Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Tribute to My Mom

My Mother Is Fixed

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

You know the funny things kids say that then become family sayings? Most kids do it. When Wendy was little, and her dad would joke with her, she would say, “Daddy, you pulling my leg off!” When she was a little older, maybe four, she was laying in the floor at my Mom’s house coloring while Mom and I were bemoaning the current state of affairs. A little voice from the floor said, “What’s coming to this world?” (Instead of “what’s this world coming to?”) Bryan, my nephew, when he was little, would bring me broken toys and say “Tay, fik it!” To this day when something is broken, I say to my honey, “Fik it, Mark, fik it!” Until I was five, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was a “bearm-boo fin-soo.” Don’t ask me what I was thinking! My brother called the Sno-Cone man who drove through our neighborhood selling sno-cones, the “Gitchie McGotchie.”

Then there was my sister, Lesli. You know when your kids ask for money and you don’t want to give them any, you tell them you are broke. Well, Les didn’t take this answer for long. By the time she was 2 1/2 she would bring Mom’s wallet, open, with the shiny coins, maybe just pennies and nickels, showing and say just as sweet as honey, “Mommy, you fixed!” In other words, “Don’t tell me you’re broke–I see the money!”

However, the truth is, at that time in her life, my Mom was broken. Mom grew up in church. She sang in a gospel trio with her sisters in churches all over Southern Missouri. She knew the gospel inside out. But my mom wasn’t the good sister. She was the “wild child” and she knew it. She felt like God loved the world and sent His Son to die for the world and anyone who called upon Him would be saved … except her. She was “too bad” for God’s salvation to reach her.

She had five kids by the time she was 26 years old. After the last baby, postpartum depression set in. The doctors didn’t know what it was then — or what was causing it. They medicated the symptoms, but didn’t address the problem. She got worse. I grew up with a mother who was broken — mentally ill they called it.

When I was 13, she made a profession of faith, but I was very skeptical. I was right. Nothing changed. She still had it in her head that God couldn’t save her.

As a teenager, to say that my relationship with my mother was strained would be an understatement. We rarely spoke to each other. We lived in the same house but we were strangers. She was lost in the darkness of her world. I was angry with her for leaving me behind to find my own way through my world. I was a know-it-all teenage girl. She despaired in a world where she knew nothing.

In her brokenness, she tried to end her life multiple times. When I was 18 and at Bible College, she almost succeeded. She was in the hospital and the doctors gave her a 5% chance of surviving the night. My family didn’t call me to tell me because it was during midterms and they didn’t want my grades to suffer. In the dark night of the hospital, my mom decided that she needed to find out if God was big enough to save even her. She called a preacher and he came and introduced her to that Mighty God who can save even the vilest of sinners. God saw the shiny coins, maybe just pennies and nickels, and God saw worth.

Mom, who had been broken for so long, was fixed. She didn’t heal overnight. However, a loving, patient, and long suffering God made my Mom over again, fixed.

In addition, we found each other. We were fixed: Mother and daughter. She became more than my best friend–she became my mom.

Because of Mom, I know that no matter how black the darkness becomes, God can fix it. Because of Mom, I know that God always sees the faint sparkles of the few coins and to Him we are all worth it. And because of Mom, heaven is a very real place where not only my Savior waits, but my mom is there waiting for me. Fixed.


Susan said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your Mom, Terri! I'm so glad she was fixed! ;)

Alesha said...

Sweet, sweet post, Terri. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Amen!

Leah said...

I love that Terri!