What Will Your Last Words Be?

Jen’s Gem: Honor your mother as Jesus honored His.

I suspect the subject of this post is not what you expected for a Mother’s Day Elevate the Day blog. It wasn’t what I expected either, but I do my best to pay attention to and obey that still small voice that prompts me each week to share what I believe God wants me to share.

In the final days of my mother’s life, I spent some time with her in the hospital as they ran test after test trying to eradicate the lung cancer that threatened to take her life. I had come to Long Island with my kids to give my older brother and sister a respite from their round the clock care. As they watched my children, I spent what would be my final hours with my mother.

I’d just launched my baby gift business, Frittabello and planned to share the main attraction – the My Life baby journal that I’d written. Even though there were oodles of opportunities to do so, it never emerged from my bag – a decision I still regret. Perhaps it was meant to be that way.

My mother always saw me in ways I couldn’t. She questioned why I didn’t view my success and achievements as something to shout from the rooftops.  As we chatted that day, I never heard her thoughts on my business venture. Instead, she shared sage wisdom that I carry with me to this day:

“If you don’t value yourself, who will value you?”

Her intent with these words was not for me to walk around all puffed up and full of myself, but rather for me to value my innate gifts, talents, and character traits that made me uniquely me. 

In the final hours of Jesus’ life, He too made many profound statements. Amidst His pain and suffering however, He made sure that His mother, Mary, would be taken care of. He entrusted this important job to the apostle John.

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”  Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:25-29 NKJV)

Clearly Jesus was being obedient to the fifth commandment to honor his mother, yet there’s something so incredibly sweet and heart wrenching as well about this moment. In all of His suffering and pain, He wanted to make sure someone was taking care of His mom. She’d been through so much.

She’d seen her son “bullied” by people who accused Him of falsehoods. She witnessed Him being beaten, humiliated, spat on, and betrayed. To this day, I can’t even fathom what it must’ve been like for her at the foot of that cross.  I get upset when someone mistreats one of my children. She had to withstand so much more.

God knows that it’s tough to be a mother – especially these days! He also knows the importance of this role. He knows that each of us will face trials and tribulations as we look to do our best to raise our children.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)

Yet, He wants us to know that we don’t have to do it alone. Just as Jesus made sure His mom was taken care of, moms can rest in this same assurance that they will be taken care of as well. God’s Word gives strength, healing, grace, and help whenever we need it. All we have to do is open our Bibles to read His promises.

My mother’s last words to me were perhaps her way of ensuring that I knew my value. Jesus’ last words were to make sure we value our moms. 

I treasure the words my mother shared with me that day. I miss her hugs, her laugh, her playing with my hair, and well – let’s be real – her cooking! I can still smell the fried chicken, meatballs, and pies and cookies that my siblings and I enjoyed so much.

I want to extend my warmest wishes to all mothers today. I pray that God will reveal His great love for you so you know that you are never alone, you can always call on Him for help, and that His blessings will abound when you seek His face. 

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3 NKJV)

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