It has been a year since my mother's death and I never thought I could spend even a single day without her loving presence. But today when I look back, I can’t help but thank the Lord for His wonderful grace that has given me the strength to endure the loss and go ahead with the plans He has diligently crafted for me.
As I neared the death anniversary this year, waves of painful memories flashed once again reminding me of the loss last year. I took some moments to reflect on how God beautifully strengthened me and now that I have crossed a year without my mother, I thought I would examine the godly life that she had led. Indeed, her relationship with God has been and continues to be my greatest source of inspiration. Some of the essential life lessons I learnt from my mother have proved to be especially useful now that I’m constantly battling with her absence. I'd like to commemorate her by sharing some of these perspectives from my mother’s earthly journey.
Over the years, I observed how my mother loved the Lord. She always called herself the 'Lord’s favourite daughter'. My mother’s relationship with the Lord reminds me of the bond between a father and a daughter. My mother had a strained relationship with her earthly father which created an inexplicable void in her personal life. However, once she accepted the Lord as her Father, I could see in His mercy how the Lord showered her with all the love that she would have expected from her earthly father. What an awesome God we serve! He is not only the Almighty Lord enthroned in glory forever but He is willing and waiting to take up the roles of our father, mother, brother, sister, friend and beloved—when we allow Him to do so.
Once He takes up the role, our Lord is faithful to bestow all the love, nurture and care that we expect from that relationship. Now that my mother is in her eternal abode, the Lord Himself has filled this place and I am experiencing His motherly love and affection. Thanks to the mother from whose life I took a significant cue—our Lord can fill in the void created by the absence of our loved ones in the most beautiful ways that we couldn’t have even imagined!
My mother was very keen to honour God’s glory and presence in every single aspect of our lives. She instilled a culture of prayer, worship and Bible reading in our routine lives. She taught us to keep God first so the first thing we did was to begin our day by reading our Bible. She also insisted that we read the Bible chronologically and every now and then we would discuss the chapters that we were reading and our favourite Bible characters.
She loved to worship and praise the Lord through songs. We used to sing together and I would see her clapping and waving her hands joyfully as she sang her favourite worship songs. It was an expression of genuine love she had for the Lord that was manifested during worship time. She loved discussing about our Lord’s wonderful and mighty deeds especially in the chapters where He rescues His people from bondage and slavery. Her eyes would glint with pride when she spoke about the Lord’s miracles and her happiness that she was serving the living Lord was palpable in her facial expressions. She took much joy and pride in honouring and serving the Lord and ensured that both her children loved the Lord wholeheartedly.
She also taught us the importance of giving our best to the Lord. She believed that it was important to honour God in our day-to-day lives. She insisted that we carried ourselves in a presentable manner and manifest God’s presence in our life through our demeanour. She also taught us to cherish and value every blessing God had given in our lives—be it the relationships, education, career, talents and opportunities. Whenever we were struggling with our studies or career, she encouraged us to perform efficiently for the glory of our Lord. She constantly reminded us that it was not people but God who watches our performance and would reward us accordingly.
I still remember her saying 'In whatever you do, make your Lord feel proud for He is the One who has blessed you with these opportunities. Make good use of them for His glory and make Him feel proud'. Though my mother is physically absent, her encouraging words keep ringing in my ears and I keep thanking the Lord for the gift of her life.
Whenever I experienced a tough situation, I used to feel so stressed that I wouldn’t be able to sleep properly at night. In those dark moments, my mother would encourage me to lean on God’s promises and trust Him for the best to turn out. When she saw me tossing on my bed spending sleepless nights, she used to remind me of two things— First, to leave your problems, anxieties and doubts at the Lord’s feet for He will take care of your situation and second, no matter what happens, remember He is in control and believe that the Lord will turn everything for your good.
After I heard these words of reassurance, I would go to sleep peacefully without any more worries. My mother’s spiritual life was truly a blessing to me and my brother. Her powerful words of hope and faith have helped me cope with her loss and serve the Lord with more love and passion. I thank the Lord for blessing my family with an amazing mother who drew us closer to the Lord every single day of her life.
Her children rise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28