I am a firm believer that God parents us throughout our whole journey on earth. In some situations it is to reparent in the ways that our hearts did not receive what they needed to be nurtured. Our parents or caregivers do the best that they know how with what they have but our growth and development continues over the course of our life and God’s Father heart of love does not dismiss that truth.
Nurture – the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37
Can you hear the tormented heart of Jesus as he speaks to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees of Jerusalem? He knows their hearts are hard toward Him and His love and yet He longs to nurture them. This picture reminds me of Mothers, how I am a mother and how God has had me contemplating what that represents to bring the nourishment of God’s love to others.
This was close to my heart yesterday on Mothers Day. This is still a difficult day for me, a pressing in kind of day. It was the 9th one without my Mama on this earth. Sometimes the tenderness of the hurt surprises me after all this time. Yet, in this hurt I am able to be compassionate for those with similar losses or the inability to have children or those who have lost children and how this day pierces their hearts with great intensity in different ways.
Through all of this, it was a privilege and great joy to honour the mothers that are in my life as I know they are an extension of God’s love.
My Mama! This is the one of the last ‘good times’ with her at our wedding almost 11 years ago. She struggled a lot with her bipolar disorder the next couple years after that until taking her life. She was strong and determined and soft,kind and generous. She would have given the shirt off her back, in fact I think that may have happened. She knew Jesus the last 13 years of her life and loved Him with all of her. She prayed many people into knowing Him and loved the lost and the broken. She was an amazing example of how he works in and through us despite our own brokenness and weaknesses.
My StepMom, Brenda (and my Dad) She has been in our lives since Keshia was born, which was 26 years ago next month! Incredible woman with a great heart, gives so much of it and her time to others. There is no distinction between her and a blood family as she loves all of us and our children and now grandchildren as her own. She is a strong woman and has stood with all of us through some tough things. God has blessed us with her presence.
My Mother-In-Law Edie (& my sweet husband)Edie has been an inspiration in her quiet strength and tenacity. She is legally blind, yet since losing her husband the same fall as my Mom, she has been living independently. She is not afraid to try new things like painting and bowling since her sight decreased. Our son likes to buy Grandma’s paintings. A recent battle with cancer highlighted her tough resolve and perseverance. She has learned to ask for help regardless of her independent nature.
These 3 women have been pertinent in shaping my heart and life over the years. All of these women have taught me to laugh and love in their own ways. I watched a Mama bird teaching her 3 babies how to fly and dive this morning as I walked. She literally interrupted one of them midflight to teach it a different method. I know people teach us just like they know how but as our eyes are opened, God can interrupt us with other teachers as well.
These 3 children of mine have been the greatest and sweetest interrupters. It is why I am called Mama, it is why I am so blessed. They are all strong and independent in their own right, and in each of their strengths have taught me much about my own character and the heart of God. They have shown me areas where I need healing and they have encouraged me by seeing God has been at work. God has given me a great commission in leading them to know Him and as I just told a dear friend this morning my heart is that their hearts know the heart of God and they will follow it with all of theirs. Period.
Oh and this face!!! Melts my Grandma’s heart. The commission has expanded and the responsibility is great but this little guy will know Jesus. He has a great plan for his life. The role of Grandma was also a sweet interrupter, it is so fun to love free of the daily responsibilities. There is a season for everything under the sun. It is also an amazing, beautiful thing to watch your own child become a mother. She has taken this role to heart and God has given her much strength and wisdom. I honour her in that.
I watch my sisters as they love and parent their children. I see the similarities to our Mama in their fierce love for the ones God has gifted them with. I can’t even begin to name all of the incredible women, from grandmothers to aunts to friends, who have painted the mosaic of all aspects of motherhood in my life. I am blessed and I am grateful and I am filled with a sense of urgency to gather many under my wings. The same way that God has strengthened and nurtured me through others is the way that I want to love. It has not always been perfect and often I feel inadequate but I know if my heart is soft to Jesus, He will guide me and give me wisdom where it is needed.
Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
How is God calling you to love others with the love that He has given you through others?
P.S. Love is given to us to give away, and if for some reason you have not received it, ask God for it.
We may be an answer to someone’s prayer.