I mentioned briefly yesterday that seeing videos of deceased family members was so painful, but it was really one, in particular, that impacted me the most.
I was so close to my Grandmother. I knew I was favored by her my whole life. She’s the first person whom I remember being favored by. I knew her home was always going to be a refuge for me. It was my safe place. It’s where I wanted to be when I needed comforting. Her lap is where I wanted to sit, even as I grew older, to have her rock me. So much grief comes to the surface when I even just type about it. I was closer to her than any other living person.
It seemed like she was always thinking of me. When I was in college and kept all my family at a distance, she called and said she’d gotten an Old Navy card just so I could buy some decent clothes. You see, I had nothing during my college years. My wardrobe was largely thrift store items and hand me downs. I knew nothing of fashion and barely knew how to take care of myself. I had no value. So, when she called and said, “Go buy yourself some clothes.” It felt like a kind of love I had yet to experience. It felt extravagant. Then a few weeks or a month later, she’d call again and say, “Go get yourself some more.” Mind you, I was only spending about $50 each time, but to me during college days…..that was like having hundreds. I remember walking around and only looking in the clearance section because I wanted her to be proud of how frugally I’d spent my $50. I also remember how shocked she was when I told her how many different items I’d obtained for that $50.
She loved me. I was always certain of that.
The month she died was particularly painful. First, she had just agreed to travel with me to several different universities so I could audition for their master’s programs. Second, my life was hanging on by a thread. It seemed as if all my relationships were in a shambles, and losing my touchstone sent me into a tailspin.
Yesterday while thinking about this, God expanded my view. He showed me how her death had brought me to the end of myself and the beginning of giving my whole heart to Him. She certainly didn’t die before her time. She was 82 years old. She had lived and loved very well, and she missed my Papa so much. I knew she was ready. The thing the enemy wanted to use to destroy me, was what God used to begin to re-make me. I realized that when she passed, a certain level of earthly comfort also passed away. The safety she represented in my life was gone and I was left with a void…..a God shaped hole, as it were. Isn’t it amazing how He moves in our lives?
Take a moment and reflect on the most impacting memory of your life. What do you see beyond the original pain? Was God doing something deeper? Has He used it as a way to make room for Himself in your life? Now that time has passed, do you realize He was ever-present in that moment?
How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17-18