by Emily Cook

The Blessing of Discipleship

It was a Sunday night when I picked up the phone to hear my friend, Terri, say these words, “They think he has leukemia.” She was talking about her three-year-old son, Tripp, and I was stunned. In the moments that followed she and I joined together in prayer, like we have so many other times before, but this time was different. This time we were crying out to God, begging the test to come back benign. After a night of more tests and a transfer to St. Jude, our worst fears became a reality.

Tripp had cancer.

The next morning I woke up and immediately called her to get an update and a game plan. I had a pen and paper to write a list of what she needed. In my mind I was thinking, snacks, toiletries, and soft drinks. She spoke up and asked for what we call “the green Bible.” Since we couldn’t get to hers, we let her have our extra copy of the One Year Chronological Bible that she requested.

Immediately I was taken back to three years ago when our friendship turned into discipleship, and I knew God had prepared her for such a time as this.

The word “discipleship” can be intimidating. In the mind of a mother it may conjure up feelings of inadequacy. You may be questioning, “Is there enough time to disciple my children and someone else?” or “Do I know enough to disciple someone through the scriptures?” I want to challenge you today to prepare yourself and be prepared to say, “YES!” If you don’t, you may never know the blessing that’s on the other side. Be in God’s Word daily. If you don’t have a love for reading the Bible, ask God to give you that passion. If you’ve never been discipled, seek out a group that is specifically teaching you through the whole council of God, like Chronological Bible Teaching.

Discipleship for a mother of small children may look different, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. For Terri and I, our discipleship started in a small group chronological Bible study with childcare at the church. Once the two-year commitment ended for the group, Terri and I continued reading through the scriptures. We made a point to talk at least once a week on the phone about what we read, and we discussed prayer needs. She has nine children and I have three, so having the peace and quiet to meet face to face was rare, but the bond was made just the same.

When friendship turns to discipleship, knowledge isn’t just transferred to the other person, but lives are shared, a love for the family develops, and your faith grows as you see God working to grow them into the person He called them to be.

God put the desire in Terri’s heart to personally know His word the year Tripp was born. She said, “yes” to Him and committed to study to show herself approved. Little did she know what God was preparing her for. Because of her knowledge of God’s promises and faith that “God is good, and He only does good,” she is able to stand firm in this storm trusting God with what her eyes can’t see.

As a mom of nine children, she may never have gotten to go to the nations to share the gospel, but now at St. Jude, God has brought the nations to her. He has given her a platform. She has God’s word stored in her heart and she is a blessing to everyone she meets. She is the one you might think would need encouraging, but she’s out sharing God’s truth with people from India, Jamaica, and other U.S. states, and she’s only been there a month—not to mention the countless others who are following Tripp’s story and witnessing the blessed hope that Terri has in Jesus. There will be hard moments and days, but she has us lifting her up in prayer to reject fear and trust God in faith. Terri often tells her kids, “Shine brightly for Jesus.” I’d say she’s practicing what she preaches.

*I’d love for you to join me in praying for the Turner family and Tripp, in particular. Pray for Tripp’s complete healing on earth, peace for the children at home who are missing their mother and brother, strength for Terri and Jeff, and for God to get the glory as they walk this road hand in hand with Him.


Emily Cook


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