“Momma, why is there a seed in your necklace?”
“Because Jesus said if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains! That is what this is, a mustard seed, to remind me of that.”
“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”” Matthew 17:20
Mom was a woman of great faith. I am forever thankful to her for planting those small seeds in me, even though they took such a long time to grow in my rocky soil.
My memories are not many, unfortunately. It seems that my memories were wiped out, many of them – no, almost all of them – as a protection from the pain. I struggled for years with the anger of grief. Mom died when I was eleven, and even that I had blocked out for years, thinking I was ten when she left this earth. Silly. One day I actually did the math and realized that I was actually eleven, not ten. It is like a dark, scary, empty place to even think about my younger years.
The time surrounding her death is very gray and desolate. Trying to remember is like walking down a dark hallway into an empty closet, there is no light…it only gets darker as you go farther in and soon I am surrounded with only cold empty space. I remember a few things. She had made swiss steak for dinner with mashed potatoes, one of my favorites. I remember sitting in the big green chair curled in a ball as they took her on the gurney, and the surreal feeling of having what we now call “first responders” in our home. I remember sobbing uncontrollably, and for the first time in my life feeling completely alone, even with all the hubbub and clamor going on. That feeling lasted for a while…years…
Mother’s Day has always been horrendously difficult for me. Losing my mom at such an early age, and not having any children of my own both make the day, historically for me, intolerable. I have had some strong, wonderful women in my life who have come close to that “mom” status, and my mother in law is so very close! But the truth is no one ever fills that void. Any woman who has lost their mom will tell you, no matter what your relationship was with her, you mom is irreplaceable. Any other role you may have in life is one you can be replaced in, except for mom.
Love your mommas. No matter what, love your mom. Love on her every single day, even if she seems unlovable. Just do that.
I am choosing, this year, to celebrate Mother’s Day with thankfulness and joy. Instead of the pain of loss and the regret of choices I have made, I am focusing on blessings. Blessed that God gave me a mother who planted the seeds of faith in me, blessed that despite my stubborn willfulness God never gave up on me and continued to put people in my life who nourished and coaxed those seeds to grow even on my rocky and sometimes quaking sandy soil. Blessed and thankful that I had aunts who continued to pray for me even when we had no relationship left. Blessed and thankful that God answered my prayers so many times in my desperation. Blessed and thankful for the faith he placed in my heart…the faith of a mustard seed.
I still have her necklace.
I can move mountains…nothing is impossible.
Be blessed. Beloved.
“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”
Psalm 116: 1-9