It’s been a minute since I’ve written. That’s because the last few weeks have been literally insane. My son had another surgery and after spending about a week in hospital, we came home to deal with his recovery. I can’t possibly get into all the things I’ve learnt over these past few weeks. But one of the things that I feel compelled to share is the selflessness of love.
Full recovery from this last surgery takes about 3 to 4 weeks. That’s because my son had surgery to correct a severe hypospadias that he was born with. Probably best to google that if you don’t know what it is… But in a nutshell, he has had to go through three surgeries to correct his pee-pee because he was born without an opening at the tip of his pee-pee. If you have any emotion, the very thought of that would make you cross your legs and cringe. My little man had to go through that 3 times in the last year as the surgery was done in phases.
As a mom…and a single mom, I can’t tell you how hard it is to see your little one in pain and know that you can’t do anything to help. And this feeling will last for the duration of his entire recovery.
Over the last month or so though, I’ve learned that love is not selfish. There were many times when I was frustrated by his crying…, by his inability to sleep…as he constantly tugged and tugged at the area and made things worse. Everything was stressful. Bathing…walking, sleeping… In addition to this, I am faced with the fact that every surgery brings on a level of trauma that makes it hard for him to adjust. After each surgery and particularly after this one, he became petrified of his bed, being left alone, even seeing anyone other than me. And so… I had to be there for him. All of the time.
I can’t tell you how exhausted I was…,am… And to add on that, I had to go back to work in order to keep up going. But each day, I find that God gives me an extra measure of grace. This grace is the grace to not think about how I feel, or what I need, or what I didn’t have. It’s the grace to focus on what my son needs, what he is feeling and what he is going through. And so, every day I’ve been waking up after 2 to 3 hours of sleep sometimes and just holding him, encouraging him, praying for him. And letting him know that it’s going to be okay. I make him what he wants to eat. Play with him as much as I can despite how tired I am. I do all of his appointments back and forth to others cities…and I do it acknowledging that I am grateful to God that I have a son.
I say all of this, not to boast about me. Not to complain about what I am going through. But because I find that people are often so consumed with themselves, that they miss what others around them are going through. I might be tired or getting weak or whatever… but someone that I claim to love, is going through something and he needs me. He doesn’t need my frustration. He doesn’t need me to neglect him. He doesn’t need me to focus on me. He needs me to love on him and encourage him and let him know that it’s going to be okay.
When we make life about ‘us’ we will be miserable. There will never be a moment of peace and happiness because we essentially can’t pinpoint why we miserable. It’s really because we are so focused on us. But if we can focus on others… how much happier we would be.
Real love is really not about ‘us’. It’s not about ‘me’. When Christ went to the cross, he had to let go of what it would mean for Him and begin to focus on what it would mean for ‘us’. Real love focuses on the ‘other’.
And so I want to leave on that note. I challenge you to not just talk about loving people when they are good to you. But actually manifest love. Give them a taste of selfless love, when things are not going so great. When they are lying in hospital and are miserable and grumpy because of the pain. Or when they are feeling alone and they can’t articulate what they need. How do you react to these things? Do you say ‘well I can’t deal with that right now. I am too tired’? Or do you put aside yourself and give of yourself as Christ would have you to do?