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DAY 12: Missing Mom


Loretta Bumgardner, with over 50 years of pastoral ministry experience, she is currently a part time elementary teacher in Kona Hawaii and serves as a small group leader at Living Stones Church, mother of three adult children, a grandmother of nine wonderful grandchildren.  


“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away..”

James 4:14 NKJV


Mother’s Day 1978 was my mom’s first time to attend the church we pastored. My husband preached his heart out and I sang my favorite hymn, “I Love Him Too Much.”  That moment is forever etched in my heart because that was the day my mother gave her heart to God! He miraculously saved her and delivered her from an addiction she couldn’t break on her own. You see, we had been estranged for 10 years prior to this moment, because of MY faith and in an instant everything was renewed because of HER faith. We were closer than ever before because of her newfound faith in Christ. Jesus makes the difference.

Years later, after living far from home, God gave me a vision of helping her out of the bathtub. I immediately called her, told her the vision and we were both comforted because we felt it was a sign from God.  Unbeknownst to me, she had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.  God provided a way for me to move closer to her and help care for her in the last year of declining health.  The last two weeks of her life was spent in a hospital bed on a respirator with my sister and I by her bedside.  She was in a coma and only came out briefly to give us a kiss before passing.  During the last 15 minutes of her life, we watched as they removed the respirator and we sang her favorite choruses. With my hand on her hand and my eyes fixed on her face, watching her peacefully breathe in and out until I couldn’t see her breathing anymore, we sang strong and clear. When I heard a noise from the heart monitor, and the chaplain touched my arm, I looked and asked “Is she gone?” She shook her head “yes”, and then I broke down and sobbed. 

The hardest thing to do was to sing the song she requested for her funeral - the very song that brought her to kneel at the cross of Jesus that Mother’s day of 1978, and was sung over her hospital bed as she took her last breath.  As I stood over her casket, singing once again,  “I Love Him too Much,” I was reminded of the faithfulness of God to both hear and answer prayer through each moment we shared.

Life is only a series of moments that weave our hearts and lives together.  Perhaps you’re reading this and remembering the moments you’ve shared with your own aging mother or, if she’s gone on to be with the Lord like mine, it evokes great memories along with feelings of sadness. Can I encourage you to think of the moments that connected you and the promise that you will see her again in the life to come?  The bible reminds us that life is but a vapor and passes so quickly.  Every moment has meaning including this one, I’d love to pray with you.   


Jesus, we are so grateful for the precious moments that make up our lives.  I pray for the person reading this who has lost their mother.  I ask that you would give them comfort as you promise to comfort those who mourn, in Matthew 5:4.  I ask that you would help them to remember the moments they shared with their mother that had meaning and purpose. Amen.

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May 22, 2020

Lala, thank you for sharing this beautiful message and memories of your mom. I agree we are kindred spirits as I too had a difficult and complicated relationship with my mom. Through years of prayers and forgiveness we were able to reconcile and she later accompanied my sister and I to a prayer service and was saved. She spent the last months of her life in our home before succumbing to lung cancer. God truly blessed us with some wonderful moments and beautiful memories of our moms!

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