In looking back on my childhood, it is interesting to note how many times I remember coming home and telling my mother that “I’m written off as a lost cause, one more statistic, a hopeless case.” (Psalm 88.4) I can recall several teachers reaching this conclusion and in moments of frustration sharing their views with me. In each situation, the process of telling my mother the story was met with a stern rebuke, an adamant disagreement, and a prophetic statement that she believed I would easily prove them wrong.
Even as I replay the scenes in my mind, there are three consistent themes that come in each scene. First, my mother never waivered in her defense. There was no hesitation, no pause, no indication of any kind that she in any way agreed with the accusation.
As strongly as she defended my ability to succeed, she also thought I was guilty of whatever mischief, prank, or shenanigan regardless of the evidence to support the accusation. I was never sure if it she was seeing herself in the mirror or simply assuming the conclusion based on past evidence.
I knew where I stood with her. I was her son. She was proud of me. She knew I was going to succeed in whatever I choose to do, regardless. Whatever the incident was, guilty as accused or not, it was merely a bit of color in my story that she loved being a part of.
My mother left a permanent imprint that remains to this day. Over time I realized her belief in me has been replaced by my view of my self worth. Her view started with the idea that she was loved by God because she was a child of God. If she was God’s child, then I was God’s child. That was enough to make me priceless.
My mother always came back to the same point; life is an opportunity. It was going to be whatever I choose to make it. I was reminded to always laugh, look forward, and live life to the max.