“A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” – Proverbs 13:22
On February 23rd 2019, my family was in for a tremendous shock. My 70 year old mother-in-law, whom we all lovingly called ‘amma’ went to be with the Lord. My husband who was her only son, had his entire world crumbling. My two young daughters who were nurtured and cared by my aunty, were in tears and were absolutely shattered. I had lost my loving mother-in-love, my guide, my role model, my companion and my prayer partner. She was the hub of our family. Everything about our family was around her – our plans, our tours, our shopping trips etc. Her ardent prayers were our source of strength. Her words of wisdom based on Biblical principles, were our guiding light.
Amma lived a life pleasing to God.
- Listened to God: Her ears were tuned to God’s frequency always. I often found her reading the Bible meticulously, carefully underlining, making notes on the sides with dates marked. She took God at His word. She was convinced that God will accomplish what He promises. God never let her down. She was a prophetess mighty in word and deed. I marveled at her simple yet unshakeable faith on the Performer!
- Submitted to God’s word: She dared to obey God at any cost. Early in her life, when God called her to resign her job, to serve Him full time, she obeyed Him instantly, without question. Undoubtedly, God honored her obedience and blessed her by using her mightily to bring comfort and solace to the needy. I trembled in my shoes when I heard about her unquestioning obedience.
- Prayed fervently: She was a prayer warrior who tarried fervently on her knees for the lost. Tuesday was her day of fasting and prayer. Even in her last days, when she was unable to fast due to her ill-health, she prayed with her prayer partner over phone faithfully. I adored her faithfulness in small things.
- Burned with passion for the lost: Be it our maid, our milk man, our everyday helpers at home – she was no respecter of person – she saw within them – an eternal soul of invaluable worth – that needed the Saviour. She made sure that she shared the Gospel with them at any cost. She even remembered the names of small children, who were part of the Sunday school classes which she taught in her early days of ministry. She prayed for each one of them by name. I literally wanted to drink deep of that undying passion for the lost.
- Lived a life of Sacrifice: She modeled a life of sacrifice. Her desires, her needs, her wishes were always the last. It was always God first and others next. She practiced what Paul wrote as, ‘I die daily’. Denial of self was her life’s motto. She made sure others were comfortable, treated well and cared for, even if it was at the cost of her likes. I admired her sacrificial life style and would love to emulate it!
She is a hard-worker, a generous giver, a meticulous planner, a wise steward, a great cook, and the list just goes on and on…
Amma’s exemplary life of obedience and confidence to God has been pass down to us.
What struck me most is that she was a woman close to the heart of God. Two weeks before her death, she called me and said that she could sense that her end was near. She was a valiant woman of faith and a visionary. She carefully gave me instructions pertaining to her funeral. She was confident and ready to meet her Saviour on the other shore!
What a testimony! She was truly a Proverbs 31 woman!
Truly, it was a God-given privilege to have her as my mother-in-love! And the magnitude of loss was immense and unimaginable…the memories painful and haunting…
Losing Amma is painful, but her legacy fills the void in our hearts.
As we pass every single day, though the loss has become a void that can never be filled, we have been experiencing God’s divine grace and favor. God has been replacing the painful memories as praising moments. He has been binding the wounds, healing the scars and wiping our tears.
When I walk into the kitchen on a tired evening, when I find the my little daughter refusing to feed herself, the irreplaceable loss and the painful memories just come back powerfully within me and I feel so small, insufficient, inadequate and totally unprepared and unarmed to meet life’s challenges. These are indeed those moments when the presence of God engulfs me and He reminds me that He is all that I need and that He is more than enough for me. As the Psalmist puts it, ‘With God by my side, I can run through a troop and with God to help, I can indeed leap over a wall’ (Psalm 18: 29). I am beginning to realize, ‘my sufficiency is from Him!’ (2 Corinthians 3:5)
We keep reminding ourselves and our children that this life is temporary and is just a preparation for our heavenly home with our eternal Father. We need to follow the footsteps of godly men and women, just like Amma, who have gone ahead of us and have finished their race successfully for the glory of God. Thinking of the life Amma lived, her legacy, and how it impacts our lives, I am reminded of these beautiful lines written by Steve Green,
‘Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion, light their way
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe
May the lives we live inspire to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful!’
She is Dr. Lydia Edwin, married to Dr. Edwin. They are blessed with two daughters Cherilyn, aged 13 and Evangeline, aged 10. They are based near New Delhi, India. Writing is her passion and she loves serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
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