I sat down to do some writing on a particular project. I ended up reading Mom’s journal instead. She kept one for a short time back in 1997. She was in a near-fatal car accident in January of that year. Truth be told, it’s nothing short of a miracle that she even survived. But the road to recovery was long and hard to say the least.
Reading her own words about it makes me amazed that she handled all of it with such faith and grace. If she was here then I know that she would be quick to credit God for that. Even though I was there through it, I was quite young… only 16. And I didn’t really grasp just how hard it all was for her. Reading a glimpse of her struggles makes me realize that.
You know one thing that struck me though? Her concern for us. I read about it and think, “With all that you had to go though, why were you worried about us?” But that was Mom. She knew that it was a difficult thing for those who she loved most to deal with. She could have complained that it was harder on her than it was on us. And she would have been right! She did freely admit how difficult and frustrating it was for her, but she also realized that it wasn’t just about her. That’s what being a family is I guess, being in this thing together.
Something else that stood out to me was how many times she thanked God. No one could deny that her survival was a miracle. That’s why they called her “The Miracle Lady” at the hospital. But she sure could have chosen to bitter that it happened in the first place. Instead, she chose to thank God for sparing her life. Several times in her journal she asked Him to forgive her for complaining about being in pain or not being able to do anything for herself. I don’t think any of us would blame her for complaining about that, but regardless, she did not want to have an un-grateful attitude.
Finally, I read words that I’d heard her speak so many times through the years, “Lord give me grace.” I can’t count the number of times that she prayed that, or the number of times that she quoted II Corinthians 12:8-10, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NIV)
My Mom wasn’t a saint. There were plenty of times when she would ask, “Why Lord?” But that’s usually when she would quote that verse and pray for grace. In November of 1997 I actually wrote a song based on that. It’s just the lyrics, as I’m no musician. But she was my inspiration. I don’t remember now if I ever told her that.
Remembering all of this, remembering Mom, reminds me that being a woman of faith doesn’t mean that I’m never frustrated, angry, overwhelmed or just plain weary. It does mean that when I reach the end of myself, that I hold on tight to His grace. Honestly, my faith is only by His grace anyway. I am so human. I truly have no strength of my own. But it turns out that His grace really is sufficient.