My Mom, the Sunshine in My Life

“Pick me, pick me!” is what my mom told me that I said to her before I was even born! When I was born, women were put under anesthesia to birth their babies. My mom told me the story throughout my lifetime – that when she was “asleep” giving birth to me, her spirit went to heaven, and she saw many little spirits waiting to be born. She said that my little spirit was jumping up and down, saying, “Pick me, pick me!” She said she picked me, and when I was born and I looked into her eyes for the very first time, we bonded on a spiritual level that was very special. She said it was as if we had a secret and we both knew that she had picked me to be her daughter on earth! Not only was this experience so very real and special to my mom, but she was also excited because I was born on Christmas Day! Because she was thrilled to have a new baby girl that she believed she had “picked from heaven,” and who was also born on Christmas Day, she named me Gayla. She always said that the day was a “Gala Occasion”!

When I knew I would be writing this article, it was quite overwhelming as I thought about all that my mom has meant to me. This is a small tribute to my mother, Frances Marie Moore, who went to live with Jesus just a few short weeks ago. I was blessed throughout my lifetime to have a mom who was not only my mother, but also my best friend. We were very close through my entire life. She supported me in everything, and she was my mentor, my teacher, my guide, my rock, and my greatest cheerleader. She was always there for me…always. She is my heart’s treasure that I will forever cherish. Her love for Jesus Christ was the foundation of everything she taught me and stood for. Our whole life centered around being on this earth to serve the Lord. I never knew anything different. Her strength was absolutely amazing for a lady who stood just 5’1” tall! Not strength in the natural, but in the supernatural. She weathered intense storms in her life that would have shaken anyone to the core of their existence. But she prevailed because she believed in deep prayer and in praying about everything and trusting God in all circumstances. This was her answer to everything she encountered – it was her essence!

Mom was a stylish, hard-working, and very successful businesswoman. I learned most of my leadership skills from observing her in her work environments. She was a modern-day Proverbs 31 lady! No matter how busy or accomplished she was, she still put God and His Kingdom first. Everything she did and succeeded in was all wrapped around one fact – who she was in Christ Jesus! This was the pure essenceof her life! She has been affectionately remembered for her joyful spirit, and she would have told you that it came from only one place – the power of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God put a constant spring in her step and a smile on her face! Her love and care for others flowed daily as she gave many people a place to live throughout the years, helped buy food for those in need, and gave several cars away to those who needed them. She believed in giving to others and to the church. She taught me to give and to tithe from an early age. I live under generational blessing because of her teaching.

Mom was shuffled back and forth between two sets of parents, several times, as a child. It should have created a great gap of confusion in her life. But Mom was filled with the Holy Ghost(which she proudly told anyone) at the age of nine. Her adopted mother was a Pentecostal lady, and she took Mom to church all the time. Mom loved her, and she also loved going to church! When she was filled with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, it was such a monumental experience in her life that she said she spoke in other tongues (Acts 2) all night long, and her (adopted) mother found her in bed the next morning still speaking in her new heavenly language. She believed that this was pivotal to her life being strong, instead of broken, due to her many heartbreaking childhood memories.

Throughout Mom’s life, her motto was always, “Never look backward; old things are passed away!” Many people marveled at Mom’s great ability to look forward when circumstances would have likely crushed the ordinary person. But she had a tenacity in the Holy Ghost that was unwavering! She had learned early in her lifetime to “Trust in the Lord with all [her] heart; and lean not unto [her] own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, KJV). She weathered the Great Depression and many personal heartaches, yet she always kept her eyes on Jesus and not her circumstances. Those who knew her often referred to her “salt-of-the-earth” common sense and deep strength, but what a lot of people didn’t realize was that it was the true wisdom of God. She wasn’t a flaky, sugar-coated Christianthat was up and down in her beliefs. She was a strong, God-fearing womanthat livedthe life of a true believer in every sense of the matter. In fact, so great was her wisdom and strength in God that many well-known preachers asked her advice on things. She gave advice that was plain, clear, and to-the-point, plus it was seasoned with the Word of God! Many sought her counsel through the years; and many, many marriages were saved because of her counsel. She and my dad, Herbert, were married 53 years before he passed away. She had strength of character and tenacity to stick with what God gave her and make the best of every situation. You can read about some of this in her book Hang In There,found in the book corner of this magazine.

I grew up watching and observing all that my mom said and did, and my greatest desire was to be just like her! Her teachings and example will live on and motivate me to be all that God has called me to be until the day I go to live with her and Jesus. She taught me to pray about everything, to read the Word of God and apply His principles, and to trust Him at all times – never waivering. Her core values and her essence made me who I am today and enabled me to do the work of the Kingdom in full-time ministry.

My mom’s physical condition began to decline a few years ago, and she went home to be with the Lord in January of 2010. Through her mental and physical struggles she was still able to smile, and her spirit was so strong that those around her were continually drawn to Jesus. It was amazing to observe this. Her strong spirit ministered to me, even though she was unable to talk for two years prior to her passing away. Her strength truly came from the Holy Ghost! And the essence of her spirit spoke loudly! Since she has been gone, I have found that there are moments I search for things from her or that belonged to her to give me comfort – personal items that will give me a feeling of closeness to her. But, recently, as I was looking for something else that was hers, the Lord gave me an eye-opening revelation. He showed me that how I talk, how I respond to situations, how I perceive life, how I smile, and even how I like things done a certain way are all what she left me! I may not have enough tangible things to hold on to or look at anymore, but the one thing I have and will always have is her essence.

I was challenged as to how to write this article to honor my mother and to encapsulate all that she was to me. I thought, if I likened her to a flower, it would be the most colorful and fragrant flower to ever bloom. If I likened her to a song, it would be the most joyous and glorious songI have ever heard. If I likened her to a color, it would be the brightest yellow with touches of orange sparkling through. She was my happiest day, she made life brighter than sunshine, and she was the song that played in my life! She taught me how to live, how to be a wife, how to be a mother, and how to be a leader. I never thought I could live without her, but because she taught me and showed me how to live for God, she left me her true essence…the lover of her soul, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Mom, for “picking me” so that I could live this life knowing the Creator and Redeemer of my soul! That’s the essence of a true mother.

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