I Found Love at Disney World

After traveling the interstate from Texas to Florida, we approached the waiting line for one of our favorite rides at Disney World. 

My youngest daughter had injured her knee, so we’d rented a wheelchair. Thoroughly excited to help her little sister, my oldest daughter pushed the wheelchair to the wait line. And baby sister hobbled out to wait.


Who is that? What’s going on?

Our attention was totally captured.

Off to the left, a lady, cute as a button, sat in a wheelchair, her long brown hair hung down her shoulders, her legs clearly useless. And her husband busied himself around her. Then he gently and purposefully moved in front of her, bent, and proceeded to pick her up in his arms. As she dangled helplessly in his strong arms, he carried her … he carried her to the ride. 

My heart broke into a thousand pieces. And those thousand pieces melted on the cold, heavily trampled ground. And then those pieces rose and pulled together to form two hands … and those hands clapped. What love! I thought. My breath caught.


What love.

What a man! Oh, how I loved him instantly … for his strength, his patience, his endurance, his love, his kindness, his mercy.

As the girls and I proceeded to the line, tears pricked my eyes. 

My oldest daughter touched my back gently. I turned. “Mom, you’re crying,” she said. 

I smiled. “That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

“Mom, I love you.”

“He carried her.”

“Mom … I love you.”

That precious man’s actionssomething he’d probably done a million timestouched my heart. The beauty of it. And his touching of my heart dominoed, touching my daughter’s with the gentlest of fingertips. 


Who is that?

Our God. 


What love.

I’m so crippled, y’all. I have so much baggage from childhood, from things dropped on me and then from my own heart-breaking crippling choices. 

The dominoes fall, and fall, and fall. Blackened, spotted ivory piece after ivory piece.

But God loves me. He sticks by my side. He moves in front of me gently and purposefully. He takes me everywhere I need to go … places I never dreamed I’d go. He takes me where He wants me to go. And as I wait on Him, He bends down, picks me up, and carries me on this amazing ride called Life.

I don’t deserve the ride. I deserve to sit on the sidelines, only able to watch. And even that is more than I deserve. I deserve nothing.

But He is merciful, and beautiful, and kind.

And as I live with a reserve of grateful tears, overwhelmed by His love, my girls see. They witness it all. 

And when they say, “Mom, I love you” … I know they love my whole package. They know my whole package. Me. All my rights, all my wrongs, all my attempts, all me. 

But more importantly, they love and admire He who carries me. They see Him. They see His every move. They see me dangling helplessly in His strong arms. And they believe He’s the most attractive thing in the universe.


What love.

And they lift their sweet arms …

They reach for their dream come true.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. –Psalm 18:16


Have you witnessed something so beautiful? Beautiful humanity. Something that took your breath? That brought instant tears? Would you care to share? What about your own experience? Do you have a sweet story of lifting your arms to Him?

18 thoughts on “I Found Love at Disney World

  1. Awww, Shelli. Such a beautiful post. First of all, after tearing my ACL recently, I commiserate wth your daughter in the wheelchair. Nothing like that to make a girl feel helpless. I hope your daughter is doing better now.

    I've been privy to a number of beautiful acts done by others. Some of the sweet ones lately have been me in a hot mess, stressed about a situation and my youngest coming up to me and saying, “Mom, you need something.” And wrapping his arms around my waist to give me a hug. Never underestimate the power of human touch. My husband has served me and ministered to me when I've injured myself (sprained ankle a few years ago, knee right now). He's taken up my slack and still made me feel cherished.


  2. Aww, Jeanne. Yes … I knew you'd empathize with her. And of all places to happen. We have no idea how she injured it. She seemed fine the first day … but I guess that second day, she started limping. But bless her heart, she never complained … just scrunched up her nose. She's better. Just resting it helped. We got tickled that on our day at Universal Studios, she was so much better and so rested … while the rest of us chugged along. But … it slowed us down and that is always a good thing … just making you appreciate the health you have.

    And your son … “Mom, you need something” … oh, my word. I would have come undone, I imagine. That's so sweet. How are you feeling? Are you healing? Will you need surgery?


