Remember: A Mama’s Memories

 

We have a favorite story that usually gets shared at least once a year in our family gatherings. Even though our children were all young when it happened, (in fact our daughter wasn’t even born yet,) each one could probably repeat the story verbatim now, since they’ve heard it throughout their growing-up years. And yet half of the fun comes as questions are asked while my husband retells the event. Lots of laughter and amazement usually follow the telling.

Do you know that feeling as shared memories are retold?

Apparently it’s pretty important to God to keep those memories alive as well. Over and over again in the Scriptures, the phrase “through all generations” is repeated. But more than just the fun of sharing memories, there is a greater reason that God tells us to pass along the stories:

“So the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.”  Psalm 78:6-7 (NIV)

Somehow, in the telling of God’s miracles, we are conveying to our children the faithfulness of God. We are passing along the faith that has sustained us.  And in that telling we are hopeful that our children would “catch” the faith that we ourselves have come to depend upon.

After all, we’ve heard the saying that “Faith is ‘caught’ more than ‘taught.'” Isn’t that the way it goes?

Oh, but that is where we as parents can set ourselves up for disappointment. I believe that God never expected us to take that responsibility upon ourselves.  In fact, in the telling, we are to make sure that the knowledge of God–true “knowing” Him is what we are pointing our children to.

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No matter how many times we tell our family story of driving over the Wolf Creek Pass during the middle of a snowstorm, and no matter how exciting the story revs up as we describe the car that suddenly appeared in front of us, to “guide” us flat-landers through the storm, it is after all, a story held mostly within our own memories.  Even our oldest son, Joel, who was 5 at the time, barely remembers the experience.

But this Mama heart remembers it well: the fear in all of our hearts, the little boy’s question “Are we gonna be ok?” the Dad’s tense response, “Just pray!!” and the little boy’s trust in Jesus that led him to utter heartfelt prayers.  And those are the kinds of memories that a Mama tucks away in her heart.

When the hard seasons roll around, and the faith gets questioned, a Mama brings out those memories to lay before our Faithful God.  And those are the tellings that God longs to remember as well. Those are the miracle moments that can never be taken away from the deep places of a heart that appears to be wandering with no return. Our Lord holds onto the truth of those memories, just as He holds onto our children.

A few weeks ago, I came across an old email that our oldest son Joel had sent to me. It came at a time, years ago, after his faith had reached a shaky and particularly low spot. As he was lifting his heart to the Lord once again, he called me to tell me that an email would be coming, and could I find a Scripture to pair with a poem he had just written?

This Mama’s heart leapt at the chance, and rejoiced at the telling of another God-made-miracle. All these years later, it’s just as fresh as it was that day so many years ago:

“Without a hope

Without a dream

I wander lost

What does it mean?

 

Fall and push

Push and fall

Rinse, repeat

It’s a gridlocked wall

 

There is no peace

Inside this prison

Constant torment

What’s real is hidden

 

I have known Truth

That wrought my heart

You filled my life

Lies ripped apart

 

I was Your child

I knew Your smile

We shared it all

Over – ever – while

 

I need Your love

I’m not complete

Repenting mind

I’m at Your feet

 

You are so patient

Your arms are open

I breathe You in

Drift in Your ocean

 

I have known lies

But it’s in the past

My heart is changing

And it will last”

–Joel G.

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“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)

 

How could I have known that the verse the Lord prompted me to give to Joel over a decade ago, would be the tagline for our website in this place for Beloved Prodigals?  May our Faithful God point us to the beauty of knowing Jesus, and to the miracle of praying for that same knowing for our children.

 

 

May I pray with you today?

“Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that You are the true miracle working God! Oh, how amazed we are that You would call us to join in with You, and watch You bring miracles into our lives. We confess that most days our own faith seems so small. We would rather hold onto our own stories instead of looking to see Your Grace within those stories. Would You open our eyes to see the wonder of You in the midst of our days? And would You help us to hold onto those true memories, where You have reached down and captured our very hearts? We ask You to stir those same memories in the hearts of our loved ones.  Draw them back into Your loving embrace, and bring them step by step into Your heart.

In the name of Jesus we pray,

Amen.”

~~Bettie, for Beloved Prodigal.

 

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21 thoughts on “Remember: A Mama’s Memories

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  1. WOW! so many memories are stirred in reading this wonderful post…tears flowing…this mama’s memories of her 13 year-old son’s excitement when he suddenly discovered the Scripture, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1 one morning during his quiet time and felt the Lord has given that verse to him as his life verse, how we listened and sang along to “Sometimes by Step” by Rich Mullins together during that time…and now I am praying your closing prayer along with you… “Would You open our eyes to see the wonder of You in the midst of our days? And would You help us to hold onto those true memories, where You have reached down and captured our very hearts? We ask You to stir those same memories in the hearts of our loved ones. Draw them back into Your loving embrace, and bring them step by step into Your heart. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Beth,
      Oh, now my tears are flowing here also. Only God could have brought about such sweet details and connections. What precious memories to be stirred of your own son! Truly our Lord sees every step that we take, and those steps that our children will walk through also. Yes, Lord, keep our eyes and our hearts lifted up, waiting for You. Blessings and Hugs to you dear sister.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He is a great miracle working God, isn’t He? When we are in the midst of those long days, the sowing and the reaping seems to get mixed up in our minds, and we don’t understand the seasons that are necessary. Even now in this changing season of my life, I want the waiting to be shorter. But our God never misses a moment or a detail. I am so thankful for His faithfulness.

