My Mamaw was the epitome of Southern hospitality. She was a private woman, but always opened her door for company. Upon entering her house, she’d smile wide, pour you a glass of sweet tea, and make you feel right at home. Her food was delicious, her laughter was contagious, and her green eyes always looked past the surface—comforting the soul of each person she met.
My Mamaw was a prayer warrior. She was a charismatic woman, so I could always hear her voice reverberating from the bedroom across the hall as she sang, praised, and made her requests to God. Those sleepless nights were some of the best moments of my life. Her persistence in prayer would ease my sorrows and put me at peace. I knew that she was most likely by her bedside praying for her loved ones, including me. I finally had the opportunity to return the favor to her in March of this year.
My Mamaw was very sick. She had complications with her heart that needed attention—a valve needed to be replaced and scars needed to be healed, particularly the ones that were caused by my Papaw’s passing. Her heart had taken just about all that it could when she was admitted into hospice care. I drove back to Georgia to visit her, hoping that she had more time. I stayed with her that evening and slept in one of those uncomfortable bedside chairs. I hardly got any rest and was reminded of all those nights when my Mamaw had kept me awake with her prayers. So, I felt it was time for me to get on my knees and do the same for her.
“Mamaw?” I asked. She slowly opened her heavy eyes. “May I pray for you?” She gently nodded. I reached for the bottle of anointing oil that was sitting on the nightstand beside the hospital bed. As a symbol of grace and peace, I removed the lid and poured out every ounce of hope within me as I fervently prayed for healing. A simple yet profound, “Thank you,” came from her lips, and she fell back asleep. The next day, that precious woman of God, who had given me so much comfort, joy, and life, received her healing as she entered heaven’s gates. As I held her hand, I whispered a simple yet profound, “Thank you.”
I’ve always believed that God has an interesting way of answering our prayers. I prayed for my Mamaw to be healed, and she ultimately was. Spirit, soul, and body, she was made whole. Though she wasn’t healed in the way that I wanted, I’m at peace knowing that she was jubilantly welcomed into her eternal home and will forever be singing along with all of the angels and saints of old, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.”
What I’ve realized in praying for healing is that (1.) the Father is glorified, and (2.) we are amazed. He may not answer us in the way that we hope He will, but He always reveals Himself to us if we carefully listen to the answer He gives. This season of my life has drawn me closer to the Lord more than I could have ever imagined, and He’s proven to me His repeated theme of healing. He’s continuing to heal my whole heart so that I may continue to testify of who He is.
I had the privilege of giving the eulogy at my Mamaw’s funeral to honor her life of service and dedication in loving God and others. With her whole life, she lived out the Greatest Commandment in the best way possible, and I hope that my life will reflect the same.