My Mother’s Faith, My Faith
Just after Christmas this past year my husband, Randy, and I traveled with our daughter, Sara, and her family to Louisiana to celebrate Christmas with my sister’s family, including her two daughters and families, and my mom. It’s a long drive to Springhill, Louisiana, from Charlotte, North Carolina, especially with toddlers. But it was worth it. Though our festivities wouldn’t be on Christmas day, we didn’t care. It had been years since we had all been together. We were glad just to be in the same place at one time, no matter what day we celebrated.
The evening after we arrived all sixteen of us piled into my mom’s living room to share presents. Four generations listened to the reading of Luke’s account describing the Savior’s birth. As we finished the reading, my mom, called Mimi by the grand- and great-grandchildren, spoke. “It’s our responsibility as the older generation to tell the younger generation about how God has shown his love to us. I want you to know that God has been faithful. He has done everything He said He would do. He keeps his promises.”
Through the background noise of rowdy little ones anxious to open presents, for several minutes my 83-year-old mom shared from her heart how the Lord had provided for her every need through life’s transitions, difficult times, and losses. She told us that God loved each one of us uniquely and she did, too. Then she encouraged us to face aging with joy.
“I don’t want you to be afraid of getting old, ever. It’s some of the most beautiful times. God has been so sweet to me.” As she finished, I thought, What a heritage I’ve been given. Lord, help me be faithful to pass on this legacy.
My mom is the godliest woman I know. In fact, if you ask other people who know her, many would say that she is the godliest woman they know, too. But my mom’s godliness is not due to her perfection. She is a sinner saved by God’s grace, with faults and failures like all of us. What makes her godly is that she has trusted God’s provision for her life. She has trusted His offered remedy for her sins through faith in Christ. She has abandoned her days, her sins, and her eternity, to Him. My mom has no plan B. No other options. If Jesus is not all that He claimed to be—God in the flesh—she has no other hope. And from the first time she introduced to me why I needed a Savior at age five, she has made it clear that I have a choice. I can choose to accept or reject this God. She will love me either way.
My mom’s passion to pass on her faith in the one true God reminds me of Naomi and Ruth, two women who lived during the era of the judges in the Old Testament. When Naomi’s husband and sons died—one who was Ruth’s husband—she felt empty and afraid. Her precious daughter-in-law, Ruth, a Moabitess, loyally followed Naomi back to Naomi’s homeland, Israel. Ruth gave up everything familiar in order to follow Naomi. The magnitude of her decision was revealed in her words, “Your people shall be my people. Your God my God” (Ruth 1:16b ESV). Ruth abandoned herself not only to Naomi’s people but also to Naomi’s God.
What a heritage she received. At the end of the book, Ruth, an alien, once separated from God, joined herself to God’s people by faith. She then married Boaz and had a child, becoming the ancestress of King David, from whose line would come the Messiah Himself. Ruth was not a queen, or a woman of prestige or station. She was just a simple woman who went about her daily life in seeming obscurity, and, through her faith, God changed history.
Whether we know it or not, God changes history through us, as well. He has changed my story because my mom shared the truth with me. If the Lord were to take my mother home today and I never heard another word from her lips in this life, she has passed on the sweetest treasure any daughter could receive—how to know the one true God. May my daughters be able to say the same of me.
*Maybe you have a story of your mother—biological, adoptive, or spiritual—who shared with you the heritage of faith in the one true God. I’d love to hear from you. On the other hand, if your story is painful, and you were not given a heritage of faith but of grief, know that God’s gift of forgiveness and hope is offered to you now. To learn how to trust Christ as your Savior, click here. Then you can become the one who passes on this legacy of faith.
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