A TRIBUTE TO MOM
Let me begin by wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to ALL mothers, including those who are like mothers to someone! I honor YOU today, as well! I believe it takes a heart of selflessness to take someone else’s child under your wing to encourage them, teach them, coach them, help them and, especially, love them. I want to also honor the women who have chosen to raise someone else’s child…..or children. Your act of love is so greatly appreciated!
I want to now pay tribute to my own mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, also known as “Gerri”.
Over the years, I’ve seen my mom endure some difficult situations. However, through it all and in spite of it all, she has maintained her integrity and relationship with the Lord.
THE YOUNG BELIEVER
The youngest of seven children, my mom was born to Jeremiah and Eunice Ealey in Collins, Georgia, where she was also raised. If you’ve never heard of Collins, it’s a small town located in Southern Georgia, not that far from the city of Savannah. My grandparents were prayer warriors and ministers, and they taught their children to live for God. Mom accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit at the tender age of 16.
Because of the teachings my mother received at a young age, she learned the importance and necessity of being devoted to God.
Do you realize that it’s NECESSARY to be devoted to God—-God, our Creator, the one who knows all and sees all? In the midst of a corrupt world, it is NECESSARY to know Him. It is NECESSARY to know Jesus because through Him our lives are made right! My mom and her siblings were taught those valuable, life-changing lessons, and I thank God every day that they instilled those lessons in us—-their children. I am who I am because of my mother’s teachings. I am who I am because of my mother’s prayers. I am who I am because of my mother’s LIFE!
THE SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVER
As a child, my mother excelled in school. She was even honored as the salutatorian of her senior class and graduated from high school at the age of 16. Soon after, she relocated with her mother and siblings to Cincinnati. Mom went on to receive her Business Management education from Southern Ohio College. She then received certified Accounting training from Cincinnati Technical College (now Cincinnati State). Moreover, she received computer training from Scarlet Oaks.
While a student at Southern Ohio, Mom was hired by General Electric Company, where she worked for 34 years before retiring. During her time at GE, she witnessed co-workers and close friends lose their jobs due to layoffs and cutbacks. However, instead of losing her job too, God always blessed her to get moved to a different position. In John 15:7 Jesus says:
“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Although Mom has been retired from GE for a number of years now, she still works seasonally as a Tax Professional for H&R Block. As one of her devoted clients, I can say that she is excellent at what she does!
THE PRAYER WARRIOR
As I stated before, my mother has endured some difficult situations. One incident was when my brother BJ almost died when he was just a baby. Although his health seemed to be failing, my mother didn’t give up! She called on my grandmother, aunts and people at the church to pray for his healing. Today, she even talks about the time she sat up with him all night rocking him and praying for him. James 5:16 assures us that:
“…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) availeth much.”
Because of the constant prayers of the believers, God healed my baby brother! Now at the age of 39, he is a successful husband, father, teacher and varsity basketball coach.
(Mom, BJ, Me)
Another difficult time in my mother’s life was when her marriage to our father ended in divorce. I love my dad very much, but as a woman myself, I can acknowledge that my mom was devastated by the break up. Her marriage was supposed to last forever! NEVERTHELESS, she never walked away from God or the church. Through the pain and, even the embarrassment, each day she continued to get up! She put on her good clothes, high heeled shoes, and make up, and she pressed forward!
Mom continued being a devoted mother, sister, cousin, niece, and friend. She continued shopping at the mall, getting her hair done at the beauty salon, going out to eat with family and friends, and taking trips to places, like Florida and the Bahamas. My mother continued living her life! Most importantly, she maintained her relationship with Jesus Christ. She continued lending her beautiful voice to the choir, ministering the Gospel at church and on the radio, and winning souls for the kingdom of God.
Mom has some awesome testimonies of how God has used her throughout the years. For example, during the late 1980’s while working at GE, she led one of the CEOs to the Lord while sitting in his office. This particular man was secretly dying from the AIDS virus, and through Mom, he came to know Jesus Christ. On another occasion while at work, she noticed her manager slipping away at his desk. In other words, he was dying right before her very eyes, and she called LIFE back into his body! Some years later, she also called LIFE back into the body of a complete stranger while we were at Kings Island Amusement Park. In John 11:25 Jesus says:
“…I am the RESURRECTION, and the LIFE: he that BELIEVETH in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he LIVE…”
Had life totally turned out the way my mother planned? No, not at all! Nevertheless, she was determined to persevere anyway! In fact, she looked past her disappointments and her pain and pursued God even more!
She completed a two-year course in Theology with a focus in Evangelism at Cincinnati Christian College and received certificates in Catechism and other Christian courses. Mom wasn’t going to allow anything or anyone to deter her from her God-given purpose!
In my previous blog post “Relax! God Is Doing It Now For You! Just Continue in His Work!”, I share the story of Ruth from the Bible. Ruth didn’t worry about what or whom she had lost. She didn’t concern herself with the family and country she had left behind. Instead, she focused on the mission God had assigned her—to take care of her mother-in-law Naomi. As a result of her obedience and faithfulness, God blessed her abundantly.
Just like Ruth, Mom stayed focused. While she was busy working, taking care of my brother and me, and ministering to others, God blessed her with another husband. My mother married Apostle Ron Banks on June 25, 1994. Three years later they founded Power and Faith Ministries.
Through Power and Faith Ministries, many souls have been saved, bodies have been healed from life-threatening diseases like cancer and AIDS, and people have been delivered from the bondage of satan. As they adhere to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is their mission to touch and change the world one family at a time.
Ladies…..my sisters…..women of God, I know that everything has not turned out the way you had hoped or planned. But, don’t give up on God and don’t give up on you! People, including your own relatives, will let you down. They’re not perfect. Only God is perfect, and He will NEVER let you down! So, just like my mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, stay FAITHFUL to God and TRUST that He has an even BETTER plan for your life.
(The Kimberly Joy Show: A Tribute to Mom)
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