12. being or considered a sister; related by or as if by sisterhood: sister ships.
13. having a close relationship with another because of shared interests, problems, or the like.
I have been undeniably blessed by precious women in my life. Some close family, some that lived before my time, some have rubbed me hard smoothing away jagged edges, some young, some old, some who know my heart deeply and still love me, some I've never met. But all sharing a common relation, fellowship birthed from the blood of Jesus. Sweet family, a gift. These women have so energized my Christian walk I just had to introduce some of them to you. (I hope you will post a comment and tell me about the women who have blessed your life.)
This week's Sister:It is an honor to introduce you to a woman that I'm not only related to by Spirit but also by earthly blood. My Aunt Jeanne, she is one of my Dad's six siblings. My immediate family was rather transient as I grew up, so I didn't have the close family relationships of someone living in the same town or even state with their relatives. Now that I'm older I'm sorry for that because I have some really cool family members. Anyhow. My Aunt Jeanne always made me feel special and loved when we were at family gatherings, like I mattered, and I'm thankful for that.
I wanted to begin with Aunt Jeanne this week because her story of inspiration is unfolding before my eyes daily, and it's a big one. My cousin Beau, her third of four children, was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. Sadly Beau completed his race on earth this April and was ushered into the presence of our sweet Jesus. He left behind a Mom and Dad, three siblings and a wife, all beautiful and grieving in their own way.
How does a mama say goodbye to her precious son? She was the first person to feel his movements, she knew his smell, his laugh, his weaknesses. She has memories no one else shares, they're locked in her heart. How does she do it? Faith. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like it, it's super natural, gutsy. It causes me to worship, because a God that can hold a mother's heart in a time of suffering so that what comes out is beauty and not bitterness, that God is big and deserves my praise. Even though I've witnessed her testimony from a distance the power and beauty of a trusting heart have not gone unnoticed.
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation." Hebrews 11:1-2
I imagine there are moments that aren't so pretty, that's real life, the walking out of trust in the messy here and now. But there is no denying the mark of soul surrender in her words and attitude. Without doubt holiness and faithfulness are being worked out in the crucible of suffering and I'm astounded. I believe and pray the ripple effects of a mother's heart bowed to Jesus will continue for many years and the fruit will last into eternity.
Will you join in praying with me today for my Aunt Jeanne and her dear family. Let us ask Jesus to "heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds, that he will sustain the humble." (Psalm 147) I'm grateful to serve a God who hears and answers, who honors those who honor him.
Is there a woman in your family that has inspired you? Or perhaps you have known a woman who has born grief with graciousness. I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment on this post honoring her today.