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Catherine Jane Carmichael
Mother of Amy Carmichael
? - 1913

Catherine Jane Carmichael rocked seven cradles as a mother. The first
was of her daughter, Amy. Amy Carmichael gave her life in God's
service in India. She founded the Dohnavur Fellowship and helped
countless children of India escape temple prostitution. Because
Catherine was such a godly role model, Amy was able to become a
surrogate mother to many Indian children. Catherine helped to change
the world because she was a mother who trained up her children well,
and then let them go. (For more information on they story of Amy
Carmichael, click here.

Catherine was a loving and nurturing mother, combining plenty of lap-
time stories and singing with consistent discipline. Her children knew
what was expected as well as the consequences for disobedience. She
required that her children accept their punishment calmly. Catherine
was determined to train her children to handle life's difficulties with
grace and this training, coupled with Amy's adventurous spirit, served
her well on the mission field when she faced grave difficulties.
The Carmichael children were raised with an abundance of joy and
love and Amy was known to say that she got "endless fun out of life."
According to Amy, there was no child happier than she. This
upbringing gave Amy a strong emotional base and love that permeated
her life's mission with the Dohnavur Fellowship.

Catherine was sure to teach raise her children to know and serve God.
Once again her lap was offered as she told them stories from the Bible.
She also taught her children about the power of prayer. Catherine had
taught Amy this at a very early age. "Ask God, Amy, if you want
anything badly. Share it with Him and He'll always give you an
answer." Amy took this to heart. More than anything she wanted to
have blue eyes like her mothers instead of the brown ones she had.
Amy knelt and asked God to change her eyes to blue and was quite
sure He would do so by the time she woke up the next day. Upon
rising, she looked in the mirror and to her disdain, they were still
brown. Bewildered, she sought out her mother to find out why God
hadn't answered her prayer. She learned a lesson here that stayed with
her for the rest of her life. "No", soothed her mother "can also be an
answer." Although the Lord answered her prayer by saying "No", she
eventually viewed her brown eyes as an asset to her later on when she
rescued young children from being temple slaves in India. Her
mother's instructions were true. God always heard and always
answered; sometimes it was yes, sometimes it was wait, and
sometimes it was no. This was an invaluable tool to Amy, as prayer
became the foundation of her ministry. She didn't ask people for
money to support her mission work. She only asked God. Little did
Catherine realize when she gave this little lesson on prayer that it
would affect her daughter's life profoundly for the rest of her life.
Catherine also trained up her children with a heart for God.

She not only taught them the Word of God, she exemplified it having a deep love for God and an intimate personal faith in Jesus Christ, Catherine passed this devotion on to her children. At a time where church going was the socially accepted norm, Catherine found much joy in going. Instead of regarding it as a formal "duty" it was the highlight of the week. Catherine taught her children at an early age to know that God loved them and that He was very real. The reality of a personal relationship with God shaped Amy's life and pointed the way for her future.

Among other admirable attributes, Catherine Carmichael was
charitable and compassionate and she gave her children every
opportunity to develop these gifts as well. Catherine wanted her
children to see the needs of others and then act to meet them.
Catherine taught girls cooking and singing and she made hospitality a
way of life. When Amy gathered local children for a meeting in her
home, Catherine didn't object. Instead, she made tea for them. When
neighbors were sick, elderly, or destitute, Catherine sent Amy and her
siblings to them with canisters of soup. The Carmichael children
learned to care for others by small acts of kindness to people in their
own sphere of influence.

Catherine also trained up her children to have unwavering faith. She
taught her children that when storms blow, we will stand strong if we
have a strongly rooted faith in God. When Amy was eighteen, money
became a problem in the Carmichael home and not long after,
Catherine's husband died. In the midst of her despair, Catherine found
solace and strength in her faith, particularly the truth of Nahum 1:7:
"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those
who trust him." Two years later a financial crash ate up the rest of the
family's money, but Catherine did not despair. Instead of panicking,
she knelt with her children in prayer. God met their needs during that
crisis and she taught her children that they could rely on God.

After training her children well, Catherine let her children go. She
loved them dearly, but she held them loosely. Her fist occasion to
practice this releasing of her children was while Amy was still at
home. Her family had relocated to the city of Belfast when Amy was
in her teens. Though Catherine would rather shield her children from
the ugliness of this world, she allowed Amy to venture out of her
sheltered world into the Belfast slums to minister. Amy joined a
friend whose father worked at the Belfast City Mission and together
they visited the city's darkest streets. Catherine also was subject of
gossip as she let Amy go to enter the slums and invite the "shawlies"
(poor girls who couldn't afford a proper Victorian hat who wore
shawls over their heads) to her meeting at church. While others
considered this improper, Amy commented, "Maybe my mother
believed in an angel guard."

Her next opportunity to release her daughter came when a dear family
fiend, Robert Wilson, invited Amy to live with him and his sons as his
surrogate daughter. Amy was in her early twenties at this time and
Wilson's own daughter had died when she was Amy's age. Catherine
was so close to her firstborn and still needed Amy's help, but out of
sacrificial love she allowed her to go live with their dear friend. For
three years God used Catherine's sacrifice to provide Robert with a
daughter's love, to provide Amy with fatherly love, and to be
spiritually mentored from this godly man, which was to prepare her for
what would lie ahead.

But Catherine's greatest act of motherly love was when she completely
released her daughter to God when Amy heard His call to the mission
field. With much prayer and soul-searching, Amy wrote a letter to her
mother asking for her mother's permission to follow God wherever He
called. Catherine's reply? Did she express shock at the news?
Reluctance? Fear? Uncertainty? No. Catherine gifted Amy with a
parental blessing. She wholeheartedly and unreservedly released her
child to God. "Yes, dearest Amy, He has lent you to me all these
years....my heart unfailingly says, Go ye."

Catherine Carmichael was a mother who trained up Amy in the way
she should go...then she lovingly let her go into God's hands. And the
world was changed.

>>>>>>>>>>>

Excerpt from "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Rules!", by Patricia
Chadwick, P.C. Publications, 2003. To purchase a copy of the ebook
at the presale price of jut $2.95 use our special order form at: https://www.pcpublications.org/hw/specialbookorder.htm

 


 

 

 

 

 


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