This picture was taken 42 minutes after Noah was born. Em was waiting in the hallway as my friends rotated in and out of the room during his delivery. Jason, my younger sister, and three girlfriends were present for his birth. One of the friends also acted as my doula and the other two were prayer warrior/cheerleader/documentarians. June 10th was an awesome day. I'm so grateful to God for the opportunity to have been a mom to Noah on earth and to be a mom to Em, here and now. That is one thing that can never be taken away...I will always be Noah's mom.
Speaking of mom's, I love Mother's Day. I know not everyone does, and I don't for the corsage, brunch buffet reasons, though those are fine. I love Mother's Day for other reasons. I have a great mom on earth. I thank God for her. I have also been blessed with Jason's mom. Growing up, my friend's moms have all been wonderful women that I loved, too. I love watching my sisters be moms. I love being a mom! It's the hardest most wonderful job on earth and the monetary pay stinks but the treasures in heaven far surpass anything I could ever hope for. BUT, the main reason I love Mother's Day is that 20 years ago I was swept off my feet and drawn into the most amazing love relationship I could never have imagined!
We had moved across town and started going to the local Catholic church. (Before I get too deep into the story, this is not a Catholic bashing session, it's just part of my testimony...) We had gone to a great charismatic Catholic church prior to our move, but it was too far to drive and they were starting to get into some weird stuff like contacting ancestral spirits and new age stuff (that's another post...). They were desiring spiritual things, but not seeking the Holy Spirit. Anyway, the local church we moved near was so dead that they had to play pre-recorded music over the loud speakers because no one would sing, and the priest died...Mother's Day was approaching and my dad told my mom she could pick anywhere to go that day for church. *Side note: My mom was raised Lutheran and my dad was Catholic. When they got married, she said she'd raise us Catholic, but with a twist...they taught us that our relationship was between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Mary and the saints were great, but we weren't supposed to pray to them. That worked for both my parents so, apparently it worked for us...
Anyway, we went to some really good Catholic churches growing up. I went to CCD (I have NO recollection of what that stands for now...), I took my first communion when I was in 4th grade because my parents wanted me to know what I was doing (that's later than the norm, if I recall), and then at the end of 9th grade, 1987, I was confirmed. During my journey as a Catholic kid, I always trusted that God was real, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and that I believed God and loved Him. I even wanted to be a nun because I really wanted to serve God and thought that was the only way I could. (Obviously that didn't work...I thought boys were a little too cute. Phew! Just joking.) Anyway, as I watched the priests do mass, I always noticed that they raised their hands when they prayed. I wanted to do that, too. I wanted to express myself to God more than was the norm of stand up, sit down, kneel. I wanted to know God and talk to Him the way the priests seemed to.
So, back to Mother's Day, 1987, we went to a little non-denominational charismatic church that my mom heard about through a new friend at the time. We walked in and there was a full band and people dancing in the aisles. I hadn't seen anything like it except for at a U2 concert in 7th grade, but just a tad bit different scene...That day, my whole family dedicated our lives to the Lord and we never returned to the Catholic church. My grandmother told us we were going to hell for leaving the Catholic church, but later changed her tune when she fell in love with Christ in a more intimate way, realizing that it wasn't a church or hierarchy of church leaders that could facilitate such a relationship.
I know some holidays change dates every year, Mother's Day included, so I don't know the exact day of May it landed on that year. All I know is that 20 years ago, I found what it was I was desiring so badly. I wanted to know the God that the priests had spoken of each week. I wanted to commune with Him, not just go through motions of taking communion. I didn't want to have to 'get to God' through a pyramid of leaders. It didn't have to be that complicated. I wanted to sit at His feet and learn His character, just me and Him. I wanted to know why the heck He would die on a cross for me. I wanted the crucifix to be personal. I knew Jesus had saved me from the pit of hell. I knew He was my Savior. I just never knew He wanted to be my Lord and I never really knew that's what I desired so deeply until that one Mother's Day.
This year's Mother's Day I've been asked to share a bit of my journey of trust with Noah at our church. I am extremely humbled and honored at the same time that Noah's life and death have provided me such an awesome opportunity to share Christ's love on this, my 20th birthday. Thank you, son, for such a cool birthday gift! You're in my heart always, Handsome! I will always be proud to be your mama!