In the garden of life, there are many who cultivate—who nurture, guide, strengthen, challenge, and bless others. God uses their influence to grow impressionable children into the men and women He desires them to be.
While there have been many such people in my life, there is one who bears mentioning above all others.
It’s so easy for us to miss the self-sacrifice of mothers. Becoming a parent and watching my daughter grow has given me a deeper perspective. I see my wife work tirelessly to shower her with kindness and love. Many times, raising children can feel like a thankless job. It’s in those moments, I think, that we can fully appreciate our own parents.
When she was just sixteen, my mother lost her own mom to cancer. It’s hard for me to imagine navigating my later teen years without my mom by my side. She has been a guide, a steady hand to hold. When entering the confusing waters of college and my twenties, she was there to show me a path and teach me how to avoid getting swept downstream.
During the inevitable times that I didn’t listen and fell into the rapids, she would dive into the raging waters, hold on to me, and bring me to shore.
Her love was an intense fire that instilled within me value and joy. It still guides my perspective all these years later. Mom was a gardener who would not give up on what she planted, a woman committed to God and building His kingdom through her son.
I love my mother, my wife, and all of the other women who have had their hand on my life. I can never thank them enough for their influence on me.
While I was blessed to have a godly mother, I pray for those whose mothers did not provide the love and nurture that God intended. I know that on this Mother’s Day, while many will have fond memories of their mothers, some may silently weep for the relationship they never had, or a relationship that has deteriorated.
If that is your situation, take courage. Whether you are a mother or not, you may step out in faith and be a mother to others. Walk into their garden and begin to cultivate it. Shower them with the love, patience, understanding, empathy, support, and respect that will nurture them. Raise them up for the kingdom of God and He will bless you abundantly—if not in this life, then in the next.