#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Tuesdays with Hazel

Today, I’m taking my mom, Hazel, out for lunch and a little shopping. I don’t get to spend enough time with her, because of my schedule, so I’m really looking forward to this.

My mom is a very special lady, with the quickest wit I’ve ever seen. Her smile brightens a room, and she’s the one who blessed me with two things (among many) that have stood me in good stead through a lot of trials: my love of books, and the spiritual foundation I received because she sent me to Sunday school. When I was small, marching off to Northport Presbyterian Church with a quarter for the collection plate wrapped in a cotton handkerchief, I had no idea that the Bible verses I memorized would eventually save my sanity and perhaps my life.

Later on, for instance, I was a young bride, and my husband was away in Viet Nam. Fighting at the front, he was in constant danger. I was lonely at home, and in a job I truly hated, but couldn’t afford to quit. I remember driving from Spokane, through a blinding snowstorm, to visit my parents, who lived in Kettle Falls at that time. I was at the end of my rope, and crying so hard I could barely see the road.

And then these words came back to me, as clearly as if they’d been spoken out loud:

“Be still and know that I am God.”

I was instantly consoled. No, all my problems weren’t solved. I was still broke, still excluded from a mean-spirited little clique in the office where I worked. (In retrospect, I see that as a good thing.) My marriage was destined to fail, and there were other hard things ahead, too. But that single verse opened a place in me that has never closed, a platform on which to stand.

Today, I thank God–and my mom–for all those Sundays I wasn’t allowed to sleep in.

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