Mrs. Disciple continues to stretch my thinking each Friday with #FridayFive.
It wasn’t until after my second son was born that my Nana began to open up a bit about her childhood. Her mother had tuberculosis and had lost two children by the time my grandmother was born. She was sent off to live with family in New York leaving her father, brother and sick mother in Gary, IN. She then grew up without a mother and often under the roof of friends or family. I remember being
shocked when she began to tell Ordell and me one afternoon of her time in New York. She felt certain I knew the stories she was sharing, but I didn’t. My Nana outlived both her parent and her brother by decades. Her husband, my Papa, was the final straw in people my Nana was willing to say goodbye to. She passed away less than two years later from heart troubles. This woman who had more strength than she ever let on dies of a broken heart. In the years since she has passed, I’ve pondered her strength. My earliest memories
include my grandparents. They were
present at most of my milestones growing up. I deeply admire my Nana’s resolve to move past her youth and seek joy in her life.
Laura is the most patient mother I’ve ever been around. With three littles underfoot and a husband who coaches football I always shake my head when we are chatting on the phone, and her littles interrupt. Her calm and consistent voice always is a reminder to me she was created to be a mama! Not only that, but I’ve watched Laura support her husband fo
r 14 years now. Her consistent patience and support have had them move around a bunch, but she’s done it with grace.
Moving to Virginia was the biggest move our family went through so far. It was our boys only move, and although we knew it would be hard, we also knew we needed to be obedient. This didn’t mean things went smoothly every day and if it weren’t for Kathryn taking me under her wing I’m not sure I would have ever adjusted. Shortly after we moved, Kathryn received a diagnosis of cancer. Since the boys were in school and I didn’t have a job yet I was uniquely positioned to be present. It was one of the most impressive experiences of my life to watch this woman fight for the life she wanted. Kathryn wasn’t content with a compromised quality of life and worked to keep her health a priority getting back to the gym and keeping her body and mind strong. Through her surgeries and recovery Kathryn was an amazing friend to me. She listened as I wrestled with how to parent our boys through their transition and always offered great advice. It’s been three years since we met and I honestly have a hard time remember what life was like without her in it some days!
Since I’m a book junkie, I can’t leave this list without a few authors I admire. It’s hard to narrow things down, and I could list many, but right now there are two women who continue to impress me, and it’s for similar reasons.
Jenny Simmons and Sara Hagerty both wrote books that carried me through a dark season of wilderness. Their books are of their own wilderness seasons and how God carried them through. The Road to Becoming and Everything Bitter is Sweet both reminded me that God does hear us when life is hard. That God weeps with us and desires for us to draw near to him even in our ugliest times.
The thing that impacted me most was that these women were willing to let readers see the depths of their achy hearts, to learn of their faulty thinking and stand vulnerable before anyone who would seek to hear from them. They didn’t leave the reader or themselves in the hard places, though. Both Jenny and Sara revealed not only what God taught them in the wilderness, but worked to make sure that God was glorified in their hard seasons, and that he can be glorified in ours as well.