A Mother's Influence

I have always been a little bit on the…how do I put this…dramatic side. Growing up, I was always jumping, dancing, singing, and storytelling. I’m not much different as an adult. I feel big and I talk big. I have somehow found myself in the public domain, writing for a living and sharing my strong feelings and dramatic life events with others. This is kind of a dream job for me.

My life is lived out loud, and I’ve been told I have a voice of influence. But when I think of influence, a much different picture comes to mind. I envision a cold January night. I had been tossing, turning, praying, and blogging. My life had been turned upside down by a chain of events and I had never felt so helpless or desperate. After a day filled with legal battles and angry tears, sleep just wouldn’t come. I stumbled into the dark kitchen of my parents’ house, and there she was: my mother. Sitting in the dark, head bowed, praying for me. A silent warrior, storming the gates on my behalf.

My mother never has liked the spotlight. She would much rather serve behind the scenes than have all eyes on her. She’s quiet and soft spoken; steady and strong. While I blog about things like what it means to lay down your life, she consistently lives a life of service. And the Internet does not praise her. There are no “like” buttons for months of bedside palliative care or nights slept on the floor beside a sick child. There are no comments sections for the hours spent on her knees, petitioning the Father for the hearts of her children. She has no audience. And yet, she serves. She prays. And she does so with joy.

Have I been given influence? Maybe. But my impact will never exceed the quiet, fixed influence of my mother—whispering fervent prayers at one a.m. Wiping fevered foreheads. Laying her life down for others again and again and again, and telling not a soul about it. Her quiet strength behind the scenes gives me courage to be strong in the public sphere. Her steady love for me makes me brave in vulnerability. Her joy in suffering gives me hope in the midst of my own pain.

I may speak to the masses, but her life has spoken profoundly to my one soul. When I grow up, I want to be just like her. 

To honor the mom in your life, be a part of the WMU Foundation's Give 34 Challenge to honor the most influential woman in your life. 

Jennifer Phillips is the New Hope Publisher's author of 30 Days of Hope for Adoptive Parents