“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30 NLT).
We met when she was 21. She was an ordinary person, but her warm smile would warm up the coldest day. She loved chocolate, ice cream, black coffee, and making things with her hands. She always made time to listen or help others. She knew nothing about Cerebral Palsy, but she was willing to learn. She pushed me to work hard, but at the same time, she accepted my limitations and loved me for who I was. When the world told me I could not succeed, she told me to try.
This person is my mother. She looked after me every day for the first 25 years of my life: getting me up and dressed every morning, bathing me, feeding me, getting me ready for bed. She could not call in sick. The doctors told her to give me up and put me in an institution, but she did not.
In 2012 Mom went through a different battle. She had ovarian cancer. Mom went through surgery and chemo. This May she has been done chemo for one year. It has not been an easy year. She has lived through much pain.
I want to thank Mom for her dedication to Jesus, her husband, her children, grandchildren, and life.
Thanks, Mom, I love you, you’re the best!
Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” (Proverbs 31:28-29 NLT)
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38 NLT).
My friend Marilou loves Jesus. The verse above was one of her favourites. This past June, Marilou’s life on earth ended. Her last year on this planet was full of pain as cancer was growing throughout her body. When you asked her how she was, she would quickly turn the question around to ask about you or someone else.
Marilou loved to have a good laugh. She loved Mr. Big chocolate bars. And she loved to sing. But helping others gave her joy. Many people had food dropped at their door when their cupboards were bare.
On May 13, 2012 I went to see Marilou. She was in the hospital in palliative care. I knew it would be my last chance to see her on this earth, so I took her something special. Yes, you guessed it; I took her a Mr Big. She had a huge smile on her face and asked how my mom was coping with her chemo treatments. As we held hands before leaving, I said, “We’ll see you soon.”
On June 14, I received the phone call. Jesus had taken Marilou home. Her battle was over. I was sad. I took my dog for a long walk that day, talking to God through tears, telling Him it was hard to say goodbye to friends. (He knows that already but it helped me.) By the time I got home, He had brought this verse to mind, assuring me Marilou was safe at home with Him. What joy filled my heart as I know someday I will see Marilou again.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV).
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 KJV) .
February is the month of “Love”. We buy heart-shaped chocolates, flowers, and cards with hearts on them. Some people even have hearts on their underwear. We all need love: love from our parents, siblings, friends, and husband or wife if we are married. Many look for love in the wrong places.
The greatest man to love us was Jesus. He left heaven to come and live as a man on the earth. Why would the king of heaven come to earth? He came because He loved us. We were helpless in our sin, and the only way for us to be forgiven was for Him to die in our place.
This Valentine ’s Day take time to think about who you would lay down your life for? More importantly who would lay down their life for you?
If you would like to know more about the love Jesus has for you, I encourage you to read the Gospel of John.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT