I (and you) have been invited to participate in a synchroblog to honor the Midwives and Patron Saints of our lives. Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Let’s recognize it from the perspective of those women who have nurtured our relationship with Jesus.
You can read more about Sarah’s invitation to this synchroblog here. Join us!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
It is impossible to contain the list of women-blessings God has placed in my life. Each of them has taught me, by example, how to lean into and walk by the Holy Spirit. In His presence we have become inseparable companions. I first tasted the delicious, life sustaining Fruit of the Spirit in my mom.
Mom embodies love. Hers is the love that most looks like Jesus to me. Through my ages, I leveled offensives at her, wrestled against all her wise restraints and even denied her love. And yet, in the darkest moments, her voice was calm and clear. Her voice ensured a future, a future encased in ceaseless prayers. When the light returned, from sliver to full day, she is still here, a confidant, a cheerleader, a voice of wisdom, undeterred love.
Joy! That would be my sister Rachelle. From her birth, I christened her, “Sunshine.” Nothing dims the radiance of Christ-life in her. She is infectious and real. Even her tears illicit a smile and resurrect courage.
My sweet sister Jennifer. Though it isn’t specifically a Fruit of the Spirit, it is Joy’s identical twin. Her passion for life, mesmerizes me and energizes me. In her I learn to press on, to finish the race, to strive.
Peace is my Grandmother. In 33 years, I have never heard her raise her voice. Her entrance settles the atmosphere of room to, “as it should be.” When Granddad passed away a couple years ago, her hurt must have gone deeper than anyone else’s. Yet, even then, she portrayed a calm, assertive, hope-filled peace.
Patience, that is Nanny, my adopted over-90-year-old grandmother. When I met her she warned me not to expect her to hang around too long. She was on her way to meet Jesus. But Jesus has seen fit to let her linger on earth, birthing and feeding the generation behind her.
Kindness. When my sister, Kelsey was little, she could throw tantrums five times her berth. I wondered if my parents had named her wrong. Kelsey means, “refuge, like a harbor, quiet waters.” She filled out her name. Mercy oozes from Kelsey’s pores. Tenderness, kindness and compassion are her signatures.
Goodness, is Tina. The face-to-face aspect of our friendship will be fleeting. Soon, my husband and I will move on to a new duty station, and her life will remain here with her family. But in the gifted days I’ve had with her, I have relished her goodness.
Faithfulness is, Dana S. When hell clutched at the heart of her marriage, God gave her a double portion of faithfulness. In her I have learned the humility and strength, twin foundations of faithfulness.
Gentleness. She might not even remember my name, but when I was little, my friend Grace’s mother let us loose in her home many afternoons. Even then, I marveled at her soft-spoken gentleness and its quiet power.
Self-Control. She wouldn’t believe me to hear me say it, she is far to humble and blind to her own graces. Beth has so many dreams, so many plans, so many places she wants to be and ministries she longs to start. At the moment, God has placed a loving hand on her shoulder and said, “Wait.” And now waiting seems like it’s been forever. But she is growing in self-control and her meekness to learn at the feet of Jesus is precious to me.
Time and space fail me to name all those women I consider to be my Spiritual Midwives and Patron Saints, but this is a start.
I thank my God every time I remember you.