Mom lived a full life, did things, saw places and raised 5 children single handily when she had to. She drove cabs, laid bricks, painted houses, laid wallpaper and was one of the best Pastry Chefs at Atlanta’s very own downtown Marriott. She also took care of and had compassion for other people, even when she was ill.
Mother struggled for years before receiving the call of God to be a preacher. Mom lived 73 years to get to where she was mentally and above all spiritually. She had been hurt by others, had been lied on, stolen from and probably other things that I will never know of nor experience. She never felt that she was “grand” as people would marvel at not only her stature but how she carried herself and set standard for women in our church. Mom was above all humble. When she went to church one Sunday a woman from the “Mother’s Board” said to her “Martha, you don’t even look sick.” Mom, simply smiled and said “I don’t even know what sick looks like.” Pity and complaint weren’t apart of who she was. She displayed a level of pride, dignity, respect and commanded a room with her mere presence. Walked with her head held high during trying times, smiled when she felt like crying, and loved those around her sometimes more than she loved herself. You would never catch her looking down and if you did, she it was because she was in prayer. A fashion forward diva and one to be looked up to not just because she tall or was Mommy, but because she was a friend to the sick, a missionary, comforter and a teacher to anyone that came under the sound of her voice. When she went to bed at night and before she took her last breath Mom knew that everything that she was and did was not in vain but because she answered the call to be A Woman of God. She stopped running and found peace, traveled through storms, and was able to tell others that at the end of your storm there would be peace. There would be a rainbow. Mom received her ultimate reward by remaining faithful and forever in prayer.
With all that being said, I have realized that I am just learning be a Proverbs 31:10-31 Woman.
I know I may never be the woman that my Mom was but I can certainly put forth more of an effort to try to follow her example. Mom believed in the Word of God, she carried it in hear heart. Mom was NOT God and she didn’t pretend to be but she WAS a Living Vessel, a Living Testament to God’s eternal grace and mercy.
When I sat in church for revival a couple of weeks ago, I swear I turned my head often to look for her, to catch her nod, hear her tambourine (which was a stick that lit up!) and to say an “Amen” (in only her way) when the preacher made a great point. In my heart I knew that she wasn’t really there even though I wished she was. I continue to struggle daily with her absence but when the family gets together, I see a little bit of her in all of us. I see her more when I look at my sister Carol and my son AJ and sometimes in myself. I love hearing my niece Carrie talk because sometimes she sounds like her or say things Mom would say. It is then that I am reminded that she is always and forever here.
I want to not only live life through this, I want to live a life that my Mother would be proud of. She didn’t want to suffer through life with her illness and she doesn’t want us to suffer because of her death. She lived and it’s time for us to live through the grieving. While we will never be completely whole, we can rejoice in her life, cherish her smile and bask in the remembrance of her laughter. She loved us and it’s time to allow that same love to heal us. It’s time to heal… It’s not going to be easy but admitting, confessing, and crying out to God is our only way.
Matthew 5:4 – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”
Know that you can be renewed and transformed through God but it takes humility in order for these experiences to take place. Human pride often blocks our dealing with painful problems. Once we finally admit our wrongdoings, failures and hurts there can be a real solution for us. Humbling ourselves before God is the ultimate key that will allow us to experience the wonderful comfort that only the Almighty One can provide.