This particular devotional first appeared on the website, Renewed Daily, back in October when I was writing for my Bestie Shelly!
So if you already read it, I pray it’s a blessing to you all over again.
And if it’s new to you, I pray it’s a blessing to you for the first time!!
I wanted to share it today, because tomorrow would have been my precious Mom’s 83rd birthday!
This is a special tribute to a very special lady
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Mom. Just three letters. Well, really only two since the “m” is used twice! And did you know that the word Mom is spelled the same backwards as it is forwards?! And, YES, the word Mom spelled upside down really is WOW!
Just thought you might like to know those very interesting trivial facts!!
I’m writing this on Thursday, September 24th which is the fourth "anniversary" of my Mom's homegoing to Heaven. It’s a bitter sweet day. Bitter because I still miss my Mom.
I miss her SO. VERY. MUCH.
But on the other hand, it's a VERY sweet day, not only for my Mom, but also for me, because I know, that I know, that I KNOW because of my Mom's complete faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour, she is safe in the arms of Jesus! She did not rely on religion to forgive her of her sins and eventually get her to Heaven. No, she relied solely upon the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as payment for HER sins and as the means for HER to go to Heaven four years ago today!
She knew that it was ALL about a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ and NOTHING
She knew the meaning of “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
My Mom got saved late in life, but that sure didn't keep her from telling anyone and everyone about her Saviour, and what He had done for her and what He could do for whomever the person was she happened to be talking to!
My Mom struggled with numerous chronic illnesses. She suffered with pain 24/7 for the last twenty years of her life, which of course, worsened as the years went by. One of the chronic illnesses that plagued her was scoliosis. She had an 85% curvature of her spine, which over time contorted her body and literally twisted most of her organs out of place, which made it almost unbearable to walk or sit and towards the end of her life, even breathe without excruciating pain.
She endured five back surgeries. During the first surgery, the surgeons inserted Harrington rods alongside her spine and then in subsequent surgeries adjusted those rods in an attempt to somewhat try to straighten her spine and give her some type of pain relief, which unfortunately, was to no avail.
Over her lifetime, my Mom had twenty-one surgeries and I can’t even begin to count the unending hospital stays, visits to the ER, about a month or two in a nursing home for rehab after hip surgery and two separate stays in the local Hospice Home where she eventually left this world and entered Heaven.
But even through all of those trials and health issues, my Mom, NEVER ONCE turned her back on her Saviour. In fact with each year that passed and as her pain grew more intense, her love for her Saviour grew even more intense.
After her death, I asked my step-dad if I could have her Bibles.
Oh, what rich hidden treasures and jewels were found within those pages!!
Verses highlighted, notes written in the margins, quotes scribbled in the flyleaf, sticky notes on some of the pages. One note in particular I keep in my desk drawer. She simply wrote…
“I would much rather live with all of this pain and have Jesus than to be pain free and not have Jesus”.
Simple words but not a simple statement by any means!!
The last time I saw my Mom was May, 2005. Due to both of our health issues neither one of us could travel the over 1000 miles between Florida and Pennsylvania. But just because we couldn't see each other in person, that certainly did not keep us from visiting with each other. We visited on the phone EVERY single day, sometimes two or three times a day!
My Mom was my confidante, my best friend, my prayer warrior, my cheerleader and encourager,
the one who made me laugh until I couldn't breathe over absolutely nothing at all! She was a great listener and would always point me back to the Lord whenever I began to question or wonder why.
My Mom did not know a stranger! She could start a conversation with anyone! Her smile would light up any room and she had a knack for making you feel so "at home" in her presence.
My Mom knew how to pray effectively and specifically. I could call day or night and share anything with her, and then rest assured knowing that Mom had it covered in prayer!
If I can show the mercy, grace and love of The Saviour to others half as much as my Mom did, then I would say I'm doing pretty well!
Can I encourage/challenge you? If your Mom is still a part of your life, why not call her, e-mail her, text her or even buy her a card and send it to her. Or if you live close by, drop in for a visit and just chat or take her an unexpected bouquet of flowers or like my son did when he lived close by, take her on a date to her favorite restaurant.
Just the two of you!!
You won’t regret it and your Mom won’t forget it!
"Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You so very much for the very special Mom that You chose for me. Thank You for the many years that we had to spend together. Thank You for precious memories! Thank You, Lord, most of all, for the assurance that she is with You because of her complete faith
and trust in Jesus as her Saviour. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
I gotta tell you one last story. About two months before Mom passed away, she called me and said, "Barbie (yes, she called me Barbie!) I just heard this song on the radio about dancing before Jesus or will we fall on our knees before Him. Barbie, I think it was called 'the mercy song'!"
I chuckled to myself because of course I knew exactly which song she was talking about. So I told her some of the lyrics (notice I said told and not sang!) and she exclaimed, "Yes, that's it!" I told her that it was, "I Can Only Imagine" sung by the group MercyMe! About two weeks later during one of our daily chats, she burst out with, "Oh, Barbie, I heard that 'mercy song' on the radio again!" I didn't bother correcting her this time, I just celebrated along in her excitement!
And what a JOY to know that my Mom no longer needs to “imagine” like the song says because on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 4:53 p.m. it all became REALITY!
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May God Bless You,