I'm not sure how this works. But I believe a mother's mantle casts a long shadow. I saw my mother's mantle fall during the going away celebration at her church. It then unfurled like a tailor-made garment of love and continued to spread. I believe her mantle is imparting spiritual inheritance to many, even those who never knew her.
My mother, Gertrude Yount, went to be with Jesus on March 2, 2015. Multitudes have been touched and encouraged by the many healings and miracles God gave her in this lifetime. But what I will remember most about Mom is her persevering faith in spite of her many hardships. She found God in the storms of life. She touched so many people with God's love and at times broke the rules. She was 90 years old. She is now totally healed forever.
Mom had an unusual request when she left this world. She said, "When they lay me in the casket, I don't want them to put any shoes or socks on me. I want to dance on the streets of gold in my bare feet." I called the funeral director and told him mom's unusual request, and why. He agreed. Someone came up to me right before Mom's funeral and said, "It's going to be hard to fill your mother's shoes." I told them, "She doesn't have any."
Influenced by Kathryn Kuhlman
At 11 years of age, my mother often attended Kathryn Kuhlman meetings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She saw unusual happenings that forever changed her life. A huge goiter on her mother's neck instantly disappeared before her eyes. The next second, a 5-year-old boy began jumping up and down shouting, "Mommy, where are you? Where are you, Mommy?" The mother, on the other side of the boy, said, "Honey, I'm right here." Mom said, "I saw that little boy jump up into his mother's arms and begin shouting, 'Oh Mommy, I can see you! I can see you, Mommy!' The mother cried, 'He was born blind!'" My mother got the mindset at an early age: This is the way my life is going to be. And it continued the rest of her life.
She was four-feet-eleven. She found the key to long life. Twice, cancer failed to kill her. The first time cancer spread through her body, the doctors gave her five years to live. That was 45 years ago. When she was 87, her second cancer died through surgery. They got it all with no chemo needed. Years ago, doctors witnessed a tumor disappear on her thyroid before taking a biopsy. Ten years ago, doctors wanted to amputate her one foot. She told them, "Whenever I go to heaven, I'm taking my foot with me!" Later, they changed their minds. She kept her foot and walked fine. Most doctors who told her she wouldn't live long are gone. She kept outliving them. Her famous prayer when she would get attacked was: "Lord, if I get weak and sick, how am I going to help anybody and reach the lost?" That's it! Then healing would start coming upon her.
After receiving that five-year death sentence with cancer, Mom felt led to visit a different church in town. She went with Aunt Sophie. Aunt Sophie had been healed so many times that people thought she was crazy. They arrived early and sat near the front of the church before others arrived. As soon as Mom sat down, she felt a hand touch her shoulder, shooting a bolt of electricity down through her body that burnt the hairs off her arms. "I just knew God healed me of that cancer!" she said. They found out later that church didn't believe in healing. I think that's why God healed her before the service started.
Mom loved to tell people of her healings and miracles. Then she would stop and say, "But you gotta repent!" as conviction fell on them.
An Unstoppable, Persevering Faith
"So that you may not be lazy, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Heb. 6:12).
Mom was a fighter, a contender of the faith who was once delivered to the saints (see Jude 1:3). She fought for what she got. Her strong faith was like a runaway freight train that could not be stopped. In the Spirit, Mom could take out Muhammad Ali. She seemed to have the gift of faith. There were times and seasons when God seemed distant, when the healings and miracles weren't arriving on time. But her faith kept going. Mom's answer to heaven's silence was: "I'll be OK. Let's see what God will do."
It was these bumps in the road of Mom's life that caused her to know the Lord like she did. Her life taught me: There's a whole lot of living between healings and miracles, and a whole lot of living after them. She knew how to run this race of life with patience. "Wherefore, since we are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1). She ran with patience. Patience was her friend.
A faith so strong, yet childlike. I remember when the doctor wanted to amputate mom's foot. She told me her childlike prayer: "Lord, You don't need my foot, and I do."
This story seems to sum up the fabric of my mother's prophetic mantle:
A mother had a little daughter playing elsewhere in the neighborhood. A storm was brewing, and the mother called the neighbor and said, "Send my little girl home, quick." The little girl started walking home two blocks away as the storm broke loose. A torrential downpour of rain beat the earth as thunder and lightning came crashing down. As the mother watched anxiously out her kitchen window, she noticed every time lightning flashed, her little girl would stop and start to smile.
Several times as lightning flashed, her little girl again would stop, and a smile would break out on her face. The mother, terrified, ran out of the house and down the sidewalk. She picked up her little girl in her arms and ran inside the house. As they got into the house, the mother said to the daughter, "Honey, how come every time the lightning struck, you just stopped and started to smile?" The little girl responded, "Mommy, all the way home God's been taking my picture!"
Oh, to have a childlike faith. To know in our worst storm, God is taking our picture.
The gift of faith that only believes and doesn't know how to doubt. The patience that outlasts every storm. And God's love that breaks the rules.
And don't forget to smile. Because all the way home, God is taking your picture.
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he is now an elder and a home missionary for the past 40 years. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full-time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is The Power of Real / Transparent Prophetic Encouragement. His prophetic email list is: billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill's website at billyount.com.
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