Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Tribute to my Grandmother
The Prayer Warrior

A little me and my Grandma
As I reflect on the passing of my Grandmother, I am reminded of something my Dad said before she left this earthly dwelling for her heavenly home. He said, “You really haven't lost anyone if you know where they are, have you?” I have not forgotten this and it got me thinking about the sorrowing we do over 'losing' someone precious to us. If we know they are with the Lord in heaven, we haven't lost them. We know exactly where they are and we can take comfort in God's promises.
Yes, we will grieve but as Psalm 30:5b says, “…....weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” We know where she is and there is joy and peace and comfort in that knowledge.
As we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I have the calm assurance that God will raise her again to take her to be with Him in the clouds. Hallelujah!
For those of you who never had the great privilege of meeting my Grandma, I'd like to introduce her to you.
My Grandma was the most Godly woman in all the world. This beautiful lady was a woman after God's own heart. She lived her life, one day at a time, trusting the Lord to lead and guide her every step of the way and she was a prayer warrior of the like I've never seen before. She really knew how to bring her requests to the Lord and lay them at His feet.
She didn't always have an easy life, trials often came her way, but she trusted the Lord and held to His promises without doubting them.
I know I owe her a debt of gratitude for all the prayers she offered up on my behalf. I'm sure that my life could have been very different without her faithfulness in intercession. She prayed for our family faithfully for much longer than I've been alive. She faithfully read God's word. She was faithful in attending church and serving in every way possible. She was faithful to her family.
She had Martha's hands and Mary's heart. All too often, I have Martha's hands, busy doing, doing, doing, but forgetting that one needful thing, kneeling at Jesus feet and gaining the strength I need to go on. My Grandmother had Mary's heart in that respect, and she had the serving hands of Martha. A balance of both. She set an excellent example to everyone in her family and my mother is becoming just like her and sets a wonderful example for me to follow.
The last time I was able to see my Grandmother was 23 years ago, so I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked with my Grandmother, but her influence was still strong on my life. She wrote letters, cards, sent presents and always, there was a verse of scripture, an encouraging word, something to remind me of her love, not only for me, but for her precious Lord Jesus as well. I always knew that 'she had my back' if I can use that term. I always knew that she would be upholding me in prayer. My children were never able to meet her, but they knew that their Great Grandma Tonne was someone very special. Someone who cared about them and prayed for them.
My memories of her:
She got up early to allow time to pray and read God's word before her day started
She was always serving others
She kept her house beautiful and tidy
She worked hard
She didn't waste a thing
She was creative
She was a great seamstress
She was an amazing cook and made the best ever fried chicken and chicken fried steak
She never forgot a birthday or anniversary
She had an amazing memory
She wrote wonderful letters
She always prayed about what you asked her to pray about, even if you forgot. You had to be sure what you wanted prayed about was what you really wanted, because when Grandma prayed, mountains moved and things happened.
She was often the last in bed at night making sure everything was done
She loved unconditionally and always made you feel special
There are so many more memories of my dear, sweet Grandmother and I know I'll miss her, but I'll miss her prayers more than anything. I can always look again at the photos of her, I can recount memories of her with family members, I can listen to her voice on recorded messages, but I'll never again have her prayers interceding for me. I'll never again have her crying out to God on my behalf.
Which means one thing, I had better work on becoming the kind of God- fearing, praying, loving, serving, compassionate woman that she was and carry on her legacy of love for my children's children. It's going to take a lot more than one of us to become the kind of prayer warrior that she was, but Lord willing, we'll take up the challenge and give our children a Godly heritage.
I never realised just how much I loved my Grandmother, until God called her home.
I love you, Grandma.
After reading what I had written, my lovely sister Joye was able to put things into perspective better than I could, thanks sis. She said:
One thing I do know, that even tho her current prayers for us have ceased, God remembers the prayers that she has prayed. God has a whole roomful of prayers that are pending. When someone dies, their prayers are not deleted, like lost, unopened or returned mail, thrown away and purposeless. Their prayers are still coming up before the Lord, useful and urgent as the day they were first prayed. God doesn’t work in our time frame. Those prayers may not have come due for answering until after the one who prayed them was gone.”

My Grandmother's house as I remember it

The hands of my Grandmother and my Mother
My Grandma's hands were knarled and wrinkled
with age, and yet, they were beautiful.
Toil and hardship had aged them
but her tears that fell on them as they folded in prayer 
only helped to soften them.
They were the hands of a true servant.
Oh how I wish I could hold them again.
Heaven is now richer