This year, Jan and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage. For 38 of those years Jan has been a mother. For 13 years she has been a 'Nana', and for 34 years, she has been a preacher's wife.
If I had to pick one word to describe Jan as a mother, the word would be 'selfless'. When it comes to her children, she is defensive, opinionated, fearless and totally forgetful of herself. Although the children are all married with families of their own, she still never goes into a department store without looking for something the kids or grand kids could use.
The word that would best describe her as a grandmother would be 'available'. Though she has been limited in this respect because she has been forced to live far away from most of the grands, she is always ready go when needed. She'll haul 'em, keep 'em, feed 'em, clean 'em, and doctor them whether they need it or not.
As a preacher's wife, I call her 'faithful'. She is faithful to the Lord as His servant. She is faithful to me as a loving and caring wife. She is faithful to her family as a Christian mother.
However, there is more to her faithfulness in ministry that I need to mention. Because of her determination to go with me wherever I felt the Lord directing me, she has not always had an easy life. The last 14 years at Way of Life Baptist Church and a brief space here and there, she has had a little stability and we've had a decent income. But here is where the true faithfulness comes into focus, she has always been willing to leave it all behind for Jesus.
We are closing in on the 60 year old mark, and while many (if not most) Americans our age would be making plans for financial security and retirement, she is making plans to walk away from financial security, and she is trading retirement for re-fire-ment. While some would be trying to get nearer their families, she is preparing to move further away form even the nearest ones. She is willing to do this because God has opened a new door of ministry for us. To her, Jesus is worth it.
I have to admit that it hurts me a little to see her going through her earthly possessions, deciding what she can keep and what she can let go. It hurts because I know that she deserves much more than she has ever gotten out our relationship. But she has never asked for more. She is not sad nor disappointed as she leaves these things behind...She is excited. She is faithful.
On this Mother's Day, I want to say thank you, Jan. I love you. And please remember that you have an "Inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." (1Peter 1:4)