This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving.
DAY #3: My Mom
It’s hard to believe this Christmas Day will be 15 years since my mom went to meet Jesus. Yes. The day we celebrate “God With Us” – is the day my mom went to be with God. Peacefully, after my little brother gave her permission to go. Though ill with cancer, she had kept her humor and loving gift of encouragement. My favorite inheritance is the boxes of cards of and letters from all over the world of lives she touched.
Those who have heard me speak, have heard her words through me, even when I wasn’t crediting her. She is a part of me. They have heard the story of my call to ministry – when I said at age ten, “I want to me a children’s evangelist when I grow up,” and she said, “What’s growing up got to do with anything? You start next week,” and the kidologist was born!
I am thankful for a mother who saw past the boundless energy and unbridled creativity that exasperated most – a mother who through exhausted eyes and weary hugs only whispered in my ear, “Watch out world, when this boy learns to focus this creative energy, watch out world.” She gave me hope in my future when others told me to go stand in the corner, if only to get me out of the way. She caused me to believe in myself when others made me stay after school. She taught me there was nothing I could not do, if God was asking me to do it, and if I relied on Him for the strength, vision and ideas to see it through. She told me people would help me if I asked them. And they would follow me, if I followed Jesus. She implored me to make the Bible my guidebook for life.
On her deathbed she told me that God had given her a dream for her life as a young girl that she knew would now be fulfilled in mine instead. Like King David who wanted to build the Temple but had to let his son build it instead, she knew her dream would fulfilled in her children. My life was saved miraculously several times growing up, and those stories had become my bedtime stories… stories of her gratitude for me and of God’s Providence because of His Plan for my life. Stories that inspired me to live for something far more important than myself for as long as He would give me to serve Him.
To live for other children. I became a children’s evangelist when I was only ten because of my mom’s belief in me and her training in children’s ministry. I was her student and I carry on her legacy out of a heart of gratitude. It is why I established a scholarship in her name at Moody Bible Institute (where she and my dad met) for other young students so that long after I am gone and finally reunited with her in heaven, her legacy will continue to enrich and equip the next generation of students who want to reach and teach children for Jesus.
Because, what does growing up have to do with anything?
Thank you, Mom, for inspiring me still.