Friday, October 5, 2012


I am thankful for her peaceful spirit.

Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. {Psalm 23:4a, Message}

My mother was never afraid.

Well, there was this one time... we had just moved to Arkansas and were renting this house on a lake.  I don't know how long we had been there, but this particular night, it was just us two in the house.  I don't remember which one of us first discovered it, but there was a rather large bug in the house.  I can't tell you how big it was... there are no comparisons to be made with any other bug I had ever seen before in my life.  We didn't know what it was, but it was flying all over the place, and it was mammoth in size, and the way it flew at us almost felt like a kamikaze attack, and it had us a little unnerved.  So my mom grabbed a broom, and we attempted to kill it.  But first we had to trap it.  We ran all over the house that night waging war against that stupid bug.  Though we were a little freaked out (I mean, cause you just never know when I killer bug is planning to infiltrate your home and kill everyone), we ended up laughing like a bunch of high school girls.  We were so tickled that it made the task of hunting it down and killing it even more difficult.  What was so funny was the fear that this little bug, which really was the largest flying insect I had ever seen, had welled up inside us human beings.

Funny thing now is that I can't remember if we ever killed it.  I just remember the laughter.

But that's how my mom was.  She had a peace about her that was unlike anything I have seen in anyone else.  She had a calm spirit.  It was something that sprung up within her from a natural source, the kind of peace that cannot be taught or purchased.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, she never seemed afraid.
When she found out it had spread to her liver, she told me over the phone and followed the bad news with, "I don't want you to worry... I am going to be okay."
In her final days, there was no tension or anxiety or fear in her countenance at all.

She lived in peace; she died in peace.

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  {Philippians 4:4-7}

I am so grateful I had an example of true inner peace for thirty-five years of my life.  So many people never experience it at all, and I had it in my mother.  I try to mirror it in my life whether it be in situations like when Madalyn's head was split wide open or when I knew my mother was dying right before me eyes.  There's something to be said about the peace that my mother had, a peace that comes from the Holy Spirit.  It sustains you even when life is crazy and complicated and disappointing.  It never runs out.  It makes no sense to those who have never tasted true Peace.  But it is real, and it is available in Him.

Dear Lord... I thank you for a mother who lived out your amazing promises right before my eyes... for a mother who taught me through example and not just by words alone... for the beauty of her peace throughout the toughest battle of her life... Amen.

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