Deborah. Sarah. Susan. Hannah. Abigail.
This list could be the names of your neighbors or the women on the snack rotation at school. Prevalent first names that don’t decry importance or scream “look at me”. What if I told you that these are the first names of women who changed history, yet you will probably never find their name penned in a history book.
On July 4, 1776, 238 years ago, this great nation set out to define freedom for itself declaring its independence from Great Britain. Signed by fifty-six men, the Declaration of Independence was penned and scripted from their passion and heartfelt desire “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” and for those beliefs they risked their own lives and walked the tenuous tightrope of treason.
Those same men whose weathered hands held quills daubed in ink to pen what would be our one of our nation’s most important historical documents were once cradled against a mother’s chest. The very same hair which was covered by powdered wigs was also trimmed and saved by a mother’s caring hand. The values and deep-seated beliefs that drove these men to throw off the bonds of tyranny and forge ahead into an unknown wilderness–the very bravery to stand and declare ‘Give me liberty or give me death,” knowing full well the mere utterance would be their last, was instilled and taught by the women who carried their weight in their womb and birthed them into a world without such freedoms.
Could their mothers have known that the swell of their stomach carried the men that would one day change the world? As they chased their chubby toddler legs and fit them for their first pair of breeches did their mothers wonder what their sons would be when they grew?
I think their mothers did wonder and I think that just like we do, they prayed for their sons.
I’m sure they prayed for protection because the boys of the summer of 1776 probably got into mischief just like the boys of 2014 minus the internet and cars. I wonder if they prayed for their sons to change the world or if they prayed to just make it through the next day. I bet there were a few prayers of “Lord, how do I deal with his stubborn will?” One would have to pray like that if your son would be the one to stare down the opposition, to draw a line in the sand and say, “Here and no further.”
So today, on this celebratory day, I want to encourage you, mama. Your prayers, your instruction, your patience, your love, can and will change the world. Yours may not be the name googled so a blogger can write her post, but I promise, the name that was searched for will stand testament to your determination and dedication to raising your son. Your prayers will be answered, not necessarily how you think they will be, but perhaps in even a greater way.
So this Fourth of July, this our nation’s birthday, let’s resolve to continue to pray for our boys. To take the stubborn will that makes us crazy, the determination that makes us want to beat our heads against the wall, the outgoing attitudes that make us cry and take it instead to the One who holds us, our boys, and our nation in His hands.
Let’s join the ranks of the mothers from the past whose prayers on bended knee no doubt shaped the world we now enjoy.
And those women–their sons were named George Washington, William Prescott, Paul Revere, and Patrick Henry…