“You Good Mama”
This morning, Hebrews 3:13 reminded me of a stranger’s encouragement years ago: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today.”
My then-young children and I were on a church tour with a group visiting from Mexico City. We couldn’t communicate, but we smiled and nodded at each other as our separate guides explained the various historical sights.
For Jay, Holly, and me, the trip was supposed to be a diversion the year after my husband, and their dad, died. Instead on the first day, I briefly lost 12-year-old Jay, stumbled over 11-year-old Holly as she fearfully clung to me, was soundly cheated in a souvenir purchase, and reminded by the sight of couples that I was raising my children alone.
By dinner, I was convinced this trip was a mistake. As we waited in the washroom line, one of the men from our group put his hand on Jay’s shoulder, making sure he didn’t stray. I rested my arms on top of Holly’s head as she leaned against me. I was tired and defeated.
Then one of the Mexican grandmothers stopped, patted my arm, and said haltingly, “You good mama.”
Three simple words, but suddenly I wasn’t so exhausted, and my fear was replaced with the hope that maybe, just maybe, I could pull off this single-parenting thing after all.
In that moment, a stranger became God’s reminder he hadn’t forgotten me and that I could, with his help, raise my children.
That’s the power words can have. As we look around, we will see folks who need our smiles and our encouragement. And we may very well be providing God’s message for a weary soul—just as that grandmother did for me.
Oh, Sandra. I couldn’t read this without welling up with tears. I was so blindsided yesterday evening by a friend in the Bible study I lead, I was ready to simply give up. So, along with the positive power of words, all of us have also felt the negative power of words. I’m so thankful that the Lord pushed that Mexican woman out of her comfort zone, to give you His encouragement! He has His instruments all around us, doesn’t He?
Thank you for your insight, Elaine. But I’m sorry you recently felt the power of negative words. Even as I reply, I’m praying for you–and trusting our heavenly Father will return to you the blessing you are to others, including me!
Loved this. Really sweet. You are good Mama.
Thank you for your sweet words, Holly. You and my daughter share the same first name, so you know I love it.
Sandra-what a powerful message! Sometimes we never know how our words can affect others–we may not know what kind of day they’re having or what their struggles are. A great reminder to encourage and edify others.
You are right, CJ. Folks all around us are carrying heavy burdens. Oh, to have the spiritual eyes to see them–and offer encouraging words.
This reminds of the time I was almost nine months along in the pregnancy of my second child. I thought this child would never come and was feeling quite discouraged. A man at a Sears store, without mentioning my pregnancy, helped me carry a box to my car. I’m not sure why, but the simple way in which he offered to help cheered me. My second son was happily delivered a few days later.
Thank you, Ann, for sharing this special memory. Ah, the power of seemingly small gestures that mean so very much!