“One more chance – just give me one more chance; another chance is all I need….” Sounds familiar, right? This plea communicates a desire to improve one’s life. We’ve said it somewhere, at some time, even to God.
I’ve had a lot of these encounters, especially when they’re life-threatening incidents. My vocabulary in prayer pleads for another chance. I’m sure you have had a few of those too but today I want to share the journey I am on, and I call it the Second Chance to Love – the reason being it is about me and my mum.
A bit of background – I wasn’t raised by Mum so our relationship, for as long as I can remember, has been estranged. Our common ground has only been that we’re blood related; we barely share any other ground. In the year 2018, I attended the Pursuit Ladies’ Conference and, there, God spoke to me about the journey I am on today. At the conference, we had activities lined up and one spoke volumes to me – we had breakout sessions where we had discussions on different topics. In one of the sessions, I remember an emphasis placed on ‘laying your burdens down before the Lord and He will carry them for you.’ This is something I know and have heard many times, but when this was shared, it became a Holy Spirit moment for me; it was like I was hearing it for the very first time. Since then, I have been on a journey (see Matthew 11v28 and Psalm 55v22).
When done with sessions, we went to our lodging place. I took my notes to digest that word again. I started wondering why the word was so impactful, because I’d heard that verse a few times. I prayed about it – while praying, God challenged me about my background. I didn’t understand what that had to do with ‘laying down my burdens’ until He posed a question: ‘Would you say you have faith for your Mum’s salvation? And does your faith accommodate your Mum’s salvation?’ That took me by surprise and I was shocked.
I’ve never thought my faith had anything to do with my Mum; I couldn’t understand how to answer such questions, so I went to bed. The following day, I responded like Jonah – I took another route. I remember asking, ‘What does my faith have to do with my Mum’s salvation? I mean I’ve forgiven all that happened and I take care of her needs the best way I can now.’ Just at that, I received a rebuke for how I have faith for strangers to be born again but I don’t have faith for my Mum to be saved. That was very true; my faith didn’t accommodate her. I couldn’t pray and have faith for her salvation like I could for other people.
I came back from the conference with something to ponder on. As I prayed more about it, insight, or should I say understanding, came. I would like to point out 2 things I realised:
Our estranged relationship made me view her in the opposite light of what a mum is – for example, mums are loving, caring, kind, devoted, etc. but I saw her as unloving, uncaring, etc.
The longest conversation we have had with one another is when there’s a third party with us – because of that, I haven’t had a direct heart-to-heart conversation with her and that has made me feel unheard, like we really don’t know each other.
As I dug deeper, I realized I’ve been unconsciously carrying this burden hence I couldn’t pray or trust God for her salvation. I didn’t want to face it, so I chose to turn a blind eye and flee to Tarshish. With Jonah, the storm came and the fish swallowed him. Thank God I didn’t have to go through that; however, my mum had a stroke that almost killed her in December 2020. For a month, she was bedridden; she couldn’t communicate or eat solids. During that period, I remember asking the Lord what to do, and the answer was, "Go back to the start; have faith for her salvation and pray for her in faith.’ I couldn’t believe it. I started to pray what I didn’t feel but tried to have faith for it. I prayed scriptures more than words.
While on this journey, these are the lessons I have learned:
I got a second chance to love the one I couldn’t love before – Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because they were ruthless, bloodthirsty people. I encountered something similar, though not so extreme, but I felt no love towards or from her. This time, for me, is a second chance to love the woman I couldn’t love (1 John 4v18-19).
I need to have an attitude like God’s towards "my enemies." John 3v17– an understanding in mind and heart of the miraculous grace that God gives us to be compassionate.
Change is important. When it happens, we look at it as loss but when we are in it, we gain a lot – all my life, I never knew what scared her or her concerns because I never asked. Now she can just tell me (Ecclesiastes 3v1).
We grow in our relationship with Jesus – the journey is mine and His; my mum happened to be in it. The way I see it, I had lots of hurt that I confessed and I received counselling, but I realised that I needed to surrender fully to Jesus so that I can travel light (Colossians 2v6).
You have need to have faith for people you least expect that you would ask the Lord to save – you might have one or two. I learned someone’s salvation isn’t my personal choice but it is upon God (Galatians 6v9-10).
You gain new relationships while mending one – I met many people along this journey, some of whom I now have relationship with. I wouldn’t have met them if it wasn’t for my mum.
Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5v16-18).
God’s love never fails (1 Corinthians 13v4-8). Your journey is very important and crucial to save others.
Women of Reverence welcomes guest blogger Kay Ramaabya
Kay Ramaabya is married to Simon. The two have been blessed with a daughter, Naomi.
Kay is an active manager running a multi branch business while also in ministry with her husband, leading CFAN church based in Gaborone, Botswana.