Straight from a Mother’s Heart
By Lisa Elliott
I’ll never forget the day that the first of my four children, Natalie, went to public school. I put her on the school bus with her little knapsack, carefully packed full of her favourite and easily accessible snacks. Once I tearfully waved at her from the bus stop I quickly jumped into my car, where my two small boys sat strapped into their car seats waiting for me, and followed the bus to the school. Once there, the teacher briefly welcomed me and a few other apprehensive parents just inside the door of the classroom. Then, with a gracious efficiency, thanked us for coming and escorted us out, assuring us that our children would be ready for pick-up again in a few short hours.
A few short hours? My heart couldn’t bear the thought. Fortunately, I knew exactly what I’d do with my “few short hours”. I headed straight over to a friend’s house who I knew would offer the compassion I so desperately needed. She had, just that morning, said “good-bye” to her firstborn and sent her off to University. Together, we shared our weepy mother’s hearts and free-falling tears along with a hefty stash of Kleenex. Before we knew it, it was time to pick up my little girl!
Eight years ago I took a drive similar to the one I took on Natalie’s first day of school. However, this drive was not just a few blocks, but hundreds of miles away to take her to University in another province. And this time, my mother’s heart was telling me that I wasn’t simply dropping her off for a few short hours. Rather, I was leaving her indefinitely—transplanting her to grow and blossom out from under my watchful care. In fact, my mother’s heart was acutely aware of the fact that, all going well for her, she would never return to our home, and possibly not ever return to our province. My mother’s heart predictions were quickly realized.
Within weeks of her being there, Natalie met her future husband, Josh. Two years later they were married. They recently celebrated their third anniversary and last month, on August 17, at 2:54 pm Natalie gave birth to my first grandson. It’s hard to imagine that my baby is now embarking on the exciting adventure to experience the penetrating, indescribable, love of a mother’s heart. The following is her birth announcement:
Seth: "anointed; compensation; placed”
Joshua: “Yahweh is salvation; leader”
Welcome to the world, little man! Josh and I are extremely pleased and overjoyed to announce the arrival of our son, Seth Joshua Friesen! Born August 17, 2015 at 2:52pm. 7lb 13oz and 20.5in long! He is absolutely perfect and we are totally in love! Everyone is feeling well and living off the adrenaline of this new life entering our home and hearts. Thank you for your continued love, prayers and support!!
Today, August 19, 2015, we brought Seth home with us for the first time. What a powerful and significant experience to permanently bring new life into our home!! Life will never be the same. What makes this even more of a powerful and significant experience is that on this exact day six years ago Seth’s uncle Ben went to permanently stay in his heavenly home. Life since then has also never been the same. Uncle Ben is being missed in a very real way today as we throw ourselves into celebration and mourning in only a way that God can orchestrate.
Our amazing son, you have been placed in our lives on purpose and for a purpose. You have been chosen and already possess gifts to change this world for the better, and to spread the good news of Jesus’ love and hope for everyone. You have already managed to tuck your way into corners of my heart that had not seen healing until now. You are such a gift and we are so thankful for you. We love you!
I had the privilege of spending a week with this little bundle of redemption, sopping up and savouring every millisecond of snuggles in our all-too-short time together. It was also a healing balm to this mother’s heart in a way I find it hard to describe.
Natalie and Josh attempted to record our first encounter when they picked me up at the airport, however, even video couldn’t capture the intensity of that first sacred and intimate moment when Seth was placed in my arms. I couldn’t help but think of what Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, must have felt like when her first grandson, Obed was laid in her lap for the first time. Redemption!
Things haven’t changed too much since that tearful day at the bus stop, now twenty-two years ago. Unfortunately, “good-byes” are not getting any easier. I’m leaving more of my mother’s heart behind with every visit I have with my daughter. I’m no longer simply leaving my firstborn baby; I’m leaving my firstborn baby with her firstborn baby.
The Bible tells us that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). My mother’s heart has one of my treasures (my son Ben) waiting for me in heaven and my plan is to make a few more eternal investments here on this earth until the day when there will be no more “good-byes”. That great family reunion! On that day, this mother’s heart will be completely and irrevocably satisfied.
What kind of treasures are you investing in today?
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness…They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. (Psalm 145:4-7, 11-13)
Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord (Psalm 102:18 (ESV)).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org