Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.

Spirit…Not Just Personality


Out to Dinner Bernadette and Mom

Out to Dinner
Bernadette and Mom

God always answers prayers, although sometimes they are in ways we could not have imagined. I am learning to trust His ways, especially when we cannot see the answers, because He knows what we truly need, not just what we think we need or want.

When my dad was experiencing a decline in health twelve years ago, I prayed that he would pass away before my mom so I could get to know her. In my mind, I would be able to forge a “true” relationship with her, and get to know her as a person. I imagined long heart to heart talks over coffee and lunches, enjoyable shopping dates, being there to help her with household chores, and do all the things I fantasized were things that close mothers and daughters did together. I wanted to know her true personality, and I wanted her to know me. This was my prayer.

The Lord knew what my true prayer request was, even though I didn’t know the fullness of what was needed to fill that spot in my heart that was longing for my mother’s love.

He knew that I needed to know her spirit…her heart; not just her personality.

So the Lord placed my mother with Joe (hubby) and me, and she made her home with us for the past eleven years.

I wish I could say that all those years were a breeze, and that every moment spent together was quality time. I wish I could say that my heart was always right and that every thought I had was loving and peaceful. I wish I could say that we had long, intense mother to daughter talks that allowed me to know about her life, and that we chatted endlessly about mother/daughter things. Because those were the things that my mind had the capacity to wish and hope for.   I was looking for an illusion of what true love is.

God, in all His mercy and love, revealed to me what true love is all about.

He gave me eleven years of snippets and moments of love with my mother. He helped me to love my mom through our interactions, especially when my mind and heart were not in it. He showed Himself through her smiles, her patience, her love, her gentle spirit, her ability to take life as it was given to her, accept it, and offer it to God each day. I watched her as her health declined through the years, and she was able to do less and less. I watched her struggle to walk a few steps to the bathroom, then struggle to move in bed. I watched her struggle to just breathe. I knew in her last week on earth, that her suffering was united with Jesus, and that I was privileged to share in that beauty. That beauty was manifested in a love that permeated my whole being…an all-consuming love that was almost overwhelming in its intensity.

You see, God answered my prayers, although in a way far superior to what I requested.

I asked that He allow me the time to get to know my mother’s personality. What He blessed me with, was the opportunity to know her spirit. And her beautiful spirit is what will be a part of me, and all who knew her, forever.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so completely, that you know our hearts and needs more than we do. Help us to always trust in your mercy and love, knowing that your desire is for us to find peace and true joy in your presence forever.


11 thoughts on “Spirit…Not Just Personality

  1. All I can think to say is Thank you; AMEN!

    You continue in my prayers,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patrick, thank you! We can feel the prayers surrounding us:-)


  3. What a beautiful testimony of your mother’s sweet spirit, and your insights and growth as you loved and cared for her all those years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a journey! As always, your words have again touched me and give me something to thing about, something to strive for. Thank you for allowing us in as you process this recent loss. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Tina. There is so much that happened, so many experiences of love and growth that I couldn’t possibly share them all, but I will try…hope it is not too much for those reading!!!

    You are so right…this loss has to be processed bit by bit. The Lord is so awesome, the way He works in and through our lives…especially when we are totally unaware:-)

    You are in my prayers,


  6. This is a beautiful tribute to a woman you loved with all your heart. As my mother deteriorated in a nursing facility, I was torn as to whether I wanted to see her one more time because I didn’t want to remember her in this final state. (She had been a strong vibrant woman!) However, even if she couldn’t speak I could see the love in her eyes for me and that was enough. My heart soared at that moment. I look forward to the day when I can see her vibrant again in heaven. Thank you for voicing what I felt, blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful! I understand so what you mean regarding your heart being in the right place, and every thought, word, and deed being done in nothing but pure love and peacefulness. Many times I was so tired, it was nothing but pure “obligation.” Knowing no matter what, I had to do what was right for her and Daddy. Sometimes my “thoughts” and “emotions” were all over the place, with it all.

    You know Bernadette, as I look back, I know I did the very “best” that I could. I always I guess, will have the question, “Could I have done more?” Then another question will come, “What was that “more?”

    As I look back now, I realize the “more” were in those special moments only she and I shared. The moments we would laugh, the moment she took my hand the day before she died raised up out of bed and kissed it, never opening her eyes. The moments I took her to the beauty shop and then would ride her around with her vanilla malt in hand. I miss her Bernadette, and I know with all of my heart how much you miss your Mom. It takes awhile doesn’t it, to learn how to live without your Mom? God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: One Year of Life Since… | somebodylovesmeblog

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