First, I’d like to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement this past week for my surgery. It was scary and painful, but I’m definitely on the mend, and already breathing better. God is faithful, and has blessed me in so many ways through you, and I’m hoping that this will really be the beginning of a new day for me!
As we approach Mother’s Day, it’s also very important that I tell you about my mom, and how she’s been for me in all of this. When I first found out I’d needed surgery, I planned to handle everything alone. I didn’t want to burden anyone, and figured I could handle caring for myself, and any issues that arose. My mom, however, first requested, then insisted that she care for me post-surgery. I was hesitant – she already does so much for my family – but I acknowledged that in ignorance of how I’d feel afterwards, it was probably smart to at least start with her.
Folks, surgery knocked me on my patootie in a way I hadn’t expected. The pain of waking up afterwards was very intense and very real. But my mom was there for me in so many ways – let me tell you.
First and foremost, she helped ground me in prayer. Before I went in, she prayed with me. While I was in, she prayed for me. When I came out, she prayed over me. Her legacy of faith has shaped me as firmly as Timothy in the Bible was by his mother and grandmother. This week was no different – my mother’s faith was once again the bedrock of my experience, and I am so blessed to say that this is the norm for our lives. Every moment of every day is bathed in prayer with such an awareness of God’s provision and presence – and my mom has always been at the core of that.
Second, she gave me her best. Y’all, I was miserable and a literal bloody mess for days. But mom, knowing I would be, still gave me her very best. She made homemade soup. She put me in HER bed (that raised my head automatically like I needed), on her very best, softest sheets – despite the fact that I might bleed on them. She slept on the sofa, and set alarms to make sure I got my pain meds on time. She worked me into her already busy schedule as a priority, and created a place of love and comfort for me to heal. And I know that’s what moms often do, but watching my own mom with her many sacrifices and significant love actions when I was at my lowest and weakest reminded me that it isn’t just when I’m down or in need that my mom gives me her best. It’s all the time – to all of my siblings, to the church, to family and friends all across the country… my mom gives in a Christlike way that shows her biggest and most enduring legacy of living Christ. She has always made it a point to live like Jesus for others, giving her best every day in faith and discipleship. Jesus isn’t an afterthought for her, but her first thought, and she always allows her words and actions to be guided by the Holy Spirit. This is nothing new – but a pervasive characterization of who my mom, Esther Jackson, is and has always been. A faithful disciple of Jesus Christ in every single element and aspect of her life. And she’s modeled it and passed it down to each of her kids and grandkids, students and friends, church family and strangers on the streets. My mom lives Jesus.
When I came to MPC for my first interview, I spoke with my mom beforehand. She told me, “Show them Jesus, babygirl.”
The reason I can, is because she did for me and my family, every day of our lives.
Thanks for showing me Jesus, momma. I love you beyond the moon.