A Treasured Legacy
Death stings and lingers at moments with pain that is unbearable. But God promises that “He will swallow up death forever; the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8). In a short period of time I’ve had to say goodbye to two special women in my life. Last week my grandmother went from sick to dying in a matter of days. I really did not expect it and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. But are we ever ready?
My grandmother “Granny” was the image in flesh of the Proverbs 31 woman. Her pastor shared the most beautiful words at her funeral on Saturday attesting to the woman she was. He shared that she was a woman who loved to serve and loved her neighbor. Over multiple days to think about her passing and try to understand what had happened so fast our whole family gathered and shared the memories of our amazing Granny. She was a woman who was always prepared to serve. Whether it was the meals she made daily for her family or providing her time to volunteer in the church or in her community she was ready to say, “yes” to serving. Her meals were one thing our whole family has cherished over the years not only because they were delicious but also they were the fruit of her and Granddaddy’s hard labor of keeping a farm and growing a garden and working so hard for everything they had. Yet at the same time she was one of the most generous women I have ever known. Her and granddaddy were not wealthy in terms of money but they were quick to give a helping hand or even money that they didn’t have for those in need. Granny always made sure we had everything we needed and more, even when she didn’t have the means to provide it. She was faithful to tithe and give her money and time for the body of Christ and that was something everyone knew about her though she never spoke about it. And how do I even write about how she loved her neighbor. There is not one memory I can recall of Granny gossiping or speaking an ill word of another person no matter how they may have treated her. There is not one memory I can recall of Granny complaining or being bitter or resentful even though she spent the last three years of her life with her left side paralyzed and with much of her independence lost.
She was completely and perfectly content in her savior and nothing in this world moved her.
The verse Granny most recently wanted me to write in her room when she first has her stroke was 3 John 4: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. This verse was her prayer and her life legacy: to know that her children were walking in the truth and training their children to do the same. Granny was able to be a part of the lives of her 9 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren and she was blessed more than anything to see them learning to walk in truth. There is so much joy and so much to celebrate when considering my Granny’s life and the legacy she left to me personally. And yet it is so hard to say goodbye and I grieve her absence in my life. I grieve that my children won’t be able to meet her and that she wont be here if I marry one day. And yet I rejoice that she is with her Savior in the one place she has always longed to be and I rejoice that I will see her again.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.
Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the times to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.