I was the rare child who was petrified of going away from home even for a single night. I would go to slumber parties and call my parents to come pick me up. I refused to go away to summer camp until I finally caved in. My early days of college were terrifying. Shockingly, after college, I went off to London by myself for some time. I returned home only shortly before heading off to New York City by myself with a book called “$50 a day in New York City” and mustered up the courage to begin my new life there. Decades later, after seemingly endless years of brokenness beyond human repair, by then a totally devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I announced to my Mom I was going out on the road full-time for the Lord and ministry. I believe she was likely a combination of shocked, horrified, perhaps worried, and probably totally surprised looking back at what by God’s grace alone would ensue.
Today, as I write this, I have been on the road full-time for over 5 years with my special needs ministry dogs and with three seasons of ministry in New York City. And not only do I first and foremost give glory to the Lord for saving me, giving me a breathtakingly beautiful personal forever relationship with Himself, giving me the calling to help people become and remain totally devoted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for leading, guiding, and providing for me each and every day. But I also thank God for each and every person who has prayed for me and helped and supported and encouraged me along the way.
And the person who though she does not have a relationship with the Lord yet has been my very strongest human helper and supporter and encourager has been my beloved Mom. To this day, she keeps files of all the places I have been, she has walked and talked me through all the searches for all the places I have stayed, and she has firmly and emphatically encouraged me to keep on going even when I would have crumpled up into a ball, cried my eyes out, hidden under my bed covers, called it quits, or simply run the other way from where God was calling me.
My heart’s cry for my Mom and family is that they will all turn their hearts and lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ and be His forever followers, and that we will all spend forever with Him and one another, and rest assured I pray continually for this. In the meantime, I can simply say when it comes to my Mom, not only do I praise God for the way she has loved and supported me through it all, but I thank God for the stunningly beautiful and precious relationship we have that is so filled with love, laughter, endless conversations and yes we are both big, big talkers, sharing of memories, challenging each other, forgiving each other when we need to, sharing meals and walks and love, love, and more love.
I love to say I wouldn’t change my beloved Mom and Dad for any other parents in the world. If I could pick anyone on this earth to have been my parents, I would pick only them. I love them to no end, and I praise God for them both.
If you think this is only about my Mom and doesn’t bear a message for each and every one of us, you included, please think again. For far, far too long, I didn’t love and honor my Mom as I should have and had to repent before God and seek her forgiveness. And for way too long, I took for granted one of the greatest blessings God gave me on this earth. My Mom.
Let us never, ever take for granted all the beautiful blessings God gives us on this earth. Some of us have challenging lives, and mine has been extremely challenging in many ways. But never, ever should we allow life’s challenges to cast a shadow on God’s most wonderful blessings. Like my beloved, precious Mom! And never, ever should we fall short in bringing love, honor, praise, and glory to the Lord for Himself most importantly and for all the blessings He showers upon us!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV