Dear Dineen and Lynn:
I just have to share with the two of you my “bittersweet moment” this morning. To back track, I just got home yesterday from having been with my youngest daughter the past three weeks as she gave birth to her first child—a precious 9 lbs. 1 oz. baby girl, name Hadley. Needless to say, it was hard leaving that little bundle of joy 5 hours away from me in Austin, Tex.
And now for my bitter sweet moment via Facebook post my daughter, Heather, posted early this morning. She had a picture of a devotional book: Baby Boot Camp by Rebecca Ingram Powell. Beside the picture, Heather wrote:
“Moms—it is my first morning without my mom to help me and this little devotional book is a life saver! Find one and take a little time for yourself to read a little devotion each day. I love it already with a cup of hot coffee.”
I shed a few tears and then replied:
“I’m having a bitter sweet moment five hours away as I read this. My daughter doesn’t need me to help anymore???? But, how sweet knowing that she is reading and dependent on God’s Word. All is right with the world.”
I wanted to share this with you because you are doing such a wonderful job in reaching out to young moms who are faced, as I was, and you have been, in raising children in church alone. I had so many flashbacks as I read Heather’s post.
One in particular was a decision I made when she was two years old and her sister was six. We had just made a move from Atlanta, Ga. to New Orleans, La. My husband had been offered a job opportunity that he felt he couldn’t afford to turn down. During the process of our lengthy talks about taking the job, I just simply said to him: “I’ll go with you anywhere you feel we need to go; it is just so hard for me to move with two little girls to a strange city and have to take them to church by myself.”
To which he replied, “I promise you if you will make this move with me, I will go to church with you and the girls.” And with that hope, we made the move.
Oh yes, he went the first Sunday to help me find the church, and that was the end of that.
As a young mother I felt so betrayed.
One Sunday morning as I was about to give this church-going up for good, I heard little children playing out in the street in my neighborhood. It was then that I prayed: “Lord, whether he ever goes to church with me, I commit to you this morning that I will go alone if I have to; I can’t bear the thought of my children playing on the streets on Sunday morning and not in church.
And with that, the three of us began our journey, and today both girls are ministering in their own church, and raising their little ones for Jesus. And I might add, they married fine Christian young men who are right beside them and who is the spiritual leader of their homes.
I realize it doesn’t always happen this way. When children become of age, they have to make their own choices and sometimes stray from their Christian up-bringing for a while. But, my reason for writing to the two of you is this: keep on encouraging young moms, as you are doing, to make the effort to teach the kids about Jesus and take them to church, even if it she has to do it alone. It has it rewards---I am blessed.
On a side note, both girls love their dad so much, and he gloats over his children and grandchildren. He has been the best husband and father any man could be with the exception of that “little missing link of having Jesus in his heart.” But, the three of us feel the manifestation of his salvation is near. As you say in your book: “God makes everything beautiful in His time.”
And last, your book has been good therapy for me. It was with me in Austin each morning during my quiet time. The keys have allowed me to see where I’ve been in the past; sometimes “I got it right,” but there are keys that are showing me what I need to be doing at the present time for this particular season of my life and marriage. It couldn’t have been released at a more appropriate time for me.
Keep up the good work as you minister to the spiritually unequal yoked and blessings to you both.