Dear Mom Without a Mom
When it's quiet and I'm all alone, before my day begins or after it's ended and I'm left to fully feel the weight of my responsibilities; I relive the numbness that came like a wave the day the doctor told me, my mom had stage 4 ovarian cancer.
As though it is happening all over again, I can feel strength drain from my knees and color fall from my face. She had only gone in for gall bladder surgery; where did this come from? Reality pulls the air from my lungs. I go back and forth between feelings of confidence she'll be alright, and agony that this is certainly a death sentence.
Within seconds so many thoughts are in my mind, I don't understand how I can be thinking them all at once. She won't witness my wedding day. She'll never hold my babies. How long do we have? Could we receive the kind of miracle pastors share before an altar call?
Oh, Please God!
Losing a parent is a roller coaster of emotion. Feeling deeply sorry for myself one moment and forced into bravery the next. All these 14 years later, I can now see how the Lord prepared me to live adult life without my mom. The work He accomplished through her, set me up for success. I only wish I'd realized sooner how much she gave, instead of focusing on how much I felt like she took.
Parents make mistakes. No person can ever achieve moral perfection, so yes, we make mistakes. My mom was no exception.
She had almost everything she needed.
She was strong, bold and talented. As poised as she was pretty. Confident and sometimes cheeky. A public speaker, teacher and female in a man's world. She was intimidating and had only a few friends because of it. Those friends would tell her she should write a book, do more, not settle. They spurred her on and encouraged her.
Faith was the missing component.
It is only now, as I pinch and save spare minutes of the day to; write a book, teach other moms, do more and not settle, that I understand why she never accomplished much of what she longed to. It was simply not possible in her own strength. The hours aren't long enough; our talent isn't great enough; our gumption isn't strong enough. They are tools without an operator, in the absence of faith.
My mom didn't walk with the Lord for a significant portion of her life. She met Christ during her youth and recommitted herself to Him shortly before her death. However, there's a big chunk in the middle she did not serve the Lord. The personality she carried, the one I now carry, is heavy! It is too heavy to carry alone and certainly too heavy to use without the discernment of the Holy Spirit.
So, although she had much of what she needed to accomplish many great things, she didn't have faith. And "without faith it is impossible to please God." Hebrew 11:6.
"By faith Noah, ... constructed an ark for the saving of his household. ... became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham obeyed ... to receive as an inheritance. ... By faith he went to live in the land of promise, ... By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, ..."
Our story continues.
Fortunately, that is not the end of the story. My mom's story, my story and God's story continue. God saw my mom's life; beginning to end. He knew every decision she would make, both good and bad. The God who makes beauty from ashes, in his perfect plan, works all things (including the bad stuff) together for the good of those who love Him.
I am grateful for my mom. I am grateful for the big personality she passed on to me. Although it is heavy at times, I do not carry it alone. I am grateful that while I have spent too much time remembering heartaches of the past, they are all part of a great plan of redemption.
Be blessed and wise enough to see past the pain, to the victory; in faith, to accomplish something great for God!
Shelley Jefsen is a wife, home-schooling mother of 4, and author of A Family Meeting’s 28 Day Parenting Devotional. Her passion is to help the new mom and young family learn how to use early child training to prevent Mommy burn out. Shelley is currently writing a book about how to train great habits into a child within their first five years of life. She uses any spare time she can get to coach moms and provide guidance. Shelley resides in Middle Tennessee with her husband Jay, four kids, Ziggy (their crazy dog,) one horse and eight chickens. Shelley and her family can typically be found outside working on their mini-farm and playing in the dirt.
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