I just returned from Monroe, Louisiana after speaking at the Motherhood Club conference sponsored by Howard Publishing. What a fun event full of encouragement and inspiration. Chonda Pierce offered her one of a kind comedy that always makes me laugh and praise God for His obvious hand in her life.She is kind and loving to her audiences-clearly overflowing the love and kindness she has received from God.
Worship was skillfully and thoughtfully led by Kim Hill. She’s like this fab retro Anne Murray/Aretha Franklin sounding woman who is tender and powerful all at once. I loved hearing her play the guitar and am so glad she’s part of the front lines of women’s ministry.
Of course, Sandi Patti was to sing, but, my flight was leaving too early for me to hear her. I did get the fun privilege of sitting next to her on the front row and listening to her warm up! If you didn’t know what she was doing, you would think you should call 911! She gargles, pants, squeals, and makes these Turrets like noises that only a Grammy award winning singer can make without being asked to leave! I love her. Ever since I got to know her through Women of Faith, I am a huge fan-she is real, genuine, tender and amazing. God bless Sandi Patti.
Here’s the highlight of my message and I write it because it seems to resonate so deeply in the hearts of women when they hear it. My message was to moms and at one point I specifically addressed those who I call Hero Moms. These are the Moms who have been gifted with special children. You know, those with special needs-some physical, some emotional, some mental. All challenged and slightly out of the norm.
My encouragement was to recognize that God only entrusts a special child to a special mom. It is evidence of God’s high regard for, and tender trust in the Mom. With his special endowment, he also gives multiplied grace.
I reminded the women that the burden that their children feel is different, and most likely lighter than the burden that they as the Moms feel. I think of my precious Mom. I know that the pain she still bears because of my blindness is a weighty heartache that will never go away. Her burden is heavy. My Mom, like any Mom of a challenged child, has to observe, watch helplessly as their child struggles. That’s really hard for a Mom. I understand that.
For me, blindness is a burden, but, its mine. I’ve learned how to carry it and manage it. Yes, it is hard, but, it’s a different kind of hard. The way I see it is that I have what I call participant grace. My Mom only has spectator grace. It just seems to me that spectator grace isn’t the same as participant grace. I encourage Moms of special kids to relieve themselves of some of the heartache they carry as they realize that the burden they feel for their child is not the same as what the child experiences.
The Mom understands and feels the degree of loss much more than the child. The Mom has a warehouse of emotional inventory from which she draws, the child simply takes each day at face value. So, you see how spectator and participant grace differ? But, truthfully, grace, God’s grace, is sufficient. When I told Mary Graham (President of Women of Faith) about the different kinds of grace she said, that should be in the New Testament! Ha! I don’t know about that but I do know it makes sense to me and it is a very encouraging way to view burdens -- especially for Mom.