as your daughter, your joy, your light. To tell her as people stare at her with looks of pity and disgust what a privilege it is that she is yours, reminding her that you chose her and will do so again and again regardless of what she becomes.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl as she spews out words of hate towards you for allowing this to happen and you not flinching, you not fighting back, showing no anger? To respond over and over with the daggers she throws a simple and gentle “I love you.” With tears in your eyes as you stare in those of your hurting child, you remind her she is treasured. She is adored. Nothing she can say or do will ever change your love for her.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl with an end that with the human eye looked inevitable and imminent and protect her body from ever knowing what that would actually look like? As she made funeral arrangements and gave detailed instructions to her mom of what she wanted, you refuted every request. As she told her list of the songs she wanted played, you said for her to wait because one day soon she will be dancing to them. As she spoke of where she wanted her ashes to be spread, you told her to hold on because one day soon her feet will walk that land. As she spoke of all the people she wanted to be there, you said to not stop yet because one day soon those people will need to be invited to hear her speak. As the world was planning for a death that was never written, you were planning for a life just a page turn away.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl with her back to you and her ears covered and continue whispering beautiful stories of all that is before her, of all that she is to be, of all the lives she is going to touch? To show her images of places she is going to explore and experiences she will live out and love she will learn to feel. To never give up on making her see this life of today is only temporary and that she is only ever one choice away from calling those visions hers.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl who keeps breaking promises and cancelling plans with you yet you never let your own towards her go unkept? To be so patient and forgiving as she goes against her word trusting soon she would make the wise choice. Knowing soon she would begin her journey home to the tree of life. To see beyond what all the evidence pointed to and into a tomorrow where you created her free.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl and lay with her on hospital beds and implant in her heart dream after dream to keep her soul awake a little longer before it had a chance to align with a body drifting out of consciousness? To hold her heart in your hands to keep it beating, to keep it fantasizing, to keep it fighting until help arrives. To sit with her in a crash room eagerly waiting for her to wake back up to life to be the first thing she sees when she opens her eyes, her fully believing you would have left by now but so relieved to be proved wrong.

What kind of love does it take to hold in your hands a girl and take her pain for her, a pain that you never warranted or deserved? To be the strength in her legs when the world was forcing her to stand even though her body could no longer hold up the weight. To be the breath in her lungs and the hope in her veins. To be every heartbeat, every step, every victory. To wipe every tear and kiss every wound.

What kind of love does it take to love a broken girl back to life? There is only one kind.

God’s.

J.L.