      Like

  2. Thank you, Bettie, for sharing this beautiful story. I love the verse you shared:
    “So the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
    Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.” Psalm 78:6-7 (NIV)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Oh, yes, His Word to us is so encouraging. When we tell the stories of HIM to those younger ones, then HE is planting the seeds of His faithfulness to be grown down deep in their hearts. The knowing of Him is what He will show them. I am so grateful for all of the younger ones that you have shared those stories with, Lisa. You have a beautiful testimony, of how His Word was planted in your heart, and then how He has helped you share that Word with others! Blessings and Hugs to you!

      Like

  3. Thank you so much for sharing all of this, Bettie. And thank Joel for his openness too. This so blesses me today:

    “When the hard seasons roll around, and the faith gets questioned, a Mama brings out those memories to lay before our Faithful God. And those are the tellings that God longs to remember as well. Those are the miracle moments that can never be taken away from the deep places of a heart that appears to be wandering with no return. Our Lord holds onto the truth of those memories, just as He holds onto our children.”

    My girls are young, but oh how even now I am seeing Him in them both and I will hold onto those memories for the times to come. You encourage me here to record them on paper, so I don’t forget.

    I am sure those memories gave my Mum hope for me too – hope that God always completes what He begins in us. Thank you for who you are. Oh what a gift God has given me in your friendship and mentoring from afar. I sometimes wonder if you aren’t one of my Mum’s many prayers for me being answered in her earthly absence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Anna,
    Oh yes, I hope that you can record those sweet memories of times spent with your girls in the presence of Jesus. He is already speaking such amazing things to their hearts! There is so much wonder in that child-like heart. And I would have been so blessed to have known your Mum! But I also wonder, if somehow the Lord was weaving together the prayers of all of us Mama’s here–when she was praying for you, and I was praying for my children, Jesus was joining our prayers together even then! And He is longing to bring our hearts together in worship of Him now, preparing us for Heaven when we will all be together before Him! I have been so blessed by your friendship, and by your own beautiful miracle stories of God’s working in your life. I pray that the Lord will continue to bring His blessing as we all share His heart here. Hugs & Love to you dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Bettie, this is so beautiful! I can just imagine how your mama’s heart thrilled to receive that email and precious poem! God is so good. He knows our sorrows and hears our prayers.

    The poem is so good! I love the depth of emotion that comes out, with lies that ripped apart the truth, and then the slowly coming back to God and the thrill of being complete in Christ. Beautiful poem!

    Blessings and love to you! Thanks so much for your willingness to share this story from your life. So encouraging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl, Oh, yes God is with us through each longing and waiting moment. He understands and is waiting along with us. I am so grateful that He helped me to find this poem of Joel’s. I will pass along your encouragement to him. And then to realize that God gave the same Scripture that is here, He weaves us all together in ways we could not imagine. He is holding us all in His hands. May we continue to be encouraged in Him. Thank you for your sweet words too Gayl. Blessings, love and hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bettie- I love your stories of family memories. I know that memories are the thread that weave my family together so hearing your stories warms my heart. Your son has a beautiful gift of sharing his heart through poetry. I am so glad that was part of your post today. Blessed that this story was shared at the #TellHisStory linkup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Oh, yes, those shared memories are so important aren’t they? I’m so thankful that the Lord has prompted my memories even when I forget, such as finding this beautiful poem of Joel’s. It brought such joy to my heart, and became such a time of praise with the Lord. Thank you for opening your heart and your digital home for the sharing of more stories! Blessings to you!

      Like

  7. A very encouraging & uplifting post Bettie, we all have those prodigals in our families don’t we…

    Your son’s poem is very intuitive too… God’s answer to our prayers are miracles guiding our children through the snowstorms of life to safety. Praise Him! 😀
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer,
      Yes, there are so many prodigals that Jesus is calling and wooing, aren’t there? Just in the ways that He woos us when we look away, I know He is wooing them too. I love how you phrased that, God’s answers to prayers are miracles guiding through the snowstorms of life. So beautiful, and sweet truths to rest our faith on. He knows what He is doing! Thank you for your sweet words here today. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendy,
      Oh I am so grateful that Jesus lets us share encouragement with each other. His promises and His love are so great for us, and for those in our hearts. May we keep clinging to Him in all of our prayers! Love and Blessings to you!

      Like

    1. Yes, Donna, that is a very good description: my heart did sing! And I am so glad that the Lord directed me to find it, and to rejoice again. Our Lord knows just when to bring us encouragement in our prayers!

      Like

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