When I was 7 years old, my mother died. She had suffered from cancer for
several years. The type of cancer she had is often curable today, but she
died more than 50 years ago, and there was not much they could do for her
She was a lovely woman. Once a friend of hers told me that she was just
as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. It is a real
comfort to know she is in Heaven. She was a gifted pianist, and was the
church pianist. She also did beautiful handwork and sewing. She made all
my clothes and my sister's, and even a few of my brother's shirts. She
crocheted, and was working on a crochet tablecloth during her last few
months. My sister and I and our daughters have a piece of it framed.
Many things changed when she died. I look back with gratitude for my
grandparents and other family members. The Lord always provided me with a
good home, with people who cared about me, loved me and wanted me to have
the best life they could give me.
My mother died in September, and by the next September, everything had
changed. My sister got married, my brother joined the Navy, Daddy went to
Guam. All my support was gone! That's when I began to feel, "If only my
mother were here."
That became my theme song. When things were going well, I would think, "I
wish Mother were here for this." During my growing up years, when
something special happened, like graduation, or I was in a play, or was
given an award or something, there was a cloud over it because of how I felt.
Sometimes things that are not so good happened. A bad report card, rules
I had to follow, teachers who were tough in the classroom ~ sometimes
more serious things, like a wreck in the car, or a personal heartbreak.
And I would think, "This wouldn't be happening if I had a mother." When I
got married and my children were born, that happiness was touched with,
"I wish my mother were here."
Do you see the mistake I made? It didn't matter if I were sad, or mad, or
happy, or ... whatever. I had made the loss of my mother the focus of my
life. There were even times I neglected my husband and children because
of my sadness. I came to believe that my mother's death was the most
important thing that could ever happen to me. It was the big giant in my life.
The Lord is ready to reveal His truths in unusual places and times. One
day I was at my daughter's basketball practice, sitting in the bleachers,
visiting with a friend.
During the conversation, I mentioned that such-and-such would not have
happened if my mother had lived. My friend replied that maybe that
particular thing would not have happened in just that way, but even if my
mother were alive, my life would still not be perfect. He said, "Judy,
Jesus is enough."
What he said surprised me. We were not talking about spiritual things. I
was a Christian; I had Jesus. I asked him what he meant. He explained
that I had lived my whole life wanting a mother - a dad and a mother, a
husband and a mother, children and a mother, a ministry and a mother ...
even Jesus and a mother. He said, "Jesus is enough."
He encouraged me with a challenge. He gave me some verses to memorize.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself
against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought
to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Set your affection on
things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)
He told me those verses needed a decision by me. He said every time I
started thinking, "If only I had a mother..." - "I wish I had a
mother..." - to change that thought by an act of my will to "I am so glad
I have Jesus..." - "Thank you Lord for my salvation..." He also reminded
me to be grateful for the years I had her, to be grateful for her good
reputation, that I could be proud of her. And remember one day I would
see her in Heaven.
It was hard for me to do in the beginning. I really had to concentrate
and be alert to my thoughts. There were times when I didn't want to
change my thoughts; I would rather dwell on my loss. but God gave grace
when I asked for His help, and day by day, God gave victory.
I will always miss my mother, but her death is not the most important
thing that has happened to me. The most important is when I accepted
Jesus Christ as my Savior.