rp_Mothers-Day-Series-731x1024-731x1024.jpgNothing I can say is appropriate for today’s post. Whitney’s strength she has found in our God is the biggest testament of faith I can safely say I have ever seen. Her family has changed this community in a way that makes me never want to leave. Her arms may feel empty this Mother’s Day but she has assured us her heart is full of a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Whitney

Growing up and even today, I have always known my mom only wanted the best for me. She has always pushed me to do my best at everything, but in a loving and supportive way. I always knew she believed in me, that I could succeed at anything as long as I was committed. Even when I didn’t agree with her. Even when I saw things differently.

 IMG_2587

Those teenage years couldn’t have been easy dealing with me, but she handled it with grace, wisdom and love. Looking back, I can see she has always loved me the way God loves His children. He can see the whole picture of our lives when we can only see a glimpse. How sometimes the hard things turn into the very things that make us who we are.

whitney

IMG_2591

I played in the band my freshman year of high school. I quickly learned this did not earn me any cool points at my school. I would literally carry eight textbooks just so I could stuff my flute case into my bookbag so no one would see it. I begged my mom to let me quit but she refused. I was to finish what I was committed to–a full year as a band member.

I hated her decision, grumbled about how unfair life was and counted down the days until it was over. Little did I know, (but my mom surely knew!) that the year I spent in band would be a year when I learned about dedication. Hard work. Sticking to your word. Being someone others could count on.  And I even met two of my best high school friends!

My mom is wise.

IMG_2588

She saw the whole picture and encouraged me to stick with it, even though letting me just quit would have been so much easier. She knew this experience would shape my character in a positive way.

IMG_2589

I am so glad that my mom loves me like Jesus does. I am so thankful she raised me in a way that taught me to consider the bigger picture.

You see, this lesson would become more real in my life than I could have ever imagined.

My sweet three month old baby went to be with Jesus on March 25, 2016. Just six short weeks ago.

image1-1

And because of my mom, I am able to see the bigger picture.

God has a plan for this terrible pain; He knows it is for my good. Even though it does not make sense and I cannot see or understand WHY this happened.

image2

Being forced to stay in band for the season and losing a child do not compare at all–obviously–but the life lessons I learned from that experience are helping me even now in ways that still do not make sense.

I know because of my God and the strength instilled in me by mother that I can persevere through this hard, hard season.  I know that because His word tells me my “present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

Like my mom, I want to parent my children with a view of the bigger picture. I want to always consider how my decisions now with help them in future.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege in hearing a similar story of pain and heartbreak and witnessed how his faith has yet to waver.  His statement in that message has not left my mind:

w2

Like when I was in the band, I could not see past how hiding the instrument that was to play music could in anyway be better than dropping out. But my mom knew. She knew the chords I would play on Friday night would be the melody in my life. She knew that pushing through something I did not enjoy would prepare me for life’s hardest events because right now, I do not enjoy this pain. But I know that “joy comes in the morning.”

The people in our lives are placed there for specific reasons and my mom was given to me because of the exact needs that God knew I would face so that with God’s help, and the example of my mother, I can be that reflection of Jesus’ pure love.

Because He sees the biggest picture.

* * * * *

Thank you, Whitney. We are constantly praying for you.

Amber