Mom, you may not remember those exchange of words but I will never forget them. You may never have known how much it smoothed my fears a little and paved the way for hope. Hope that I could grow to be the woman God and you wanted for your son. Thank you for your encouragement in many little ways over the years. You are a mentor without knowing it and that is the very best kind. May God grant me the grace to walk humbly in your lovely shadow. Happy Mother's Day.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
In Her Shadow
I've been in training for almost twenty years. God knew what He was doing when He brought these people into my life. I've watched them function together and I've wrestled with the shedding of my own habits and the adoption of theirs. I've fought conforming to them, struggling to salvage my ideas, my comfort level but have been strangely drawn to their ways. I've held them in respect and yet maintained a pride that wouldn't allow me to bend, an insecurity that I couldn't meet the standards, live up to what they hoped for their son. But she with her quiet manner has, over the years, spoken into my soul.
My mom-in-law is the kind of woman who oozes Proverbs 31. Idle moments? Unlikely. "She works willingly with her hands," "reaches out to the poor" and has "clothed her family in scarlet". Her home is a haven for her husband and even for us who frequent it for gatherings like today, Mother's Day. It all overwhelmed this broken, sad, confused young girl who was falling in love with her son. Years ago, I opened a drawer in her kitchen to retrieve a clip for a bag, I commented on the neatness, the organization. "How do you do it?" I offered praise in my voice while trying to hide my defeat in knowing I couldn't do this simple thing in a drawer. This thing that represented the whole "perfect" picture. My mom-in-law looked at me, smiled and answered, "It took me twenty-five years to figure it out."