I am often asked what my greatest influence is, and I can never choose just one. My answer is invariably, “God and my mother.” I thank and pray and speak to both daily and am ever grateful for the inspiration and character building and life-lessons that both have and continue to impart on me.
What would your answer be? Who or what had the most positive impact on you and your life? Who do you give thanks to for helping shape your character and life … and why?
Here is an excerpt from page 15 of my book, Great Mother Heart:
It has been a long journey, Mother, but if you can hear me now, I want you to look at your little boy Jones and see how he has grown. I want you to see how much I have changed myself. I don’t tease anyone, I help them. I don’t get angry, but I spread happiness. Mother, look, I am here. I am standing at the height you dreamed of for me. I know you are still worried about me, about my health, about my life, about my future, but don’t worry, I have a great God looking after me and guiding me. I still hold that Bible close to my heart. Remember, you bought my first bible for me, even though you could not read it, you knew I could.
Hannah’s story in the scripture captures the unique influence a mother has – “‘Sir, do you remember me?’ Hannah asked. ‘I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.’ And they worshiped the Lord there.” (1 Samuel 1:26-28 NLT)
I sometimes wonder where I would be now, without the sacrifices and encouragement of my mother. I am always saddened when I hear stories from people whose mothers may not have been a shining beacon of honesty, integrity, resilience, and unconditional love. My hope is that they can break the cycle, forgive their mother for her shortcomings and become a shining example for their own children or relatives.
There is nothing more powerful or inspiring than a mother’s love – and nothing more devastating than being denied it. Do you have a story to share about your greatest influence and inspiration?