Originally published Tuesday, 17 March 2015.
A mom-is a mom- is a mom.
Regardless of our language barriers, varying experiences or even the color of the ground we walk on… our hearts for our children beat the same.
I know this for a fact because today–I felt it beating right next to mine.
This is Florence. We met at a Sole Hope jigger removal clinic in Jinja, Uganda where she is recovering with 6 of her 9 children.
A combination of poverty, hunger, jiggers, maleria and HIV have overtaken their tiny frames and by most definitions they are the forgotten.
I recalled the last time one of my girls had a fever. I thought about the the urgency in my actions as I carefully measured 2 teaspoons of Tylenol, followed by a cold rag on her forehead, a comfortable pillow under her neck and an iPad by her side with her favorite episode of Curious George cued and ready to go.
Florence lives watching her children suffer and there is very little she can do to help.
As I watched her sitting on the ground with two children laying motionless on each side of her lap, my heart crumbled into pieces. I ached for her. The mommy in me wanted her to be able to provide relief and comfort for her children. The women in me wanted her to be free of pain and agony.
And then she spoke these words…
“I prayed for a girl. God gave me three. Then He gave me another. No one can tell me there is not a God because I asked for these children and He gave them to me. People tell me I won’t be able to raise them…I tell them with God’s help I will. And I am.”
Then she looked me directly in the eye and in her Ugandan tongue she said,
“You only have twins, I have triplets. I win.”
Not simply because she has triplets but because she realizes what a blessing all of her children are.
Is she in pain? Yes. Has she felt hunger? Yes. Are they facing desperate situations? Yes. Is she judged and criticized? Yes.
Can you relate? I didn’t realize it but I could.
Friend’s don’t miss this- Florence is a winner because regardless of her circumstances, she rest solely and completely in the arms of her Creator. His strength. And it just doesn’t get any better than that.
And do you know what else? Her children win. They may not have a pillow placed under their weak necks or a brand new…well anything, but resting on the strength of their mother’s faith makes them winners.
Their bodies may be full of infection and infliction but they have a mother who reminds them that they are her gift. And that the God she serves and believes in is bigger than the realities they live in.
As you can imagine, I stood there-amazed. Convicted and challenged.
I want to live like Florence. I want to raise winners. I want God’s Word, not my world, to be the drive behind my actions and my feelings.
With my words and my actions I want my children to know…
You are not a burden- You are my blessing.
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
You are not unwanted- you are an answer to my prayer.
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28
You are not more than I can handle-you are my testimony.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Here’s the thing, as mothers and daughter’s of the King, you and I have have a responsibility to help our sisters, like Florence.
The mother living down the street, sitting next to us at church or living 8,000 miles away. Motherhood is a gift. My children, your children and hers matter to the one that created them.
Are you winning? Do your children know it? Florence helped me change my perspective and we can help her.
You can help provide the relief that Florence, her children and thousands of others need by partnering with Sole Hope as they remove jiggers, provide prevention education and new shoes to those needing to feel relief from the pain of jiggers and the love of the Father we all trust.
What are jiggers? Find out here.
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Photo Credit : www.garyschapman.com