It has been a few weeks now since my Great-Grandma passed, yet I can’t stop thinking about her in my daily thoughts; even more now than when she was here on earth! The silence throughout facebook, is heartbreaking. Though my family is far away I can hear them crying and mourning through the many posts of her photos and videos of her singing! Our family group page was quiet till last week; just stillness. We all miss her!
In our home, there is a little less quiet. Our lives have gone on, homeschooling must still happen, chores are being complete, business is being done, and there are seven kids to feed three times a day. Busyness has stolen my time for mourning, so in the wee hours of the night, I sit here tapping the keys of my laptop, spilling it out to the world because I haven’t had time to stop and reflect about it during the day.
I think about her house, sitting there empty after all these years and I can’t get past it! It was hers for so long the thought of it not being a place of refuge, a meeting place, a place of worship, a home to my aunts and uncles, is unbearable. Will I ever get to see so many of my family members together in one place ever again, like I would, being at her house?
My Grandma, like I said before, had a way of making everything beautiful because of her love for Christ. She showed me something very profound in her last days. When our family went to visit her three weeks before she passed, she had dementia and couldn’t see very well. I sat next to her and held her hand. She was 98 years old, weak and tired, but had a stronger grip than that of a grown healthy adult male!! It was as if she wanted to show us how much she loved us through how hard she squeezed our hand! Some of the conversations we had went something like this:
Grandma, “How old are you now?”
ME, “Grandma, I am 32 years old!”
Grandma, “wow, you are a BIG baby now aren’t you!” “I think I am 94, but I’m not sure, isn’t that awful?”
Me, “awe, no Grandma, that isn’t awful!”
Grandma, “Who are you honey?”
Me, “Grandma it’s (my name), I’m Debbie’s daughter!”
Grandma, “OH, honey do you remember when you were a little girl at my house and you told me, “grandma when I grow up I want to be a Christian,” do you remember that?”
She would have moments of clarity, then moments of confusion. But one thing I noticed was that not ONCE did she forgot who Jesus was! There was not one time she forgot what he did for her, and what his word said, how to be a Christian! She may not have remembered her age, or who I was, or that I was not a baby anymore, but she remembered who her Heavenly Father was at all times. She remembered every word to every Hymn, and scripture, and what The Lord has done for her!
As a created being, we were made to crave a relationship with The Lord! We were created to worship God! Without him we are never whole, we have a void that can never be filled with earthly things. No matter how much our spouse or children love us, we will always feel empty inside unless we allow God to fill that missing piece. A telephone that was created to ring, doesn’t fulfill its calling if it never rings; just as we won’t fulfill our calling if we don’t make Jesus Lord of our life. My Grandma knew this! She knew it was true for her own life, as well as ours!
In one of my bible classes I took at Liberty a few years ago, I was taught that once you truly experience the presence of Jesus in your life – you will never be able to turn from Him! I’ve taken that statement and I have studied it by putting it beside some of my family who I was told walked away from God, some of my friends, whom I witnessed walk away from God, and even a time in my life, when I was younger, when I walked away from God. I came to the conclusion that either none of us ever REALLY experienced the true presence of the Lord like we thought we did, OR none of us ever REALLY could get away from Him like we wanted too! For myself, I never got away from him. Sometimes it is easier in life to run away, ignore God, and live the life you want to live apart from him. Living for God isn’t easy! But you will never be complete and whole until you do!
When we were visiting my grandma I saw this statement in a new light. Every conversation she had was about Jesus, every song was about Jesus, every goodbye was I’ll see you at the pearly gates! Even dementia, couldn’t take my grandma away from the knowledge of the truth! My grandma was so passionate about bringing the word of God to others, even in those last few weeks of her life, that you would often find her having a family member kneel beside her bed so she could pray with them! Now that is a woman after God’s own heart!
I desperately want to be like her! I want my children to know the Lord because of my love for him! I want to be their rock! I want to be so full of the joy of the Lord that I am leading others to Christ till the day I die! I want my passion for God to be so overwhelming that people can’t even be with me without feeling the presence of God. When you say my name, I want my children to think “my mom loved the Lord” just like I do when I think of her! I want to pass down her legacy!
It has been tough for me watching my family being still these last few weeks- and not be close enough to visit them. I know it is because they are still mourning, and some feel down and are trying to figure out life without her here. I’m the opposite, I want to tell the world about her- that is how I celebrate her life! I wish I could have remembered every word she said to me those last few days I saw her! There was just so much said, and so many moments I wish I could have frozen forever!
I know that when it comes time for me to enter the kingdom of Heaven, she will be the first face I see waiting on me at the gates!