  3. A beautiful expression of devotion. This man's selfless commitment to his wife demonstrates more than just a good guy's compassionate heart, it exemplifies the bond of marital oneness and love at their very best.


  4. Truly a beautiful scene. I would have cried too, had I been there, and I did cry as I read your printed word. Just beautiful.

    Here's a beautiful scene I witnessed once. A family here in town are like family to me. I taught all three of their children in middle school and then again in my high school public speaking class. So I know them quite well. The mom of the group is close to my like a sister. When two of the now adult kids were still in middle school (oh, I need to mention that these kids are each a year apart!), the youngest, a girl, had a birthday. Now, I've seen these two younger ones go at it a bit, get irritated with each other and throw fits. All my siblings are much older, so I don't much like it when I see that because I think, if they only knew what it would be like to grow-up all alone.

    So Tayler's having her birthday and I'm there in my Aunt Melodie role. Here comes Ryan, a year older, into the dining room caring a cake with the candles all lit. He's hunched over like a little old man walking kinda silly. He sets it carefully down in front of her and he's singing happy birthday to her all by himself in a really silly, but loving voice. And she was like, “ahhhh…” And looks at her real close when he sets it down. It was just the sweetest thing.

    Love between siblings. In their home. On a birthday.


  5. What a lovely story, Shelli!

    We have something similar happening here…there are a couple of special-needs dogs…

    First, Mocha Java, Barbara's 18-year-old Rottweiler mix. She had one hind leg amputated a few years ago, and now can't really support herself on the other, so to take her out we have to sling her hindquarters. It's charming how she (please pardon this) has adapted to urinating from this position; she slings her remaining leg high, and settles into the sling, and it always makes me think of someone leaning into God's embrace…that trust that she won't be dropped.

    Then there's Bella the Miracle Dog, a Toto-like little girl who Barbara found in a flooded roadside ditch, with a broken back.

    Bella's spine was shattered and displaced, but her spinal cord is at least partially intact, so she is learning to walk, or at least hop, again. She needs sideways support, but she truly wants to work on this.

    I'm glad they're here.



  6. Awww, Melodie … that's precious. And he must have requested to sing the song to her all by himself … and had that “look” pre-thought out. Sweetness. To be loved. Sweetness. I'm so glad you shared that with me. It really makes you want to love your family deeper.


  7. It makes me want to throw a fit over my siblings. I did that just a tad bit when my brother was down recently. I've always loved him, of course … but I'd missed him so much more this time. And well, I laughed myself silly while he was here … I hated to see him go.


  8. Wow, Andrew. Y'all amaze me. Injured animals pull at my heart like little else. I can't stand it. I think because they are so helpless. Or can be. I've always been the type that if I take on an animal … I'll have it till it departs this earth. I can't imagine giving one away. I just can't. If I take you on, I'm committed through the good and bad. That's why I can't look at pictures on TV of injured animals … NO … I can't see it. Crushes my heart and pulls me to action, when my brain is saying otherwise. I'm so glad you do what you do. You are a God-send to them. An angel. And I know they love you. Animals love well.


  9. Shelli, this is beautiful. I can picture those tears on your face because you have your Father's eyes and heart. Psalm 18 is very special to me because it reminds me of my recovery story, and it inspired my tagline: My faith is not shallow because I've been rescued from the deep. God is able, God is good.
    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy


  10. Beautiful story of sacrificial love, Shelli. My mom was in a nursing home after a stroke, and my cousin brought her mom, also in a wheel chair, to visit. The two sisters, both in their nineties, knew this was their last time together this side of heaven and they wanted to hug. (Can't write this without tears.) Four of us lifted them to a stand so they could hold each other for the last time. So precious. Grateful I got to witness that moment.


  11. What a beautiful moment that must have been, Becky. To love a lifetime. It's so hard to let go this side of Heaven. Because we can't fully see the other side … just yet. That reminded me of when my grandmother passed away, and my great-aunt rolled my great-uncle (my grandmother's youngest brother) into the funeral home in his wheelchair to see my grandmother's precious body. Just tore up my heart. The two of them were so close. He died a year after she did. He had had bad health for many years … I couldn't believe she left this earth before he did. Thank you for sharing your sweet story and reminding me of my grandmother, too. xoxo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s