Sunday, May 11, 2008

Faith's Heritage

Last month, I submitted an essay for a CWO writing contest, "Her Life Reflected." The purpose was to write about a mother who reflects Jesus in her life. I wrote about my Mom. Though my article did not win (the one that did was beautiful and definitely deserved it), I wanted to share it with you. I've left it as it was submitted, even though the end feels weird on my blog. :)

Mom didn’t get the easiest start at this thing we call motherhood. She was 18 years old, and all alone. She had been abandoned by my father and was encouraged to abort by her family (or at the very least go away and have a secret adoption). But Mom felt deep within her that I was a gift from God. She has lived out each and every day of my life demonstrating that belief to me.

Life as a single mother was wrought with heartache and struggles. For months, Mom spent at least six hours of every night walking the floors. Bounce, walk, bounce, walk – pray, bounce, walk. No one was around to tell her about colic, how to help it, and when it ended. She just did what she had to do. At eight months of age, I was admitted to the hospital with possible leukemia. Still alone, Mom continued to do what she had to do. She paced the halls and prayed, night and day. When the doctors realized that I was suffering from severe anaemia and that it could be treated, Mom again thanked God for the gift of life.

I remember one night as a young child, awakening in the dark and calling out to my Mom. She hurried into my little bedroom and wrapped her arms around me, gently rocking back and forth. I told her that I was afraid of the shadows in the dark corners – I was certain there was someone lurking in those shadows just waiting and watching me. I was terrified! It was that night that Mom introduced me to the faith she held deep within. She told me about Jesus, and how He loved me and wanted to keep me safe. She told me about the angels Jesus placed all around the world, especially with little children, who watched over us (even as we slept). She promised me that I could speak Jesus Name ANY time for ANY reason, and all the things that frightened me would scatter. This moment marked the beginning of a beautiful heritage in our family.

Though we didn’t actively participate in Church during my younger years, Mom knew the importance of developing a strong foundation of faith. She sent me halfway across the country every summer to attend family camp with my Bible-believing Aunt and Uncle (her sister). She sent me to vacation Bible schools during summer vacation. She allowed our neighbours to bring me to Church with them whenever they offered. As I got older and interested in exploring deeper, she encouraged me in finding a Church I felt comfortable at.

During my eighth-grade year, I again became ill. Once again, Mom was told that she should phone her family, as doctors were not hopeful. Again, she paced the halls and prayed. Two blood transfusions and a frightening stint in intensive care later, I began to recover from another bout of anaemia. Mom recognized this life-saving experience as the Hand of God. She was no longer content to simply believe, but committed to living for Jesus full-out. She was baptized shortly after my release from the hospital. Hearing Mom’s testimony further established the Godly heritage in our family.

During my teen years, we housed many of my friends in our spare room. Some for just a night, some for months – always with the goal of restoring their family relationships. It used to make me crazy that all my friends would come to Mom when they needed a listening ear! I now know that God had called her to show love to young people who were feeling rejected by their family (as she had felt). I recall so many times when a phone call would come – someone in need – and my mom and I would go running. She would listen and love, and always offered practical helps. I can’t count the number of people Mom has helped to move, or the number of houses she has cleaned that are not her own, or the mass amounts of people she has fed over the years.

Not only is Mom Jesus’ hands and feet, she is His heart. So far, two of my five children have made a decision for Christ. Do you know who was there with them, helping each one pray and ask Jesus to be his or her “forever friend?” You guessed it, Mom. Once again, investing in her family and establishing faith’s heritage.

Today, Mom is still the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus to those around her. I see it especially in my life. She adores her grandkids, and she takes them to her home after Church every single Sunday. Mom will tell you that she does it for herself, to have that special time with them, but I know that she does it for me, too. Just the other day my babysitter was running late, and Mom rushed over in record time to watch the kids. She comes over for a birthday party and spends her time folding the mountains of laundry, bathing children, and sweeping floors – without missing a single special moment with any of us. But what’s really special about Mom is this – she never stops praying! I can rest assured that every need I bring to her (family, friends, perfect strangers) will be covered by her in prayer. There is no one else I know that demonstrates the love of Jesus so beautifully to those around her. No one but Mom.

Author’s note: Mom married a really great guy in 1993 and blessed me with a Dad, a big brother, a big sister, and a nephew. Though my biological father still chooses not to have a relationship with me or my children, God hand-picked Grandpa extraordinaire for us! One of the things that made him fall in love with Mom was her faith – according to him, “she actually walks what she talks.”

Tyler has her Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and was published in the "Journal of Men and Masculinity" for collaborative research project on male body image.

Tyler's current career, though low on the pay grade, is her most adventurous job so far. She loves being a wife and mother to five children, ages 7 months to 10 years. Tyler also holds a volunteer position leading women's ministry in her Church.

Tyler and her family currently reside in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, where spring (and even summer) snowstorms are never a surprise!


  1. Your mom is truly remarkable. She is such a special lady. You are lucky to have her (but you already know that)!

    Happy Mother's Day!


  2. Beautifully written, and oh, so true. It has always been a joy to see the Christ-like beauty in your mom...what a gift you have given her by expressing your love and appreciation.

  3. Very nice. Tell me more about the wonderful grandfather.


  4. This is really weird to comment to this blog. I didn't know how to respond to you after I read your essay - humbled, undeserving, name it. - Bottom line, you honored me. Thank you very much for honoring me - for making me sound so much more Godly than I am (I'm trying). Thank you for the blessing you, Pat, and your beautiful children are in my life.

    I love you so much,


  5. tyler...that was absolutely beautiful... what an honor to have such a wonderful mother and how lucky your mom is to have such a great daughter. I love the great relationship you and your mom have. I am sometimes envious of it when I see the two of you together... what a beautiful tribute to your mother...thanks for sharing that

  6. wow, that is beautiful. you 2 are blessed to have each other.

  7. That's a beautiful tribute to your Mom and a testimony to God's grace in redeeming the ugly things in our lives for His purpose.

    What kind of anemia do you have? My 9yo daughter has Diamond Blackfan Anemia and has been transfusion dependent all her life. I've been reluctant to post about it, for various reasons. I'm curious to hear your story. You can email me at
    jencov1 at hotmail dot com


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