impossible to subdue or defeat.
On May 21, 1936 a baby girl named Sylvia Irene was born into the world to two very young and overwhelmed parents. She had one older brother and would go on to be the sister to two additional younger brothers. She learned from an early age that home and family were not safe places and from the time she was a very young girl, she was subjected to unimaginable abuses. The kind of abuses that would break someone’s heart, mind and spirit. But not Sylvia.
After a heartbreakingly short and scary first marriage, Sylvia literally ran for her life and ended up back in Florida. She was young and divorced with no high school diploma. It would have been so easy to give up and blame the world for her circumstances. But not Sylvia.
She took a job at a soda fountain counter and found a place to live and then went back to school. With her good looking boyfriend (my dad) by her side she completed high school and then those two crazy kids eloped on Father’s Day 1957. The odds were most definitely against their marriage from the start. Abused girl, second marriage, elopement - none of this seemed to add up to a stellar beginning. I’m sure many people thought she would not and could not make this marriage work. Failure seemed certain. But not for Sylvia.
When Sylvia wanted to start a family she discovered that she would never be able to conceive children - most likely due to many of the abuses she suffered as a child. Surely this would be the thing that would break her. But not Sylvia.
She and Jerry (her husband) began the process of adoption and brought home a baby boy named David in 1964. In 1967, they brought me home at the ripe old age of five months. It became clear pretty quickly that it would take some work for Sylvia to learn how to parent her kids differently from how she was raised. Besides, who would blame her if she had a temper? She could have easily blamed her foibles and struggles on her past. But not Sylvia.
She committed herself to Christ and to His word and filled her home, heart and mind with His Holy Word. She covered herself and her family and prayer. She was fiercely devoted to Christ and to His service. She walked alongside of her husband through a massive career change when he knew that God was calling him into full time ministry - selling her dream house and letting go of the ladder of worldly success they had been climbing. She never ever complained in front of her kids. Ever. Even when she was working all night sewing and doing alterations and squeezing oranges during the day to make ends meet. No one would have blamed her if she decided to walk away from that life. But not Sylvia.
Only Jesus could transform someone so completely. She’s almost 82 now and still leads a weekly women’s bible study at her church. She’s been married to that tall guy for 60 years, She is indomitable. Perfect? No! But so very indomitable. Impossible to defeat because of Christ in her the hope of glory. She chose to follow Christ and all he offers and every single day I thank God that she did.
Thank you Mom. Thank you for showing me how to love Christ and His Word. Thank you for your devotion and loyalty that you gave to Dad. Thank you for showing us what a life surrendered to Jesus looks like. I adore you and hope that I can be like you when I grow up. Happy Happy Happy Mother’s Day.