Irene came of age during the Great Depression—a young mother before WWII. Her marriage was fraught with neglect and abuse as she raised her seven children through four decades of monumental societal changes. She was a warrior, wrangling family order through the chaos. The “look” turned her hellions into statues.
In reality, it was her faith in Christ that was on full display. In all opposition, she made sure her children were baptized into God’s family and educated in God’s wisdom. She believed Jesus would work the messes and mistakes into something that would bless her family members’ lives sooner or later. As each of us walked away from all her efforts, her fervent prayers for our prodigal return dogged us.
In her final years, while in my care, I listened to her speak of living her life in Jesus. I compared it privately to mine without him. I realized she didn’t force her children into “useless” religious and secular routines. She gratefully made it a mandate to live a life that reflected her trust in a personal God that it might win over her children to Christ. That’s when the Holy Spirit woke me from my spiritual slumber.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
The Lord took my mother to heaven. And Jesus has opened the door of my heart. He leads me in protected pastures like he led my mother.
Mom, until we meet again—thank you.