by Jeremy Dehut
I’ve been reflecting on Mom’s legacy. God has used her and Dad in incredible ways. Both of my parents came from broken homes where sin, abuse, alcohol, and other addiction was common. When mom was five her father died in a car accident he caused from drinking. My grandmother met her next husband in a bar, who has fought with drunkenness for most of his life. The public face of their family rarely matched what was happening at home. Mom’s heart longed for a loving parent she could rely on. One that would not hurt or leave her. She longed for a home that was safe.
My grandmother started taking the kids to a local church, and my mom learned about the God of the Bible. She excitedly placed her hope in Him and in his son Jesus. God was the Father she desperately needed. Over the course of her life, she introduced her Heavenly Father to my dad, and he became a Christian when I was an infant. Together they changed the trajectory of their lives by allowing God, Jesus, and the Spirit to shape our home. Discipleship came at a tremendous personal cost because not everyone in their family circles understood or agreed with their changing lives and the boundaries they started developing to pursue holiness and to protect us kids. They believed that God meant for families to be more. Better. Safer.
God filled their home with children, five biological kids, and two adoptions. They introduced all of us to God, Christ, and the gospel principles of grace, mercy, and discipleship. Dad started learning how to teach and preach the gospel so others could belong to the family of God. They made selfless sacrifices so mom could stay home to raise all of us. Dad would work two or more jobs to make it possible, all without complaint. Together they have embodied the servant leadership of Jesus and the submission of the church (Eph. 5). They have continued to do that to the best of their ability (with the mercy and strength of Jesus), even through the trial of Mom’s health. They have had the joy of beginning to see their grandchildren place their faith in God and Jesus. All because my mom sought a Father and my dad had an honest heart open to truth. Only God knows what the final tally in heaven will be from the devoted heart of a hurting little girl who found Him.
Tonight I am writing this on the final flight back to Kentucky to be with Mom and my family. Despite growing weaker, my mom has been having sweet conversations with a loved one about her Heavenly Father. My mom’s sister decided she wanted to make sure God was her Father too. So as hospice was evaluating mom, I flew out to Oregon to baptize my aunt. A friend held up a phone so my mom could watch as her sister put on Christ. As Mom’s race concludes, God blessed her with the joy of knowing that she and her sister share the same heavenly Father!
Please pray for our family in the upcoming days as we care for Mom, Dad, and Zach. Pray for comfort, peace, and joy for her. She is ready to be with Jesus and see her Father! And pray for those of us left behind as we work through the confusing jumble of grief and joy, and as we pick up her legacy of bringing more souls to the Father.