Fifty-eight years ago today, a baby girl, Brenda, was brought into this world under no unusual circumstances. She would have a quiet childhood, living in the same home with one slightly older brother and parents who were very guarded with their hearts though loving in their own way. She would be terrified to talk to just about anybody, so she remain mostly silent, always aware of her shortcomings. Around her 12th year, by God’s grace, she would have her eyes opened to her sinfulness and the forgiveness available to her through the cross, and she would embrace it wholeheartedly with amazement. As a teen she would work at a movie theatre where she would meet a teenage boy, Frank, who would boldly ask her out on a date. Five days later he would ask her to marry him, and she would say yes. Their wedding would be postponed, though, when her Air Force fiance would be in a bus accident that would break his back and leave him disabled, rarely able to be the financial provider for his home. Despite all this, Brenda would still marry Frank and give birth to a son exactly nine months after the wedding.
Brenda would go to school to become an RN and would be an amazing one at that. She would be dedicated to her job and patients, but dedicated more to her family. She would work crazy long hours, most holidays and weekends, and then would come home to do housework and care for her little boy. Though exceptionally wise with her finances, she and Frank would be constantly struggling for money, and there would be times she would be hungry to make sure her little one had plenty to eat. Though desiring three children, she would have her tubes tied because she wouldn’t think they could afford any more.
Five years later, when Frank had just finished another back surgery, she would be surprised to find out she was again pregnant even though that shouldn’t have been possible. Though scared, she would be overjoyed understanding that this was God’s work. A few months later she would give birth again, this time to a baby girl, having her children eight years apart. Her heart would always be to stay home with her children, but she would understand, though sometimes difficult, that this desire was not God’s plan for her life. Though she wouldn’t be with her children as much as she wanted, her children would always be sure of her love for them.
Each morning, Brenda would wake up early and immediately open her Bible to study and pray. Though it may have seemed like not much was going on to the outsider during these times, Brenda would be in the middle of spiritual warfare, praying diligently for her husband, her children, and every need she would ever see around her. Through her faith in the Lord, He would be gracious and faithful to answer her prayers. Frank, her son, and her daughter all would come to know and love Jesus by God’s grace through her teaching, example, and constant prayers. A spiritual legacy would begin.
58 years later, Brenda would still be constantly praying, constantly humble, and constantly diving into God’s word. She would now be praying not only for her husband and children, but also for her son-in-law and daughter-in-law, her 5 grandchildren, and the grandchild growing in her daughter’s womb. She would be only 2 months away from the 40th anniversary of her marriage to Frank, continuing to grow in her love for him each day. Four hours away the day before Thanksgiving, her daughter would be weeping tears of thankfulness for this mother who loved her so deeply by praying for this girl who was so often rebellious and unappreciative. This daughter would now be very aware of the fact that her salvation was a gift not only to her but also to the faithful mother who had asked God for it. This daughter became a daughter of God because her mother was already a daughter of God who loved Him with all her heart.
Today, November 24th, I want to celebrate my mother, Brenda Madison. She is my greatest mentor and one of my dearest friends. I have never met a woman so in love with Jesus, and apart from our Lord Jesus, I have no other individual to be more thankful for in this season than the woman who cared about my soul more than anything else in this world. I am so, so thankful God put me in her arms and that I had the crazy joy of getting to laugh, cry, and simply enjoy life with this woman growing up. I love her deeply. Happy birthday, my beautiful mother!