Nothing is small in Texas, especially sunsets. In fact, if you’re heading west at the end of the day on I-30 toward Dallas, the colors can paint that big Texas sky so vividly that it’s hard to see. Against the blazing orange, objects can easily fade to black.

The Texas sun was just beginning to set when Ty Osman II, pulled over on the side of I-30 to help a friend. As he walked back toward his truck, he was hit by a passing car. The driver, blinded by the blazing sunset, never even saw him. Eighteen-year-old Ty was airlifted to the nearest hospital in critical condition.

His parents, Ty, Sr. and Nancy, and his sisters, Adair and Kendall, flew in from Nashville that night. For the next two days, they stayed at his bedside. Monitors beeped. Tests were run. There wasn’t much the doctors could do. Young Ty never regained consciousness. On Sunday morning, March 4, 2012, he quietly passed from this life while his mother held his hand.


Recently, I met with Nancy Osman in a bustling Nashville coffee shop. We knew each other in college. Even though I had kept up with her through mutual friends, I hadn’t seen her in years.

“Thank you, Nancy, for your willingness to share your story with me—I know it must be difficult.”

Her smile radiated with courage and purpose as she said,

“It’s not my story; it’s God’s story. I’ve seen how God can bring life out of death and turn sadness into hope. I want others to know that.”

We sipped our coffee and talked about her son Ty’s life. Her openness was refreshing. Her love and honor for God was evident. I sat there in awe, quietly praying for her as she shared about how God had provided blessings throughout their tragedy.

“Ty had designated that he wanted to be an organ donor, so we honored his request,” Nancy said. “Ty’s decision permanently altered the lives of five recipients. This would have thrilled him! It is such comfort to know that Ty’s life still gives life to these people every day, even five years later.”

“A year after Ty died, we flew back to Texas to meet the recipients of Ty’s organs. We felt so blessed to meet them. We wanted to honor Ty’s life in them.”

The family listened to Ty’s heart with a stethoscope. This is Ty’s sister, Adair.

When it was Nancy’s turn, she laid her head against the chest of the man who received Ty’s heart and listened for a long time—she just wanted to feel close to her son, again.

When I asked Nancy how she felt when she first met Paul Morse, the recipient of Ty’s heart, the noisy coffee shop seemed to grow strangely quiet. Her green eyes brimmed with tears as she said, “Part of my son was there! A part of him lives in Paul…all I could feel toward him was joy and overwhelming love. We will always be connected.”

As I talked with Nancy, I began to realize just how beautiful a mother’s love is:

It’s a forever kind of love.

Death and time cannot alter it.

There is great joy in it.

An important truth suddenly became more real to me: A mother’s love is an earthly reflection of God’s love.

Sometimes, the depth of God’s love can be pretty hard to grasp. So, to help us, God often compares His love to the love of a mother in the Scriptures:

  • The Lord comforts us like a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66:13).
  • Like a mother who will never forget her nursing child, God will never forget his children (Isaiah 49:15).
  • The Lord longs to be close to His children, like a mother hen longs to gather her chicks under her wings (Luke 13:34).

Seeing how much Nancy still loves her son, even as he lives on in others, reminds me that God loves every believer like that. Much like Nancy’s story, the heart of God’s Son lives on within us. When we receive Christ, He comes to dwell within our hearts (Gal. 2:20). So when God looks at us, He sees His Son’s life in us. This helps me understand God’s beautiful love just a little better: 

It’s a forever kind of love.

Death and time cannot alter it.

There is great joy in it.

In Ephesians 3, Paul prays that the Ephesians (and all believers) would be able to grasp how wide, long, high and deep the love of God is.

That’s because we need to know how deeply we’re loved. Every. Single. Day. Living with a growing sense of God’s love is inspiring. It can give us strength to face difficulty. Living loved can lead us out of sorrow and despair.

Ty knew God’s love. Maybe he first saw it in the way his mother and father loved him. He tweeted this verse just days before his death, as if he knew what would happen:

God’s love was Ty’s strength and portion forever, and it is ours, too. 

This Mother’s Day, remember the special, forever kind of love God gives to mothers. And even though a mother’s love may be somewhat flawed and human, it is meant to point to a much greater love.

Believe it. Receive it. And celebrate it, by loving God and your family with all of your heart.

Happy Mother’s Day!


*Thank you Ty, Sr., Nancy, Adair and Kendall Osman for sharing your beautiful story. You love Ty well, even now.

* For further information about Ty’s life and his memorial foundation, go to