How to Live Abundantly One Day at a Time

An Interview with Emily Colson

Life’s challenges can rob us of our joy—especially when circumstances appear hopeless. If words such as fear, pain, illness, sorrow, loss, or doubt describe your life, you need to know you are not alone.

Emily Colson, daughter of the late Chuck Colson, speaks with honest compassion about life as a single parent and the surprising gifts from God she has encountered while raising Max. You will laugh with her, and come to love her, as she shares about how to live abundantly—one day at a time.

Watch the Interview

Emily has been a single mother for most of Max’s life and has learned hard lessons in life, love, and a whole lot of laughter. Emily and Max live on the coast of New England where they can often be found dancing.

Interview Questions

  1. When did you first come face-to-face with having to choose to persevere? What was that like?
  2. You mentioned a “purpose in it all.” As you live life one day at a time, what purpose do you find?
  3. What is the hardest part of cultivating perseverance in your daily life?
  4. While developing the disciplines of obedience and perseverance, you were asked to write a book. What happened after that?
  5. As your dad’s relationship with Max grew, what was it like for you as a mom to watch that unfold?
  6. Perseverance also means learning to live unselfishly. What is that like for you today?
  7. What words of hope and passages of Scripture can you offer to those who are in the midst of suffering?

Let Me Hear from You

We would love to hear from you.

  • Perhaps you are wondering how to move forward with hope—wondering if you will ever again feel freedom and joy.
  • Maybe you are questioning God’s purpose in your life.
  • Perhaps you have been struggling with a lingering illness, a lengthy divorce, or loneliness; and you are longing to connect.

You are invited to share and enjoy community in the comments section below.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Connect with Emily Colson

Emily ColsonYou can connect with Emily or get your own copy of her book on her blog.

Through her message, Emily has inspired many to persevere through their own challenges and see the gifts that can come from autism.

  • Emily speaks to churches and organizations nationwide and has appeared on numerous media programs, including Focus on the Family and the The Mike Huckabee Show.
  • In her book, Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free, Emily and her father share the beauty of life with Max, Emily’s 22 year-old son with autism. The book won the “2011 Outstanding Literary Work of the Year (Family Division) Award” by the Autism Society.

Insight for Living Ministries Resources

  • Absolutely inspiring! I cried when I saw this interview. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Wayne, wasn’t it fantastic! Emily is the same…on camera, off camera, at home with Max or in front of thousands she is speaking to…just an incredible woman of wisdom and grace. I’m so glad the Lord used this in your own life…and thankful for men who can honestly say they shed a few tears! = ) Great to hear from you again. Colleen

  • Terri Novak

    From the Novak Cheering Section: Another fantastic interview! Colleen, you ask such great questions and your guests are always so honest and forthcoming with their struggles, fears and processes. I love how you and your guests always bring it back to how the Lord works wonders and develops true faith, breaking though our misconceptions about Him and our faith-walk into victory and belief. Thank you to Emily for sharing her heart and her son’s life with us all out here. Only, now I’m bummed that I have to wait a month for your next interview 🙂 May blessings lead and follow you as you faithfully minister to your own son, your family and those of us who enriched by your hard work.

    • Terri, you are so sweet! Thank you for your positive words! I’m so happy to know these have been a source of grand encouragement! Emily is one incredible person…really, such a deep and dear soul. And how she is with Max is wonderful! Thank you for your time and continued support as well. I am working on next month’s interview as we speak and it’s a GREAT one too! Can’t wait to share it with everyone! Have a great afternoon! Colleen

  • Roger

    A wonderful and beautiful example of a mom’s deep love for God, her son and now to others. Thank you, Emily, for sharing your life!

    • Roger,
      Your comment is one of the highest compliments a mother can receive…that their love for God and what He has allowed comes through. I am sending your note to Emily right after I comment here. Thank you, thank you for commenting in such an honoring way. Have a blessed evening, Colleen

  • jean

    I love the part thta says it love that help us overcome our weaknessess and it is not about ourselves.I am blessed in this interview.Your dads are both charles,and they are both my favorite.

    • Jean,
      What wonderfully kind words! I will pass them along to my dad. It is such a comfort that the Lord is the one who comes to our aid and is to be praised in all things. Thank you for your comments and I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Colleen

      • jean

        Thanks colleen i am from Manila. Since my single years up to now God never failed me find solution for many of life’s troubles.Including a situation similar to the late pastor colson’s daughter regarding his son Max.Only my situation is my difficult marriage in the abundance of counsel God provide me through pastor Charles Swindoll books.I approve of Miss Colson’s conclusion that what makes us survive for days,weeks and years enduring our ugliest situation is LOVE for the object of our suffering and not ourselves.I came to know this through pastor charles swindoll counsel in what to do in a seemingly hopeless situation that refuses to be resolve.He says that in such situation we ” live it to God”.As i follow your da’s advise in his book my difficult marriage became a light burden to endure bec. i choose to love my husband and son more than myself..When i carried my cross with love i find purpose in my life as a servant that gives me abundant life of living in peace with myself,joy in His strenghthening and Love for the struggling.

        • Jean,
          What an amazing testimony you have of what it means to love without condition. I will pass a note along to my dad regarding your kind words about his books and ministry. Thank you for taking the time to write and offer such inspirational wisdom. May you have a very blessed day. Colleen

          • jean

            Thank you colleen,The lord bless you with more years of being a light to all who have special needs.

          • Jean,
            Thank you for your kind words. It is always the light of Christ that shines through us for we are but broken pots, pieces of clay that He uses in ways only He can do. May He continue to shine for the time He allows me to have in this position and place. Thank you for your kindness. Colleen