by Anita Mae Draper
I'd like to introduce a special lady, Biblical fiction author,
Mesu Andrews, who shares her personal story of discovery here.
May it bless you as much as it has blessed me.
By Mesu Andrews
Why do so many women experience a love/hate relationship with their mothers? Our mothers give us life, kiss our boo-boos, and tie our bows. But they also train us to be polite, eat our vegetables, and scour toilets. A mother-daughter relationship is complicated from the beginning, but my mother and I were doomed to tangle when theology became the family battleground and Scripture the weapon.
|Mesu's Mom, Mary Newton|
After a few years of marriage, the road got rocky, but Charley and Mary persevered for the children’s sake. A daughter was born and five years later a son. The perfect family, right? When Mary was 35 years old, her children fourteen and nine, she thought life would once again become her own—and then a terrible blow. Pregnant again! A third child. No! she railed at God, this invisible power who had played a cruel joke. How could He? How dare He? Why would He?
The realization that she had NO control over her life drove my mother to accept Jesus as her Savior. Control. She’d always fought for it, but if she must surrender, she would do it with excellence. My mother does nothing partially or with mediocrity. So when she became a Christ-follower, the whole world was placed on notice. They were in dire need of salvation, and it was her mission to tell them!
|Mesu's dad, Charles Cooley|
As I grew older, my parents let me choose whether I would attend church with mom or dad. Now, think about it. When you were twelve years old, would you rather attend a three-hour, marathon worship/sermon or a ½-hour Sunday school? I opted for Dad’s church and Sunday school class, making me mom’s evangelist target.
The harder she pushed, the further I strayed from God. By nineteen, I was an alcoholic and was deeply committed to an unhealthy five-year relationship that I thought would end in marriage. He simply decided it should end. I thought my life was over—and tried to make it so. My best friend saved my life in more ways than one. She arranged for her boyfriend, her and me to go out as a foursome with an old high school friend of ours. We were all sophomores in college at the time. Her one caution? “He went to a Texas college last year on a basketball scholarship and got religion. The scholarship dried up and he had to move back home, but I heard he’s a little weird.”
|Roy and Mesu, June 30, 1984|
Three months later, we knelt together on my parents’ living-room floor and prayed. He led me to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The next morning, I emptied all my bottles of Jack Daniels down the sink. My mom happened upon the scene and was a little more than shocked. I said, “I gave my life to Jesus Christ last night.” Before she could gush, I added the words I knew would cut her deepest. “I’m following Roy’s God. Not yours.” I saw the words wound her, and the satisfaction I thought they’d bring didn’t come. Why do daughters intentionally hurt mothers?
A few weeks later, Roy and I were engaged, and my mom laid another bombshell at our feet. She could not, in godly conscience, attend our wedding if we chose to have it in a denominational church. My initial reaction was outrage, but my amazing husband asked me the most important question I’ve ever been asked. “Is your mom doing this to hurt you or to honor the Lord with her whole heart?”
There have been many times since that I’ve asked that question about my mom. Her convictions run so deep, her devotion to Jesus is so strong. My husband and I were married at a Holiday Inn banquet hall, and my mother was there to see it. I will NEVER regret that decision. It was a beautiful day, and my mom made my pure white going-away suit. There was love in every stitch.
Years passed and wounds healed. My mom became my best friend during those years when we moved and friendships were difficult to forge. We still struggled to agree on spiritual matters, but she was my lifeline when it came to everyday topics and emotional health.
My husband was called to vocational ministry. He attended seminary in Ashland, OH, and we served our first church in northern Indiana. A group wanted to travel to Israel, to explore the Promised Land, and we decided to open registration to those outside our church family. My mom was excited to join us. Those ten days are some of the most precious memories of my life. Our baptismal day at the Jordan River was a special treasure—even our Jewish guide was moved to tears. My husband who prayed me into the Kingdom, baptized my mother who brought me into this world—and then he baptized me.
A few days later, we were given the opportunity to plant a tree in Israel, to make a contribution to new life in the Promised Land. For my mom and me, it planted a seed of newness, enabling us to share spiritually like never before. The scabs and scars of past battles, that once made spiritual sharing uncomfortable, were washed away in Jordan’s muddy waters.
My mom no longer sees an evangelistic bulls-eye painted on my chest; and she’s no longer the door-to-door salesman I ignore, pounding on my heart. I truly believe that the Lord used my childhood confusion to motivate my hunger to know the Scriptures personally. When I come upon a confusing biblical passage, I don’t skip over it. No way! I MUST know its author, context, audience, etc. in order to gain some insight from the Holy Spirit’s whisper before I can move on!
And guess who I call when I get an especially insightful lesson from God’s Word? Yep. My mom. We are friends, confidantes, mother and daughter. No other relationship compares.
Charles Cooley (Dad); Standing (L to R): Mary Newton Cooley (Mom), Susie Cooley Hunt (sister), Newt Cooley (brother), and Mesu Cooley Andrews.
Questions for today... stop by and chat ...
- What spiritual positives have evolved from hard circumstances in your childhood?
- If you could visit anywhere mentioned in Scripture, where would you like to explore?
- To which biblical character do you relate and why?
Thank you for sharing your testimony with us, Mesu.
Mesu is giving away a copy of her new release, Love's Sacred Song to one person who comments on this post before midnight, Friday, March 16th. Use this format to avoid being tagged by spammers and those weird cyberbot spider things: awesomeinkwellinspyreader(at)mail(dot)com.
Names will also go in for the 1000th Post Party (With Prizes) draw going on all this week. Click the link for details.