Monday, March 22, 2010

An inspiring mother

On the weekend we watched Gifted Hands the story about Ben Carson who is the the director of pediatric neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. It was such an inspiring movie for me in many ways. I have often seen the book Gifted Hands in Koorong and wondered what it was about, this movie has now inspired me to read it!

What inspired me most was his mother. Here is an interview with Ben Carson, she had such an influential role in who he is today, and he boldly testifies to that!

Here's what he says about her in the interview.

KW: This makes me think of the question Lester Chisholm had for you, namely, what can parents do to vaccinate their children against failure?

BC: For one thing, it's very important not to allow your child to adopt the victim's mentality. I think that was the most important thing that my mother did for us. And, if anybody could have felt like a victim, it was she. She was one of 24 children. She was raised in horrible conditions in rural Tennessee. She got married at the age of 13 to try to escape that environment. After moving to Detroit she discovered that her husband was a bigamist. Then, with only a third grade education, she had to raise two young sons on her own. She could have very easily felt like a victim. But she never did. Instead, she would always say, I can do something about this. She ended up working three jobs as a domestic, because she didn't want to be on welfare. She wanted to control her own destiny and ours. And she never allowed us to be victims. She always told us that if anybody can do something, you can do it, too, except that you can do it better

It made me realise just how true the words of Proverbs 1:8-9 are,

...And do not forsake your mothers teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
and ornaments about your neck.

His mother was continually building up and encouraging him and his brother to not give up, to have faith in God, to read as much as they could even though she herself couldn't read! The movie highlights how important his mother's words were to him later on when he has sit for exams in medical school and for when he performed a significant operation of separating Siamese twins.

The movie also highlighted how important childhood faith is. She faithfully took them to church, what they learned there had an obvious impact on him. There was a significant time in his teenage life where he clung to his bible and turned to God for help and hope.

There wasn't much focus on his wife in the movie, but in the little that they showed of her, she was portrayed as an amazing support to him in his career, especially during a time of extreme personal hardship.

Once again I have been reminded of the awesome responsibility I have as a mother to train up my children in the way they should go. Only God knows what is planned for their lives, I daily need His grace, His wisdom to lead them to Him, to want to do the best they can for His glory.