He said, “Look for the testimony of the Lord”...
This thought stayed with me and been whispering in my heart for these past few weeks.
This Mother’s Day as I think of my own mother, and her mother, I would like to take the time to think this way.
The older I get, the more clearly I see how life’s struggles can shape us unknowingly. But this idea of looking for what God has done (and is doing) means something greater. It means being mindful in each relationship. Searching out on purpose the ways and memories of God’s faithfulness.
It is not to the exclusion of the battles, the injustices, the scars. Actually, just the opposite. Those are times of important victory and are a part of this great Testimony.
What is an overcomer if he has had nothing to overcome?
In the Old Testament, following a victory, or when something important happened, the people of God were often instructed to build an altar, where, for years and generations to follow, anyone who walked by that place would remember the testimony of the Lord.
So, I'd like to take a moment today to build some altars.
Joppatowne, MD, 1978
A young mother in a failed marriage. Her heart is broken and unsure of the future, but she pours all she has into her newborn baby. She rises from bed each morning and finds purpose and hope in the small person in her arms.
Dunnett Court, 1985
She is searching, weeping, seeking for answers. She knows she can’t do this alone, and has cried out in her heart to a God whom she has been told is so distant.
The Love of God knocks on the door of her home.
Dunfield Apartments, 1989
This mother makes countless sacrifices for her child. She gives of herself emotionally, physically, spiritually so that her daughter is given a Christian education. She prays, she asks, she desires with all of her heart to make everything ok. To meet every need, to heal every hurt. Some things are out of her sight, out of her control. Her child is growing and changing and pulling away.
She chooses to trust God.
Fall River, MA, 1992
She hears her daughter’s heartache and decides to move hundreds of miles away by faith. She walks forward, alone in many ways. Her fervency in prayer deepens. She is surrounded by saints and angels who hold her up in her darkest moments, and walk along side her as a single mother of a wandering teenage daughter.
All the prayers, all the doubts, the anger and frustration and loss of connection come to a moment of reckoning. She sits in the Principal’s office with her daughter, and wonders what in the world is going to happen next. There is no hope in sight. She feels disconnected, discouraged, and heartbroken.
In a moment, the Great Shepherd arrives. Her prayers are answered. He gently leads His sheep into His arms. She sees her baby girl, her 16 year-old daughter, the object of all her heart and soul and strength, transformed and re-directed.
Baltimore, MD, 2001
Her prayers are answered again. Somehow, through the muddle and mess of a family history of battered souls, she sees her daughter marry a man of God. A man of character and strength and honor. Someone who will break the cycle. A gift.
She sees him love and care for her daughter the way she has always hoped for, since she first looked into her baby’s eyes.
Her baby becomes a mother. Amidst a season of dark and doubt and soul-searing disappointment, she is given the gift of being a grandmother. A new beginning. Now it is her daughter’s turn to pray.
Mt Airey, MD ,2013
The God who knows her, who formed her in her mother’s womb, who has carried her through every season is restoring her. He has set His love upon her. She is drawn to Him, and finds healing in His presence.
He has a surprise for her!
A real, tangible manifestation of His Love. A man who is unlike any other man she has been with before. He is kind, selfless, safe.
He is funny and relaxed and really, really wants to see her happy.
How could this be?
The testimony of the Lord is His light in the darkness. I want to let these altars be my guideposts, not pain and hurt and injustice. These are the victories, these are our life stories. These are the Hebrews 11-style reflections of faith heroes.
Thank you, Mom for your love and faith and laid-down life. I will never have enough words to tell your story.
I love you.