Do you ever have days when you wonder if your life matters? I’ve been there a time or two. But I want to assure both of us that we are making a difference. And often in ways we may not realize. Let me tell a story to show what I mean.
Years ago, my then-young children and I were on a church tour with an extended family visiting from Mexico City. Our two groups couldn’t communicate, but we smiled and nodded at each other as our separate guides explained the various historical sites.
For Jay, Holly, and me, the trip was supposed to be a restful diversion two years after my husband, and their dad, died. Instead on the first day, I briefly lost 12-year-old Jay, stumbled over 11-year-old Holly as she fearfully clung to me, was soundly cheated in a souvenir purchase, and reminded by the sight of couples that I was raising my children alone.
By dinner, I was tired and defeated. As we waited in separate washroom lines, one of the men from our group put his hand on Jay’s shoulder, making sure he didn’t stray. I rested my arms on top of Holly’s head as she leaned against me. I was convinced the trip was a mistake. Soon, I was thinking I was a mistake as a single mother.
Then one of the Mexican grandmothers stopped as she passed me. She patted my arm and said in her halting English, “You good mama.”
Three simple words. But suddenly I wasn’t so exhausted. And my fear was replaced with the hope that maybe, just maybe, I could pull off this single-parenting thing after all.
In that moment, a stranger became God’s reminder He hadn’t forgotten me, and that I could, with His ever-present help, raise my children.
That’s the power of even simple words. All around us are folks who need encouragement. And we may very well be giving God’s message to a weary soul. Just as that grandmother did.
Sandra P. Aldrich, author and popular inspirational speaker, is the president of Bold Words, Inc. Sandra holds a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University – and, she says, a “Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knocks.” Her career includes 15 years as a public school teacher in the Detroit area, a member on the grief counseling team for a funeral home chain, and 9 years in Christian ministry that included several years as senior editor of Focus on the Family magazine.
Sandra’s often humorous presentations feature the importance of solid relationships – to God, family, friends and self. In addition, she has written and spoken on joyful living, marriage and family issues, grief, single parenting and family communication.
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