It is old and of no marketable value. There are no outrageous monthly insurance premiums attached to it or the cure for cancer hidden in it, yet it saved my life. I have had a few bibles in my lifetime none of which I’ve ever really glanced through. They were full of words I didn’t want to hear, as it would only confirm how much I sinned and enjoyed the freedom to do so, free of guilt.

I don’t really recall the day mom gave me her old black, leather bound bible. I was an adult, struggling on my own, far from the comfort of my mother’s arms. She saw it I am sure beyond the smile and lie of everything is fine. Knowing there was nothing else she could do, but pray and leave it in God’s hands; she gave me her old bible.

She received the bible in May of 1969, when she still went by her maiden name. In it I found little notes from me and my brother, doodles we made during church, I’m sure. The pages are yellowed with age and as I said it is of no value. That is if you look through it with a blind eyes and an empty heart.

For years it sat in my room, in the back of my mind, never to see the light of day, as I wandered in darkness. The fall lasted for years; from one mess to the next. How bad did things have to get before I surrendered? A time or two I begged God for help, a God I didn’t know. I started opening the bible blinded with tears, gasping for goodness from God, reassurances that things would be okay and the moment it was, the bible returned to the shelf; under the bed, or in a drawer.

Once I hit rock bottom I opened that old bible again. This time I didn’t see its age or question the scripture… for at the bottom I finally found faith. This time I started reading through it desperately wanting to hear God’s voice, wanting to build a relationship with him, aching to connect with the one that saved me, forgave me and loved me for all the horrible I was… he loved me.

As I grew in faith I still struggled to hear God. Praying for guidance, the next steps, scraps of wisdom. It was in my mom’s bible I begin to hear God, in verses she had highlighted years ago. Verses she had written in the back of her bible and turned to over and over in her life, I was now turning to. Her bible reads like a map and time-line of her journey to and with God. There isn’t a chapter in the bible that goes unmarked and at the time she had no idea she was leaving me stepping stones to God.

What were her worries or struggles at the time I don’t know, but I know she sought God to ease them. I know she praised God during the good and bad days. I know she waited on God to use her even when she didn’t understand. I know she carried the pain of a rough life with her, but surrendered it to God. I know God spoke to her in the book of John, as every other verse is highlighted. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.” John 5:4. On the last page, scribbled in her handwriting, the wisdom she consumed from God’s word and answered prayers.

I’m thirty-four years old. The old bible is forty-seven years old. It saved my mother and has seen her through long hours and dark days. It now saves me, fulfills me and comforts me just as it did her. It is through God’s grace that I have been saved. It is through my mom’s actions, words, and bible that led me to God. I often hear her say, she wasn’t a good mom or wished she could have done this or that better for us. As I child I never saw her flaws or bad days, she was that good at keeping us safe and happy. As an adult, miles from home, not even knowing it, she continued to keep me safe and quietly leads me to God. I will forever be grateful to her, the woman that raised me with so much love, with so much courage, who first placed me in God’s arms.

“For thou hast delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.” Psalms 116:8

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jen Miller

My name is Jennifer Miller, but I prefer simply Jen. I live in Hawley, MN. It is a small town built along the railroad tracks and surrounded by fields. I married my high school sweetheart in 2005 and we have two little boys, Jack (5) and Grey (3). Motherhood took me by surprise just before my 30th birthday and since then I have been stay at home mom and have loved every minute of the craziness. I am a staff writer for the Hawley Herald and do most the work from home. Being an introvert it took me out of my comfort zone, but so worth it because I love writing. It is something I do every day and it allows me to be home with my boys.

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Say How Hard Motherhood Is

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom with baby in foreground

I have been sitting in the peace and quiet of the office to do some long overdue Bible study for all of five minutes when the baby wakes up. With a heavy sigh that is becoming all too common, I go to the bedroom to pick up my fussy, probably getting sick, 8-month-old daughter who has been asleep for approximately 15 minutes. I bring her to the office and put her on the floor with some new books and toys. Sitting back down in front of my own new book of Bible maps and charts, I begin reading once again....

Keep Reading