Yesterday was my 71st birthday. Just a date on a calendar to many. I don’t “feel” any different than I did the day before, but the fact is I have fully entered my 7th decade! My children and friends made it feel special and significant. Thanks to FB I received wishes from so many friends and as we all know, it adds value to our lives! I appreciate those who took the time to simply say “Happy Birthday” and even more to those who customized it a bit!
My children loved me well. Simply asking what I wanted to do–be with them and play games. It was made even more special with unexpected phone calls–some I didn’t get to answer because I was too busy “partying”. My heart is full today with God’s grace and His love. I think back on our birth–yes, ours because I am a triplet! Only God’s mercy, grace and plan could see that we three around three pounder babies, born in a small cabin without medical help would live to fulfill the plan He has for us. I know my mother, who labored virtually alone was a praying mom. I know God answered her prayers that we would live. There were no ultrasounds nor for her, any prenatal care, just an understanding that after five other children, she was with child. Apparently when she told my father, she thought she was pregnant, he said, no you are just getting fat. Not too supportive, eh? But instead of one, there were three.
But we lived, and grew into the women we are today. Each of us love Jesus, as I know she prayed. Each of us have walked through seasons of blessings and seasons of struggles. God has been faithful through it all. Maybe it is our mother’s prayers that have kept me moving on when I have wanted to quit. She struggled with mental illness, but still loved Jesus. My husband Darryl preached her memorial service from her worn Bible. Her life was difficult. She spent much time in mental hospitals and on medications. Many would look at her life and think it sad. I don’t think anyone would want to grow up and say, “I want to be like Bertha Swift”. But she left a legacy of eight children who love the Lord. She prayed and some how even though she wasn’t in our life actively as a mother (we three were adopted) I know she prayed from afar and God heard that prayer and answered. He is still answering those prayers.
I know several moms who wonder about their children and their legacy. Their children struggle with mental concerns as well. I want to encourage you to keep praying. Keep trusting and don’t give up. If you are a mom or dad who has lost contact with your children, please keep praying for them. That may be the only gift you can give them on their birthdays, your prayers. But keep giving those gifts. Remember Jacob lost contact with his son Joseph, thinking he was dead, but God brought them back together again. (I also wonder if his brothers prayed for him, during this time as well?) It took us over 25 years to physically meet our mother. In His time, He arranged it. I know she must have wondered about us.
All of us, reach out to those around you who may be mother less or father less. Their moms or dads may be praying you into the lives of their children. You may be someone’s answer to prayer, even if they have passed. Follow the Holy Spirit’s urging to love others. It is always worth it. Thank you Bertha Swift. Your prayers are still being answered.