As Mother’s Day nears I have thought of my mother so much more than in times past. Lucille Ione Smith Daniel was born on April 20, 1906 and passed on to her heavenly home at the age of eighty-nine on April 27, 1995. Writing this tribute to her has three purposes. First, even though I have so far to go to be the Godly woman I desire to be, I am who I am in the Lord today because of how my mother raised me and because of her prayers for me. The second purpose is to encourage others to not give up in praying for their children and to give them hope. The third purpose is that the reader will be intentional in making a love connection with their mother whether she is living or has passed.
I praise God that my mother and father loved the Lord and took me to church starting with the church nursery. Already having a son in the Marines, a son in middle school, and an eighteen month old baby daughter, my mother birthed me at the age of thirty-seven. It was not a planned pregnancy, but it was God’s plan.
My mother was not a perfect mother, but she was close. The most precious thing I remember about my mother is that even though I was a rascal, I knew she loved me. She made me believe that I was special. I suppose because I was the “baby” of the family, I was somewhat spoiled. Truly, I hope that I have grown out of most of that characteristic. I am thankful that she disciplined me, even spanked me until I got too old to spank. As I got older, she would punish me by not letting me do something or by not getting something. I am thankful for her instilling me the concept of “right and wrong”.
To those of you who have been praying for a child who is not living a Godly lifestyle or doesn’t have an intimate walk with the Lord, I promise you and God promises you, there is hope. Proverbs 22:6 says it well — “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” I was baptized when I was a teenager. However, as an Airline Flight Attendant at the age of eighteen, I drifted away from the concepts of morality and Biblical principles. In adulthood I believed that Jesus was only a prophet, not the Son of God. But, my mother was still praying for me and “the hounds of heaven” continued to pursue me. At the age of thirty-four in September, 1976, I said the sinner’s prayer, a prayer I had heard all my life. For the first time I realized that I was a sinner, and if I was a sinner, I needed a Savior. This time, God had gotten hold of my heart. The head knowledge about Jesus and the scriptures I had memorized as a child flooded my heart. I have never been the same and can still say after thirty-eight years, “Yes, Jesus in the Son of God, the only way to heaven.” — John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” Believe it, God is working in the unseen and is answering your prayers to bring your child to the saving knowledge of Jesus. Don’t lose heart!
I hope that in some way that sharing my heart with you will encourage you to make a love connection with your mother if she is still living, even if you have been estranged over the years. If she has passed on, you may want to write a letter and share your heart with her. This is what I have done by writing this article. Joan Courtney, WPI Founder/CEO