Sister Maynard, the “Hillbilly”
As I progress through this journey called life, I have come to realize that life is a Great Production. When we arrive on the planet, a Script is envisioned. As we leave home, another Script is likely written, and the actual Script of Life is altered day to day, year to year. Those who rely on the Great Script Writer inspire me the most. Such is Jane Maynard, commonly known as “Jane the Hillbilly”. She’s not only my mom, but a pillar demonstrating unswerving faith in God’s will regardless of her circumstances. She has navigated many a Script change, and now has arrived at a point to acknowledge that the Great Script Writer has another plot twist and different kind of adventure ahead.
A High School dropout (to care for ailing family) would seem to limit the Script, in most reader’s eyes. Hard work lay head caring for family and eventually completing her High School Diploma through correspondence courses. Not to be side tracked, she fell in love with a gentleman from the Air Force, married, and they became my parents. The story took a devastating turn – few can appreciate – as my dad’s severe mental illnesses raised their head at a time in history when such things were vaguely understood. Tasked now – not just with being mom, but being mom and dad – while loving God and dad enough to make dad think he was dad – a Script complexity that would endure so many years. She now says that made her more dependent on God. There are no words to adequately describe this part of the Story. Dad’s journey ended in final rest some years ago but Jane’s Script continues. However, it’s now taking a different turn.
I have no memory of her ever doubting the Great Script Writer – even though I have often. Somehow in the midst of raising her children, and fostering other’s children, and caring for her husband, she found time to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible. Even though I spent years in the ministry, I always marveled at her wisdom and teaching at home and abroad. She easily and justifiably could have written a sympathy laden Script – but not Jane. She has been and continues to trust and seek the Great Script Writer for her next move. I recently sat beside her in a little church in Arkansas that hasn’t changed in all my years.
I enjoyed her prominent Alto singing like I have never before. This time my mind did not run to suggestions for the church to improve, as it has before. I just listened and appreciated the blessing of the moment. You see, recently Jane had a Stroke that took her and all of us by surprise. Her temporary inability to talk or function not only shocked us – it brought about a reality. I’m happy to tell you that this was a light stroke, and she is recovering well – and she’s still open to whatever God wants. We all want that because she wants that. But, it is time for Jane to serve in a different way. The Great Script Writer has something else in mind. In partnership with her God, Jane allowed God to write an unlikely story that included some of the following:
• For 50 years she has taught ladies’ classes and planned and coordinated events honoring Christ for Ladies.
• She has traveled all over the nation speaking and counseling ladies in the name of the Lord. It makes her mad, but I still say no one can preach better than she can – but only to ladies of course.
• I never visit when she isn’t cooking food for someone, helping someone tend to their business, or just listening and offering godly counsel. And the list could go on and on.
Jane’s Script now includes stepping down from leadership roles but she’ll still include in the Story the encouraging and assisting of others to lead and bring the healing of Christ to God’s ladies. She’s comfortable and confident that God will use her where He wishes – and that is what she wants. She probably won’t travel as much in this this new Script. Likely she will serve by writing and encouraging with few if any speaking engagements. However, she told me plainly, “I will always serve the Lord.” And I believe it. As her son, I know she trusts the Great Script Writer most of all. And I know she wants me and YOU to always do the same.