My mom told me later those were the only words her heart knew to say. There she was, on her knees in the entrance of our bungalow at 4 a.m., after discovering I had snuck out with my friends.
This wasn’t the first time my mom spent herself in prayer for me. Like before, I found myself in more trouble out of the country than in the States.
On this particular night, I was partying in Aruba, when a guy approached me. He was tall, cute enough, and offered to buy me a drink. Quickly, my ex-boyfriend was a faint memory.
Meanwhile, my mom prays. She doesn’t know why, just that it’s important.
More dancing and way more drinking but finally it is time to head home. Its 5 a.m., and the sun is dangerously close to rising. As I gather up my friends to leave, he pulls my arm.
Where are you going, he asks.
Home, I respond, rather annoyed.
No, come with me, he retorts—and I get more annoyed.
I have to get my friends home, I respond and pull away.
I will find you tomorrow! he shouts, and before he leaves, I ask him his name.
Joran Vander Sloot, he says.
At the time the name means nothing. Today it means everything.
Joran is the number one suspect in Natalee Holloway’s disappearance and a convicted murderer in another case. That could have been me.
You can imagine the shock as I sat in my cozy home in Atlanta, watching his face run across every news channel on TV. Then a few months later, my parents found a picture of me and Joran from that night, and my mom burst into tears. What she told me next I’ll never forget:
“Sometimes God wakes me up just to tell me to pray for you. And that night in Aruba, I spent hours on my knees.”
I owe my mom more than words can ever say. My mom battled for me in prayer, not just that one night in Aruba. But countless times she stayed up when God told her to pray. If she hadn’t, I doubt I would be alive today.
Every Mother’s Day I often reflect on where I would be without a mother who prayed for me, fought for me, and loved me no matter what. She has created in me a burden to do this for my own daughter someday.
Because of the impact she’s had on my life, I am taking the opportunity to honor her today. I know many girls have been robbed of having a vital support system like I have in my mom.
After attending Passion 2012, and then through friends and family, I heard about girls enslaved in India without any mom to battle for them. My heart fell. I learned about an organization called As Our Own who rescues girls from poverty, slavery, and exploitation. They promise to parent them as their very own daughters—for the rest of their lives. They are parents battling in prayer daily for their daughters.
If you have an amazing mom like I do, you’ll want to celebrate her in a unique way this Mother’s Day. In honor of your mom, make a donation to support these young girls in India who have been rescued and will one day be moms themselves. Your donation will make a tremendous difference in the lives of these girls, their children, and their grandchildren.
Follow this link to donate and download a card that explains the gift you’ve made in her name.