Filed under Motherhood Tributes
As I (Mandy) am sitting here thinking about my mom, my mind is flooded with so much that I could say about her. If I had to choose just one word that would best describe her, it would be JOY. My mom is a Proverbs 31 woman on every account, but when I think about her in relation to this Proverb, verse 25 comes first to my mind, “…she can laugh at the days to come.” You see, my mom is a woman of grace—her anchor, her rock, her trust, her foundation is the Lord; and her relationship with Jesus and her love for our Savior is where her joy springs from.
Three words that I (Emily) can think of to best sum up my mom’s character would be faithfulness, devotion and joy. Growing up, it was a daily routine to observe my mom rising early before the rest of the family, spending her first moments with her Bible and a daily dose of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. Some of my most cherished memories are of time spent early in the morning, snuggling close to my mom as she finished out her devotions with prayer, thanking God and laying her requests before Him. As years went by, it became apparent that Mom’s devotion to spending time with her Lord and Savior each morning and communing with Him truly was the foundation and strength of her life—in good times and in bad.
(Mandy) About 5 years ago, our father became ill with a serious blood disorder. The disease moved him, my mom, and my three youngest siblings out of the state and away from friends, family and their local church, while I and my oldest brother stayed at home. After about 6 months, my father passed away and went to be with the Lord. During the end of my dad’s life, as my family and I spent several difficult weeks in the hospital with him, my mom showed me what it truly meant to love and be committed to and faithful to one man. Now as a newly married woman, I am so thankful for the grace the Lord gave to my mom to love and care for my father through their entire marriage but mostly through the hardest part of her marriage—saying good bye to her husband for the final time. I am so grateful that when she could have given up, and walked away and said this is too hard, she instead obeyed the Lord, and stayed by my dad’s side and served him and loved him when he needed her most and showed me that it is possible to love and care for and be faithful to my own marriage vows and to the one man that the Lord has graciously given me—until the day when I might have to say my final good bye to him.
(Emily) I’ll never forget Mom’s response to my many questions of “why?!”—“We have to trust God,” she said. “Don’t ask why, and don’t try to figure it out, trust God. He is sovereign and He is good.” In the following weeks and months, the pain was intense. We all took turns crying and holding each other, struggling to find a new “normal” as a family. Throughout this time, my mom drew nearer and nearer to God; she had moments of despair, of not wanting to wake up in the morning, not wanting to move on with life and accept the changes that God had brought, but still each morning she devoted her day to the Lord. She drew her strength from God’s Word and each day discovered the hope in God’s eternal promises to carry on.
(Mandy) In the days following my father’s death, I watched my mom experience sorrow, and loneliness in a way that I think can only truly be understood if experienced; yet at the same time, I also watched her draw nearer to the Lord and find her complete dependence and strength and, yes, even again, new joy in the Lord more so than ever before in my life. Since then, my mom’s anchor in the Lord has only deepened and I’ve seen her grow in greater love with Jesus and consider Him the most precious treasure in her life. I’ve seen her step-out in faith and obey the Lord doing things that’d she never on her own choose to do, yet once done for the Lord, I’ve seen her experience God’s joy and favor.
(Emily) As the years have passed, bringing graduations, weddings, a grandchild and more changes, Mom’s joy increased. It has become evident to all, that her joy is in the Savior, not her circumstances, and she has chosen to acknowledge His sovereignty on her life. With open arms, she has embraced the new life and responsibilities that God set before her, all the while growing in strength and wisdom from her times with the Lord. Today, Mom exemplifies what it means to be a woman of God. God has graciously provided a job that she can do from home, so she is faithfully home schooling my little brothers and has created a warm, inviting and hospitable home. She serves in her local church and is a wise friend and encourager. She delights in her family and she overflows with joy and peace. Looking back over the years, seeing all that God has done and brought into our lives, the various circumstances, the blessings and the heartaches, the numerous changes that we never saw coming, I see my Mom, in her quiet and humble strength, proclaiming that God is faithful, that God is unchanging, and that God is good. I cannot thank God enough for her example, for giving her to me as my Mom.
(Mandy) If you were to talk to my mom now, you would hear her say in word and in action that God is good and faithful! My mom would tell you that there is much hope in the Lord and in trusting your life to Him even through the hardest of seasons. She would tell you that even though the Lord’s ways may not be understood they are trustworthy. And she would tell you that there is nothing better than knowing Jesus as your Lord, Savior and Faithful God. She would tell you that the only true source of joy in all of life springs from knowing the One who created joy for us to experience, the One who gives us abundant joy here on the earth and the One who is Joy Himself. My mom, “laughs at the days to come.”