Sometimes You’re An Unknown Mama…

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I’ve heard a lot about the great impact of the prayers of a mother. Do you think it’s because she’s the biological mother that God somehow listens to her prayers more? No, I think it’s because a godly mother will care so deeply about her child that she will pray with a passion and fervency that not many Christians have in their prayer life.

 I think a child that has a godly, praying mother is one of the most blessed children ever! But what about all those children out there who don’t? What about the hundreds of children who have a mother that barely even takes care of them and only keeps them so she can get money from the system for them? Who will pray for them?

 Two years ago on a warm sunny Monday afternoon at camp a little girl was dropped off at my cabin door. There she stood with a large black suitcase almost the size of her. She looked up at me with big blue eyes and  said her name was *Sadie. I welcomed her into the cabin and introduced her to the other campers. We were doing baggage check so I asked her to open her suitcase. She opened the big black suit case and down at the bottom was a small pile of clothes that would fit into a grocery bag. She needed lots of different items for her week at camp and right away I knew this dear girl didn’t have a lot of responsible adults in her life. I proceeded to try to make pleasant conversation and asked her when her birthday was, she just quietly shrugged and said “I don’t know, we’ve never done birthdays.” I just said okay and tried not to act surprised so I wouldn’t make her feel bad. She said she was pretty sure she was 9.

 The week was an amazing one and a week I will never forget! I connected fast with Sadie right from the beginning and she rarely left my side. She just wanted so bad for an adult to love her, to care, to notice, to say “good job!” She had a lot of deep questions for a 9 year old and wondered why God let bad things happen and she wondered why God let her parents make the choices they did that made her end up in the foster care system. One day while sitting down for a break I asked her if she had any heros or anyone she looked up to. She said she couldn’t really think of anyone in her life that she’d want to be like except her case worker, she said that she was always very nice to her and took her out to talk and do fun things sometimes and she liked that. She asked if I had people I looked up to and I kinda shifted in my chair thinking about how many, many good examples I had in my life and how many amazing people inspire me and I can look up to. I told her yes, I had quit a few and told her a bit about a few of my favorites. She smiled and said “Wow you know a lot of nice people!” I began to realize how blessed I am compared to so many and began to wish I could be that person to children who had no one to look up to.

The days flew by way too quickly and she spent most of her days on my back getting piggyback rides everywhere or hugging me. She was definitely making a spot for herself in my heart that would always be hers!  I started wishing there was a way I could take her home. I was only 18 but all I knew was I wanted to somehow show this girl love and give her hope! Before I knew it, it was Friday morning and I knew in a few hours we’d have to say goodbye. I was so torn up at the thought of saying goodbye, how could I ever let her go. She hardly let me out of her sight that morning and said she didn’t want to go. Finally the dreaded time came for her to get in the van and leave. She hugged me so tight I thought I was going to fall over. She started sobbing and begging me “please don’t make me go, please let me come home with you, please please please adopt me!” I couldn’t take it any longer and stood there sobbing and said, “I’d love to take you home but I just can’t, I wouldn’t be allowed to take you home, it wouldn’t be legal.”  She looked up at me with her big blue eyes in pools of tears and said, “well then promise you won’t forget me!” I promised her that and said I would pray for her and come visit if I could.

After we said goodbye that sunny afternoon, her face was forever imprinted in my memory and she took a piece of my heart. A day has hardly passed since that day that I haven’t found myself thinking about her. She’s written down in my prayer journal and I have done my best to pray for her every day since then. A few days she’s been on my mind so strongly that I just have to keep praying for her till I get peace. I never was able to work it out to go visit her in all the business of my life and it was extremely hard to stay in contact with her while she was bounced around to different homes. I was able to keep up with her some and about every 4-6 months we’d talk for a while on the phone.

I knew she made an unforgettable impression on me and I knew that I was called stand in the gap for her where she didn’t have a stable mother to love her and pray for her and lift her up to God. But what I didn’t know was that I had made a huge impression on her. I knew she liked me a lot and she obviously put effort into keeping my number as she was bounced around and often the number I had for her would no longer be working and I’d just have to wait for a day when she would call me.

Two years after saying one of the hardest goodbyes of my life, I got to see my dear Sadie again. I was up spending the day as an aunt at Camp David and desperately hoping and praying that Sadie would be there so I could see her again!  But first I saw her sister Sara who had also came as a camper 2 years ago but was assigned to a different team. I was helping each of the girls pick out their dress for the princes dinner that night and in walked Sara and her team. I told her hi and asked if she remembered me. She looked at me for a second with a puzzled look then looked shocked and said “Are you Sadie’s Jo-Jo that she always talks about?” I said yes, I was Jo-Jo and Sara let out a gasp “Wow, Sadie is sure going to be excited to see you, she talks about you all the time! 2 Years ago when she got home from camp she wouldn’t come out of her room for 3 days and just cried her eyes out because she said she wanted to be with you and missed you!”  I was taken back at how much this little girl loved me too! ❤

Not more than 20 minutes later I got to see my dear Sadie. She ran up to me and I wrapped her up in a big bear hug. I finally got to see the dear girl I’d prayed for daily and thought about so often! The whole rest of the day she wanted me to be with her every chance possible. It was the most amazing day to finally get to see again the dear girl that God had given me so much love for!

God laid that little girl on my heart two years ago and I’ve done my best to pray for her everyday and I intend to keep pray for her everyday! Sometimes I didn’t even know where she was living, but her face has been forever been etched in my mind, her picture has been the background of my computer screen the last 2 years, and her name is written places where I’ll notice it as I go about my day.  If I don’t stand in the gap for Sadie then probably no one else will.


“Whether you have biological children or not, we are all spiritual mama’s to somebody and we can be praying single women, childless women, women with a quiver full of children, women who have never had any children. God has put us in the position of being warriors for children through prayer. And I think only when we’re finally in glory will we be able to meet the people we’ve been praying for steadfastly.”

~Janet Parshall

What child do you know that needs a spiritual mama (Or spiritual dad for you guys reading)? Will you just think about it and then forget about it? Or will you stand in the gap for that child like they are your own, the one who is in desperate need of a spiritual mama, even if they never know that it’s you!

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~ This post is dedicated to the many women who may never be thanked this side of eternity but have prayed and interceded for children not their own! ~

*Names changed for privacy

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