Mrs. Paula Geter – elegant, wise, beautiful, and Godly. She has the quiet, take charge presence of a veteran nurse, the loving nature of a grandmother, and the reckoning force of a warrior – God’s warrior. She is the picture of Proverbs 31. She loves her husband, her family, her church, and her Savior. She is the mother-in-law of my dear friend, Darlene, and the lady I call my Spiritual Mother.
Almost seven years ago, when I first became a Christian, I was sitting in her den during a family and friend’s cookout. We talked for hours. I offered my thoughts and she offered wise advice. I look back and think how silly I must have sounded with all my new-born spiritual questions and contemplations. Sitting sweetly and calmly in her chair with a movie on the television, she listened to every word. Throughout our conversation – it all came down to this – “Follow God in all you do and everything will be fine.”
Most of my life, I struggled to understand the idea that the God of the Universe was tangible and personable, that Jesus was who He said He was, and that the Holy Spirit was not just another fairy tale like the Easter Bunny, mysterious and illusive. The Trinity, this Three in One, was beyond my understanding and still is a beautiful mystery, yet Mrs. Geter demonstrated the Trinity for me. God, her Father, Jesus, her Savior, and the Holy Spirit, her constant companion – all three interconnected into One Grace-filled relationship.
God is her everything, through Jesus her Christ, and the Holy Spirit communes with her as she walks through her day. In all she does, says, and believes – God is hers and she is His. In Jesus’ name, she prays all her prayers and puts her full trust in Him. The Holy Spirit gives her the strength and protection to fight the spiritual battles that ensnare us all. She is a warrior-advocate for her family and friends and the power of prayer is real and proven.
“Follow God” and all else will follow. Her advice is the greatest commandment personified – “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matt 22:37 NIV). Her priority is to do what God wants of her – nothing else matters, not other’s opinions, not family members, not church goers, not circumstances, not even her own desires. This is the advice I follow – aim for – everyday, in the easiest and most painful moments.
God places guides in our lives when we become His. Saul had Barnabas and Ananias in his earliest days. The disciples had Jesus, Himself, and the early church, in turn, had the disciples, whose numbers grew and multiplied. There are still disciples out there, guides who teach us, give us sound advice, steer us down God’s path, help us navigate the power of the Holy Spirit, and show us Jesus Christ. Mrs. Geter is this to me – this woman of God who came into my life at the right moment to impact my spiritual growth. I am forever grateful for her wise advice and the time she took with me years ago. She is, and always will be, my Spiritual Mother.