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Heroic Love of the Cross, by Kate Anderson

Heroic Love is doing something you don't have to do, but you do it anyway because you love the person. Heroic Love is a total self-gift.

I remember growing up how much Good Friday meant to me. The rest of the year I just went through the motions, but that one day hit home for me. When I was in high school my youth group always reenacted The Passion at our church. I was always in tears by the end, because I couldn't believe how much one person loved me and sacrificed just so I could be saved one day. I often wondered if I could and would do that for anyone I loved. I wondered if I could love that big.

Now, I've never, and will probably never, suffer like Christ did. But as special needs parents we go through a different kind of suffering, watching our children navigate a world that wasn't designed for them.We have to constantly advocate for our kids for everything: a fair education, against bullying, medical needs, the right therapies, the list goes on. We lay down our lives for our children every day.

It's hard wondering why our kids have to suffer the way they do. There's been many times when I've asked, "Why my kids?" I'm sure I won't ever know the answer to that question. But I do know that He probably chose my husband and me, because we would love them despite their differences.

God knew it would be hard, but that we would make the sacrifices anyway. The sacrifice to trade movie stubs for hospital bracelets. The sacrifice to not work outside the home anymore for doctor appointments and therapies. The sacrifice with finances to live in an apartment one more year. The sacrifice to stay home instead making our kids uncomfortable at another holiday event. We made these sacrifices, because that's how much we love our kids. We pushed all of our things to the side and put our kids first.

Christ suffered in the biggest way and is the ultimate definition of heroic love. I'm not sure if my love is as huge as Christ's. But I do know it's big. I didn't think that 15 years ago, I'd even be capable of loving so big. I never thought I'd willingly sacrifice as much as I do for someone else, let alone three other people.

I don't have to sacrifice for my kids like I do. I have free will and can choose on my own if I want to or not. But I care for my children. So I'm going to pick up my cross and do what any other parent would do in my situation. I'm going to choose love. Just like our Father chose love for all of us. It's heavy, but Christ is there by my side to help me carry it.

Kate lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. You can read her writing at her blog This Special Journey.

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