Let me share with you what I have come to believe are two of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. Indulge me as I testify.
The most significant gift my mother ever gave me was that she believed in me. During some of the most impressionable years of my life, her powerful words became the seeds of confidence that God would later use to manifest His power. The enemy of my soul made many attempts to snatch the seeds away and cover them with roots of bitterness. However, they were planted firmly by God’s grace (there was a season of my life that the enemy of my soul convinced me that he would kill me and I wouldn’t see my eighteenth birthday, but God had other plans). It was only through about the fifth grade, but Mom’s involvement in my daily life made an eternal difference. She would spend time assisting me with homework when I struggled. She set an example of the value of reading to feed your mind. But most powerfully, she spoke words like, “I believe in you” – “you can do this” – “you can do anything you want if you’ll only set your mind to it” – “when you grow up you can even be president of the United States if you’re willing to work hard.” Before I could reach my teen years, Mother changed into a different person, and our home environment took a definitive downward spiral. However, this is where Grandmother’s unseen influence took over.
The most significant gift my grandmother ever gave me was that she prayed for me. She had not lived all of her life righteously, and it appeared to my young mind as though she was making up for “lost” time in the sunset of her life. It was during my childhood years that her seeds of righteousness were sown in my heart. I can still recall her calling out the name of Jesus. She set an example before me with her powerful words of intercession as I would hear her speak to God as though He met with her in the very room she prayed, and I now believe He did! She talked to The Lord as though He was her very best friend, and indeed I now know He was. My approach to the throne of grace often mirrors what I witnessed.
Grandmother moved to Heaven during my fifteenth year of life, and it was a sad, sad time for me. Then, I took comfort knowing that she was with The Lord. And I take comfort now, knowing that her prayers are still in force as they have no expiration date. Mother passed away when I was only twenty-seven years old. And though her absence here still pains me in ways I cannot describe, I take great comfort in knowing that she is no longer enduring the struggles and suffering of her earthly life.
Just like Timothy whom we learn about in New Testament Scripture, had a Eunice and Lois to thank God for, I too have a Mary and a Diane to be thankful for. Would you like to join me for a brief prayer?
“Father, I thank you for the influential words of my mother and grandmother. Though they were not perfect by many standards, I choose to remember and thank You for the good. You used them to sow powerful word seeds in me. And for that, I am eternally thankful. These were some of the seeds that Your prevenient grace used to bring me to the testimony of Jesus. And I praise You that by the word of my testimony, I overcome the negative forces of doubt and ingratitude. Amen.”
So, who do you have to be thankful for? Have you done that lately? Reflect, and remember the good as you thank God for the people He has used to positively impact you for His glory. If they’re still around, call them up and thank them with words of gratitude. And let us all be encouraged and warned that as mothers, grandmothers, and all other members of parenthood, our words have power. By their initial hearing and the examples they set, your influential words will be in force for decades to come, and the outcome could have eternal consequences.