I have to do an introduction here.
Meet Regina Williams. My mentor.
I had the PLEASURE of being in one of her Titus 2 groups the year Ella was born and did it ever change my life.
She has mentored so many women over the years and is one of the FIRST I turn to when picking the scripture for the ABC Scripture Cards, when deciding major decisions for this business and for our family.
She is wise and encouraging yet does not hold back from the truth and holding me accountable to what God holds most dear – my relationship with Him, my marriage and my kids.
She is the proud mom of three boys – Wes (35), Barry (33) and David (29).
And 3 grandchildren – Emsley (2), Cora (2) and Seth (1).
I was THRILLED when she agreed to share some of her thoughts on PRAYER.
And, I was actually thrilled she picked this story to tell.
It still gives me chills.
Part 4 of a Praying Mom
“I want to be a great mom . . . no, I want to be the perfect mom!”
It was my heart’s desire, yet in my parenting journey I discovered this was an unreachable goal. My failures weighed heavy on me as the enemy so often brought condemnation into my thoughts. Through all of this God was teaching me that parenting was not just up to me or my husband. God wanted to be a part of this journey with me; to show me that in my weaknesses, His strength and life could be lived out.
He taught me so much during those years as we raised our family of three sons. One of the biggest life lessons was the importance of prayer and using God’s Word as I prayed. After all, you can never get it “wrong” when you pray God’s Word.
As I would read God’s Word, He would point out scriptures that I wanted to be true in my sons’ lives. As He did, I would get out a 3 x 5 card and write those verses down. I began to record these verses in my prayer notebook, which was just a three ring binder that had dividers in it for my husband and each son. So began my prayer journey, not really understanding how God would use this in all of our lives.
Many of you reading this are young moms,
having no idea of the journey ahead of you.
I just want to encourage you to make praying for your children a high priority.
Only God knows what lies ahead.
As moms, we can create wonderful homes for our children to grow up in; teach them His truths; love them and guide them; but only God can change their hearts. Parenting has kept me on my knees, and what a great place to be kept! It has kept me dependent on God, realizing that every good thing that comes from me is rooted in His life living in and through me.
There are so many stories of how God worked through prayer in our family, so I’ll just pick one to share today. When I was praying for our four year old middle son, I felt the Lord say in my spirit, “There is going to be a spiritual battle over Barry. Ultimately, I will win and use him to serve in my Kingdom.” I had no idea what all that meant, but wrote it down in my journal and went on my way. Barry asked Jesus into his heart when he was seven years old, but when he hit the teenage years his friendships pulled him away from all he had been taught. For the next eight years we realized we were in a spiritual battle for our son’s life! We prayed, we cried, we made it a priority to keep our relationship with Barry as strong as we could. But he pulled away and questioned every truth he had been taught about God and Jesus.
Off he goes to college and for the next three years he never enters a church or opens his Bible. Then December of his junior year, I was praying for Barry when God so clearly spoke again to me. He instructed me to begin writing Barry weekly (no email then!). In the letter I was just to write how I saw Jesus in him and in those letters I would bury scripture (knowing it is only His Word that would set him free!). I had no idea at the time if Barry was even reading the letters because he never mentioned them to me. In March of his junior year, Barry was miserable. He called crying, thinking God was punishing him with throat cancer (he was getting mouth sores all the way down his throat, we think caused by the stress of living outside God’s will and plan for his life).
In May, Barry hit the lowest when his girlfriend broke up with him. When he called us and was so broken and depressed, Bill and I knew he was at a very critical time and we were concerned for his life. So we hopped in a car and went up to see him. For the first time, he agreed to go to church with us. How God directed us to the church is a whole other “God story”. We met the college pastor who reached out to him and invited him to the college Bible story. That afternoon we took Barry to lunch and had a great conversation with him, prayed for him, and had to go back home trusting God to keep him and reveal Himself to him. Through the summer Barry chose to go to the Bible study and to church. We hit another critical time where we felt God call us to pray and fast for Barry.
As we prayed, my husband asked the Lord to put on him what Barry was dealing with and to give Barry relief.
The next morning Bill woke up with his mouth covered in sores.
Barry called that day to say he felt a new relief and no mouth sores!!
The next month I received the call I’d been dreaming of for years! It was a Sunday afternoon when Barry called and said, “Mom, I know God is real! He revealed Himself to me. I have joy and peace I have not felt in years!” Soon after, Barry was baptized again to proclaim his complete surrender to the Lord.
By the way, when he moved home from college, he brought home a shoe box with all the letters I had written him. He said he often reread them!! What a blessing Barry is! He is now a husband and father, hungers for God, loves to read His Word, leads worship at his church, and is impacting his world for Christ.
We don’t know what lies ahead for us or for our children, but we know that God knows all and we can trust Him with every child, and every situation that arises. We might be very ordinary moms, but we have a very extraordinary God walking with us and equipping us to do what He’s called us to do. Can I hear a “Halelujah!”.
“Father, I lift up all the moms who are hurting for their children – whether they are a wayward child, or a child who is hurting because of sickness, disappointment, or difficult situation. Father, enable them to keep their eyes on you, knowing that You love their children immeasurably more than they do and and that You are more than able to work in their lives to bring glory and honor to You name. Speak Your Word to their hearts so that they will not loose hope, so that each mom would choose to trust in You “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think”. Give them the wisdom and insight they need to love and encourage their child, so that the relationship between them stays strong. We know that only You can change a heart, so Father we bow our knees before you and ask that you help each one of us to stay faithful to the call you have given us as moms and to trust you for those things we have no control over. Now may You, the God of hope fill each mom with all joy and peace in believing, that they may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”