Friday, January 18, 2008

MOM’S BEST GIFT

My Mother was a wonderful Christian woman and her life exemplified the “Wife of Noble Character” found in Proverbs 31. I would like to share with you some of the ways Mom blessed my life.

My mother raised me with Godly spiritual wisdom. Many times I saw my Mom read from God’s word. I realized early on that the Bible was an important part of her life. She was a woman of prayer and she prayed with me at nightly when I was young. She also prayed for her family, her Church, her community and her nation. She was faithful to her Church both in attendance and tithing. Although she struggled with her health for many years before her death she always remained steadfast in her faith and praise for God. She knew her life, no matter how it was to be lived, was in His hands.

Speaking of hands, hers were never idol she toiled all day long. She had the most beautiful flower gardens in the neighborhood. Often her back would be hurting so badly that she could no longer physically walk around to pull the weeds from the flowerbeds. It was those times when you would find my mother crawling around on her hands and knees weeding the flowers.

Mom often wondered how I, of her three daughters, turned out to be her best cook since I never wanted to be in the kitchen when she wanted to teach me. What Mother didn’t know was that even though I pretended not to be interested, I was quietly watching because I wanted to grow up to be a great cook just like her.

Mom was a good steward of money. She was thrifty and knew all about recycling before it was something that was popular. In our house tin foil was recycled over and over, and over, and over again.

I praise God because I was also blessed with an artistic Mother. God chose to bless me with the ability to paint and draw as well. The joy of drawing and painting was a bond we shared during her life.

But of all the gifts that Mom has given me over my life she saved the very best gift for last. I would like to share with you the story of Mom’s best gift.
My Mom’s health steadily declined over all the years of my life. I can’t really remember my Mom ever being truly healthy.

For the last two months of my Mom’s life she was unable to care for herself. By the time we moved Mom into my sister’s home she weighed around 92 pounds. Mom required 24-hour care and my sister needed help. Daily for two months I watched Mom grow weaker and weaker in body, but stronger and stronger in her faith. During this time, as I ministered to Mom’s health needs God began to minister to my heart.

You see I became a Christian when I was thirteen but I lived most of my adult life separated from God’s will. For all intents and purposes I was a Christian in name only. My daily life did not reflect God’s indwelling spirit! I began praying daily and meditating on His word. I would sit by Mom’s bed and sing some of the old hymns to her. On really good days Mom would sing a bar or two with me. I spent a lot of time holding Mom’s hand and praying at her bedside.

The last week of Mom’s life she was in constant pain and had to be kept in a Morphine induced sleep to curb the pain. On the rare occasions when Mom would wake up and open her eyes she was unable to see very much as her eyes had become completely clouded over with a dull yellow film. She had even lost the strength and ability to squeeze my hand, as I would sit by her bedside and talk to her.

On the morning of April 30th, I woke up somehow knowing that Mom would soon be in heaven. As the day wore on Mom’s breathing began to become labored and her heartbeat became erratic. I was monitoring her vitals closely and I decided it was time to call the whole family to her side. With the family present I sat on the side of Mom’s bed and held her hand. I prayed that Jesus would come and take Mom home so her suffering would be over. After I prayed I whispered to Mom, “Jesus is waiting Momma. His arms are open wide. Can you see him? He is waiting to welcome you home. It is okay for you to go now. I’m here holding your hand and I promise I’ll walk with you as far as I am allowed, until you can take the hand of Jesus.”

Once those words left my lips, at 2:43 p.m. on Tuesday April 30, 2002 Mom gave me her most beautiful and wonderful gift. Her eyes opened and miraculously they were completely clear, they were the most brilliant blue that I had ever seen them in her life. She squeezed my hand tightly and firmly one last time then turned her head slightly in my direction and smiled the most sweet and brilliant smile.

Later when discussing the miraculous way Mom’s eyes cleared, my cousin said she believed God allowed Mom’s eyes to clear so she could look at me and give her baby girl one last smile, but I don’t think so. I will always believe Mom’s eyes were cleared and she was smiling because she was looking into the eyes of Jesus as she stood before Him with a healed, pain-free and perfect body.

What a glorious gift my Mom had given me! She had allowed me to walk her into the arms of Jesus. I saw the glory of the Lord reflected back to me in her eyes. Her face shone with His radiant presence.

Over the next few months God continued to tug at my heart. One day I gave in to His call and I prayed that God would forgive me for my disobedience and years of wandering I rededicated my life to serving His kingdom. Thankfully God protected me with His mercy and grace waiting patiently in love for me to come back to Him.

I will never forget my Godly Mother and all of the loving, wonderful gifts she left to me. But the most treasured of all was the gift she shared with me as she took her last breath on this earth. At the moment of her death I saw the Master in her face and I was filled with the desire to serve Him fully all the rest of the days of my life. Thank you Mom, and Thank you Jesus!!!

1 comment:

judy4etsu@yahoo.com said...

OOOOHHH, Joanie, ....what special gifts your mom gave you. Thank you for sharing!!! My mom is so very special to me as well, and I worry so about her as she battles cancer for the 4th time. But even in that, she is still teaching a 46 yr old daughter with Parkinson's about love and surrender.

Your blog is a blessing...thank you!