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Can You Learn to Love What You Once Feared?

In a time often ripe with fear, John O’Leary shares how you can learn to love what you once feared.


“Is it possible to love the very thing you once feared?”

This was a question Eric Genuis wrestled with as he held his daughter for the first time.

Because the pregnancy was normal, the tests revealed nothing and the delivery went smoothly, Eric and his wife expected a child with full health and ability. Everything went perfectly as planned.

Until everything changed.

The doctors shared with the new parents that their little girl needed surgery and would have lifelong special needs.

On that first day of little Anastasia’s life, Eric could not have fathomed that this child whom the world viewed as less than perfect, would become the very embodiment of true perfection.

He could never have imagined, in those painful first moments when he struggled with how he could fully love what they hadn’t prepared for, that the child he held would teach him how to be his truest expression of love in action.

And yet, on that first day of her life, as a father held his daughter knowing that surgery already awaited her, a commitment was made to be with her, accept her, grow with her, learn from her, protect her and love her.

Eric Genuis is a world-renowned composer and while waiting for sweet Anastasia to recover from one of her early surgeries, he opened his journal and wrote his commitment, prayer, promise, lyrics – a song he could serenade his little girl with as she recovered. [You can see the lyrics in the comments below.]

Lyrics that Reminds Us We Can Love The Very Thing We Fear

My friends, I’ve interviewed and met some of the most remarkable recording artists in the world. I’ve never met an artist with a heart as beautiful as Eric’s nor heard a song as beautiful as the one he composed for his daughter.

Listen to this song that a father wrote for his daughter.

Be profoundly moved by the lyrics he sings to his little girl.

Be stirred by the passion he displays while performing Here I Am.

And even more, be inspired knowing the person recording it is Anastasia. She’s now 16, defined not by her diagnosis of Down syndrome, but by the love she gives freely and the vibrancy she exudes naturally. Watch this video:


Please be sure to share it with others. Hear the rest of the story on our Live Inspired Podcast episode 290 wherever you get podcasts. Recently, we had Anastasia’s Dad as our guest and it’s one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever shared.

My friends, amidst personal challenges and the divisive tensions of the country, many wonder if it is even possible to love the very thing they fear? Is it possible to fully accept and unify with those who look, think, vote and live differently than we do?

Eric and Anastasia’s story reminds us we can absolutely learn to love what we once feared. We can find peace where we once felt sadness. We can find magnificent beauty in what we once viewed as imperfect.

In that awakening, not only can we transform into a far better, more accepting, human being,  but we’ll empower others to do the same in their lives, too.

In a season of so much anger, perhaps we should begin sowing seeds of love.

Today is your day. Live Inspired. 

5 replies on “Can You Learn to Love What You Once Feared?”

The story reminds me of Gene Stallings and his son, John Mark, who was also born with Down’s Syndrome. To paraphrase the Coach, he said something like, “I prayed that God would change John Mark, but instead, God changed me.”
They had an absolutely beautiful relationship until John Mark passed away.

Here I am

Now be still
when you’re back’s against the wall,
Victory it seems no hope at all
I’ll be your wings that soar so high,
this side of paradise.
Now be still until you’re strong;

Here I am
I’m your fire when it’s cold;
Here I am
I’m your guide when you lost your road;
I’m your armor in the fields of war
when the enemy storms the door;
Here I am

Take my hand
when shadows hide your way,
Take my hand
there’ll come a brighter day,
for the love of you and me
is for eternity
take my hand
close by I’ll stay;

Here I am,
I’m your fire when it’s cold;
Here I am
I’m your guide when you lost your road
I’m your bridge above the stormy sea
when earth’s shakes violently

Here I am
I’m your fire when its’ cold
Here I am
I’m guide when you lost your road
I’m you’re your shield when arrows fly
I’ll never leave your side

Here I am
Here I am

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