I remember my Grandmother’s hands, prayerfully working through the beads of her beloved rosary. Her familiar voice, hushed in earnest reverence, whispered words of both love and petition. Having grieved the deaths of her fiancé and three husbands, and suffered through several bouts of cancer, her deep companionship with God was well-earned.
On her last trip to Colorado, she brought her rosary and kept it on the nightstand, within arm’s reach for her bedtime prayers. We spent our days shopping, taking drives in the mountains, and playing with my daughters. In the quiet evenings before bed, we held hands and talked about the deeper things of life. As a struggling single mother, I savored every word of wisdom she spoke over me, allowing it to nourish my soul.
When her trip came to an end, we clung to one another and cried, as usual. Good-byes were never easy for us.
Months later, while sweeping beneath the bed, I found a tiny, golden Jesus, with outstretched arms and pierced hands and feet. At first, I was baffled and couldn’t fathom from where He came. Then, remembering her recent visit, I called Grandma and asked if her rosary was missing someone rather important. Sure enough, Jesus was indeed missing-in-action and for a moment, we both laughed at the wonder of it all. Somehow, Jesus slipped off the nails that held Him to the gold cross.
Then Grandma, understanding that I needed a blessing that would far outlive her time on earth said, “Jesus knew I had to leave, so He decided to remain with you.”
And with those words, the Holy Spirit descended with His double-edged sword of truth, piercing my weary, single-momma heart, still prone to doubt.
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Heaven called Grandmas home a few years after that, but not before she reunited her rosary with Jesus. Soon after our telephone conversation, I received a package in the mail. Inside was the rosary, carefully wrapped in tissue paper, and a little note: I want you to have my rosary. A jeweler can fix it easily. Love, Grandma.
I pulled out her rosary this morning and noticed where the gold had rubbed off from years of passing through my Grandma’s fingers. Many of those gold-worthy prayers were for my daughters and me. I never took her rosary to the jeweler for repair. It didn’t seem right to put Jesus back on the cross, and so, the rosary remains as it is. In one hand, I hold the beads and empty cross— and remember my Grandmother’s companionship with God. In my other hand, I hold Jesus, with pierced hands and feet, and arms outstretched to the world— and remember His companionship with me, a legacy I intend to pass on to my daughters.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. —Mathew 28:20
Michelle Lynn Senters has a message for single moms— one forged in her own journey and deepened through her years of ministry to single mothers. “You are not alone.” She is the Founder and Director of SEEN, a ministry designed to demonstrate the lavish love of Christ to single mothers. Michelle is a sought-after speaker at women’s events, Bible studies, and writer’s conferences. She is the author of The Unseen Companion- God with the Single Mother. Learn more at www.michellelynnsenters.com.
The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 46,000 single mothers and 1,500 churches, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in cities around the world, while also empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally. For more information, visitwww.thelifeofasinglemom.com.