There is another kind of mother–not birth or adoptive–that I want to honor.
In my case, I want to honor multiple moms.
Spiritual moms…who didn’t change diapers or sign relinquishment papers brokenheartedly.
No, they gave me something that neither my mom or birth mother could.
They took care of Baby Sherrie’s soul after she was born again more than 40 years ago. They are the spiritual giants that have walked with me and lifted me up on their shoulders. In their presence, I felt safe to ask any question about God, life, marriage, whatever!
Because of multiple family moves, God faithfully gave me one spiritual mom in every location.
In Oakland, California, he gave me the late A. Wetherell Johnson,, founder of <a href="Bible Study Fellowship" title="Bible Study Fellowship” target=”_blank”>Bible Study Fellowship, who threw me, along with other potential leaders, in the deep end of the pool. “That’s the only way,” she said, “you can tell a leader. If they come up kicking, they’re a leader.” By God’s grace, I stood in front of her Oakland BSF class of 365 women and uttered a few words, knees trembling, voice shaking. I think I had my first panic attack then!
In San Antonio, Texas, he gave me Rosemary Jensen, BSF President after Miss Johnson, who taught me what a real shepherd is by her example. When Elizabeth rejected me, she sent a hand-written note that arrived just when I needed it. After BSF, she went on to found Rafiki Foundation, an organization that houses African orphans, teaching them to be Christ followers in their own country. They also minister to widows.
In southern California, he gave me Muriel Stolte, Teaching Leader of the Redondo Beach BSF, who taught me to pray out loud with the leader’s team. I could barely pray, let alone on my knees with 40 giant Christian women. When we learned of our next move to Canada, she prayed with me for an international BSF class in Sarnia, where we were moving.
In Sarnia, Ontario, he gave me the late Betty Routlife, who taught kids and me the Bible until God took her home in her 90’s. We stayed in contact until God took her home.
In Sarnia, Ontario, he brought Carol Kent, who taught me not to be like Moses, but to step in speaking and writing. I was at the awkward stage in my faith walk and she overlooks that and tells me I’ve always been easy to love. We traveled to San Franciso to be trained for the first international BSF class.
In Midland, Michigan, he gave me the late Ellen Clinkerbeard, who mentored me through five years teaching BSF there. When we moved, she put all the BSF hymns on tape for me.
In Midland, Michigan, he gave me Char Decker, Area Advisor for BSF Midland. She affirmed my leadership like crazy and became a dear friend.
In Indianapolis, Indiana, he has given me Marlene Schultheis, who has walked with me through tough times and has answered questions that I wouldn’t dare ask anyone else.
I love you all, whether you’re at Home or here on earth.
I send you all love and hugs and thanks for pouring into my spiritual life. I wouldn’t be where I am without each one of you.