Believing means trusting in something you can not prove with the scientific method. It isn’t always easy. There are times when our beliefs get lost in the struggle, when distractions come our way and faith sits patiently by. Then, there are times when belief is all we have.
In 2005, I met a woman named Mattie Jackson. Mattie taught me what it is to believe. Against all odds, she wakes up each morning, lifts her hands in praise and smiles.
Mattie is a mother of three daughters, Erika, Tanza and Taneya. Mattie's love for her children runs deep but there is something very different about her story. Mattie doesn’t get to share holidays with her girls, take them shopping or even see them smile. All three women died of different illnesses before their mother’s sixtieth birthday.
Most can’t imagine surviving the loss of a child. Mattie was no different but when faced with the impossible, she refused to give up on faith. As a young woman, she had made a decision to believe. She had invited Jesus into her heart and given her burdens to His grace. From then on, she couldn’t be moved.
Mattie not only survives, she lives each day to the fullest. She isn't afraid of tomorrow. Whatever life throws at her, she continues to laugh, to dance and to dream. She focuses on her grandchildren and hope for the future. She is there for everyone in her family and in her community. She is a mother to strangers and though she cries, she never complains. She knows her girls are with the Lord.
“I can’t question it. Their time was not in my hands. It was in God’s hands,” she said to me.
When faced with doubt, she goes to a quiet place and opens her Bible.
“I read the book of Job. Everything was taken from him but he persevered. He knew the Lord would deliver him. That is how I feel.”
Whenever I feel like giving up, I think of Mattie and I wonder if I am capable of such faith. In today's world, there are so many questions. I often catch myself focusing on all the wrong things. I try so hard to hold onto the ins and outs of life, I forget the most important thing of all. No matter the circumstances, He is as He always was, He will not be moved. As long as we believe, we will not be moved.