Today is Mother’s Day so it is only fitting that my post be about Mother’s Day. I am both a mother and a grandmother and motherhood is the most honorable profession that I have held. I have two natural-born children, their spouses and a total of four grandchildren. But, I also have other young people who I have adopted as spiritual children and they have adopted me as a spiritual parent. My children have other people that they consider spiritual parents.
Natural and spiritual parents and children are not supposed to compete with one another because they fill a different place in the life of those involved. I first encountered spiritual relatives as a young person. My parents loved me very much but we had completely different opinions on religion. My faith was the strength of my life and my natural parents wanted no part of it. So, my spiritual family at church filled in the gaps. They taught me about God and taught me how to read and understand the Word of God and taught me how to apply it to my life. But none of this took away from my relationship with my natural parents.
I have two specific women who were spiritual mothers to me. The first was my mom’s best friend, Ruth Pitstick. Mom and Ruth had been best friends since high school. They remained friends their entire lives. My dad and Ruth’s husband Ed were best friends too but Ed died very young and Ruth finished raising their fourteen children as a single mother. Every one of them grew up to be respectable and responsible and Ruth had great-great grandchildren to bless her later years. She remained active and traveled extensively until she was about 78 years old, going all over the United States, visiting her children and grandchildren for marriages, graduations and christenings. I told her once that she was my inspiration. She died the winter before her 80th birthday.
I called her that because my own mother developed mental illness when I was eight years old and was never the same again. My mother became a social hermit, only going out when my father took her somewhere and after his death rarely went out at all. She would get impatient and angry because I refused to become a hermit with her. But, I couldn’t live that lifestyle even though I came to understand that she functioned very well for her condition. My natural parents have been gone now for many years.
The other woman who I consider a spiritual mother is the wife of my pastor as a young person. I actually consider them both my spiritual parents. They taught me the Word of God and counseled me on many things through my life, even after their retirement. Bob and Vi Newton offered me unconditional love and sought me out when I tried to quit church or God when trials hit. They are still alive and well in retirement. Even though I can call or write them I miss them being near even now as a grandparent rather than as a teenager. They made an indelible mark on my life and I will forever be grateful for their love and guidance.