Deciding to Love

Posted on: November 14, 2012 Written by
Deciding to Love
      Photography by: Beth Symanzik from iStock    

Our soon-to-be-adopted son died recently.  He was four-and-one-half years old.  He was born hydrocephalic, blind, and with multiple health issues.  We birthed him through eight hospital stays, six surgeries, and numerous bouts of pneumonia.  We had been told he would probably only live three to five years.  We took him and his twin brother in.

It has not been an easy four years with the twins.  Our family has stretched and been pulled to tearing.  Mending has happened.  Mending is still going on.  God walks us each through various trials and paths.

Jerard has been precious to me.  Jesus made him just the way he was, just as Jesus made me and my other children the way we are.  Jerard’s special needs have been irons of fire Christ has used to mold me more into His likeness.

Jerard’s blindness taught me to see the depth of love Christ has for me and for each of His children.  Jerard’s weakness helped me discover more deeply the truth in God’s Word that when I am weak, He is strong.  Jerard’s inability to balance taught me the need to lean into my Saviour more.  I loved the way Jerard just seemed to melt into me when I would hold him.  It was a perfect reminder to me of my own need to lean into my Saviour, resting ever in His arms no matter what storm is raging around me.

I thank God for Jerard.

The road these past four-plus years has been hard.  I do not regret the road we have traveled with Jerard.  It has been a road full of mercy, a road leading me closer to my FATHER’s love.

All I know is that all is grace.  My FATHER knew what HE was doing when HE created Jerard, when HE brought him to our family.  I rest in HIS loving arms, thanking HIM for HIS gift—thanking HIM for Jerard.

Would I do it again?  Yes.  Even though I am grieving deeply his loss, I know Jerard is in Heaven with Jesus; seeing, running, happy.

And is not true religion this…to look after orphans and widows in their distress?

James 1:27

Is not love a decision?  It is not a feeling.  I am very sure Jesus did not feel like going to the cross, but He chose to go for us, each of us.


© 2012 Women of the Harvest.

Question to Consider:   In what ways have you had to “decide to love?”

About the author

Beth Symanzik, Southern Philippines “My husband, Kurt, and I have served 6 years with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Southern Philippines. Our family blog is at We came to the Philippines with three biological children and were graced with two additional one year after living here. Our children are ages 17, 14, 11, and 4. I am working on a Masters Degree in counseling through a local seminary here and also starting to work on a book about our life as cross-cultural workers these past six years.”

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