When I felt someone grab my arm and tug me backwards, you didn’t realize, but I was getting ready to punch you. But then I saw the earnest look of nervousness on your face.
When I went to Walmart with Theresa, I was expecting to navigate aisles and people to get the needed groceries and then get out as quickly as possible. You changed that Mary.
Before we even really got into the store, you stopped me, and told me that you had been inspired, that Theresa’s shirt inspired you. But it wasn’t her shirt that inspired you, it was the truth of God’s word boldly printed on the back of Theresa’s shirt.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. -1 Peter 4:12-14
You shared of your fears and worries for your enlisted son. Just before walking into the store you received a message that he was being called up and deployed. You were overwhelmed with information, and told you wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk to your son, to Colten. You were shaking, nervous, and had tears in your eyes. All I wanted to do was hug you (that’s pretty unusual for me).
Theresa and I prayed for you and over you and Colten, right there in the middle of Walmart. It was a beautiful moment. When we finished, you shared more of your story with us. You survived cancer, you gave yourself treatments, you care for your mother, you step in at weddings in your sons place, you care for your daughter and grandchildren to the best of your ability. Mary, if nothing else, I wanted you to know, you are loved. You have courage. You are incredible and it is all because of our incredible creator.
I don’t know with full assurance of your salvation, but you knew Jesus and called Him by name, and that was encouraging to me. You may have been encouraged by the truth of God’s word, but your life and story encouraged me. Thank you for calling on me to be faithful and ready no matter where I am. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through me to encourage you. I am praying for you and your family. I truly wish and hope to see you again in the future.
If you ever happen upon this letter Mary, there are a couple of things I want you to know:
- Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Do not dwell on all of the “what ifs,” do not dwell on all the bad things that could go wrong. Think on the things from above. Think about the strength the Lord gave you to overcome cancer, thank Him. Think about your 3 little grand babies, thank the Lord for the joy they add to your life. Pray for Colten’s protection. Pray for your daughter. Thank God for keeping them safe from harm, thank God that they are faithful in their callings. Thank God for His many blessings on your life.
Thank you Mary, for calling me to be faithful. Thank you for showing me what true strength and endurance looks like. Thank you for being open and honest. Thank you for raising a son who desires to fight and protect this country. I am thankful for our divine appointment. Thank you for letting us pour into you, but even more thank you for pouring into me.