My mind comes alive at night. I’m not sure why but it does. The problem is that by then I’m usually exhausted and ready to sleep. Last night was no different, though I had to wait until today to get my thoughts down. Last night our church had our annual women’s event called “I’m Just Sayin”. Every year the women of my church get together for night of honesty, sharing, and worship. Anyone can sign up to speak and share whatever God has laid on their hearts to share. Women also present artwork, sing, and dance. In the past six years that they’ve put it on, this was my first time attending.
It was such an emotional night for me. I had the privilege of watching girls and women that I love get up and share their stories, share what God has been doing in their lives, and share their talent. I was so proud of them. I was proud to see the work that God was doing in their lives, but more so I was proud of the honesty and vulnerability that they shared. I was very quickly overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit and the joy He had to offer knowing that we were being the Body, the Church as he intended.
There was one woman specifically though that I was especially proud of. It was… my mother. My mom. She’s the reason I am who I am. She’s the reason that I love God the way that I do. She’s the reason why my life is the way that it is. It’s been by her encouragement that I’ve taken to my artwork and to my writing more seriously. And I couldn’t thank God enough for her. Last night as she stood on stage and presented the wedding dress that she spent months of design and work to creation all while paralleling it to the Gospel of Christ, I realized that I have never been more proud of her.
Growing up was hard. Things at home were painful and hard much of the time. Not all them time, but often enough. I saw and was subjected to a lot more than my parents ever realized. It was because of those things that I pushed into God so hard and He kept me so close. But my mom’s influence on me went beyond those things. She’s always been my best friend and as an adult I’ve been able to talk with her and work through the things of the past. Our relationship has grown as has our family, not in size but in character.
My mom isn’t perfect. In fact she’ll be the first one (of which I’ve always admired) to tell you she’s not. But let me tell you what my mom is…
She’s a pillar. She’s one of the most humble women I know. Her life has not been an easy one and through all her faults and moments of defeat, she remains. She’s admitted when she was wrong and stood toe-to-toe to fight when she was right. In the last five years I’ve watched a woman strip down and get real with God and the people in her life. She’s opened herself to be truly vulnerable, from being taught by her own daughter to exposing the “worst” parts of herself to the people in her Bible study so they can lovingly care for her. I was a college student working on a religion degree and she humbled herself to allow God to us me, her daughter, to teach her.
When I would come home from wherever I was, she would be in our front living room that was decorated in all her vintage/antique belongings with her earphones in, glasses on, and Bible on lap vigorously writing her notes. Another thing about my mom…the woman can’t carry a tune to save her life. I mean, horrible! But she worships in the most beautiful way I’ve seen anyone worship. She doesn’t care what she sounds like. Doesn’t care who hears. Whether her hands are raised Sunday morning or she’s rocking her head and twisting her hips the Third Day, her worship to God is genuine. It’s real. Because God is real to her.
My mom is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. She has the biggest, giving, and most caring heart of anyone I know. Her passion is unyielding. She loves her family. She loves her daughters. She loves her husband. We all have not always been easy to love, but if there is anyone in my life who had demonstrated the UNCONDITIONAL love of Christ, it is that woman. When she gets excited she claps her hands together with a giddy giggle and you cannot help but smile and shake your head. Her smile is one of joy and freedom. My mom, she’s larger than life. She’s talented and valued. Not just by me, but by her Creator.
She has served as a high school student ministry leader in our church for over 15 years. I have had the privilege of calling her my high school bible study leader to now calling her my student ministries co-worker as we serve together. She loves those kids and her passion for them has taught me how to have a purpose and calling in this life. She doesn’t always communicate her thoughts easily (although anyone who knows us, knows the Busby woman can talk). She sometimes has trouble getting the words to come out the way she wants to, but she gets there. More importantly, she has something to say. She has something to say to these kids and to me, and God gives her grace to communicate what he wills.
My mom has been there for me every time I have ever needed her and many times when I didn’t think I did. My favorite TV show of all time is the Golden Girls and the dynamic of the mother-daughter relationship of Sophia and Dorothy is so reflective in many ways of my mom and me (only in reverse). She listens when I need an ear. She cuts me off when I need to be the one to listen. She gives me her wisdom and advice. She cries with me. Prays with me. Encourages me. She sacrifices for me. She supports me. I know that everyone loves their moms. I do too and I seek to honor her, treasure her, respect her and I want her to know the impact she has had on my life.
To close, I want to share the best piece of wisdom this incredible woman has ever shared with me. I went through my freshman year of college, totally insecure and lost as to who I really was. I was embarrassed about who I thought I was and all my personality quirks. I called her one Saturday afternoon and as I walked around in the rain by the dorms on campus, she told me something I’ll never forget. To this day, I hold these words dear to my heart and remember them when I struggle with thought of doubt as to who I am or wish I was different. She said to me, ” Mia, God made you exactly who you are supposed to be. Everything about you. You need to accept that and embrace it. Then you need to harness it.”
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
I am who I am because that’s who God created me to be. I can be confident in the woman I am because I am who God designed me to be. My “flaws” or “quirks”, there’s a time and place for them, I just need to learn to harness them. I am who I am because God gave me a mother who saw to it that I be the best person of character I could be. I am who I am because she is who she is.
So Mom, if you’re reading this…I love you Sophia, more than my luggage.