Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Grandparent's Legacy

What's the most important thing we can pass on to the next generation?  I can say without hesitation that I draw continually on the unconditional love my grandparents had for me, their faith in God, and their strength in the face of adversity.  Their strength, conviction, and love have given me a heritage to draw on as I face my husband's illness and disability.

I remember my grandma rising at 5:30 or 6 am to read her Bible—how she loved God's word!  And yet she was always willing to put it down to talk with me.  Sometimes she read to me.  I often wondered what intrigued her about the Bible, but I was willing to listen because she loved me.

Although I accepted Christ when I was seven years old, the year before my dad died of Kidney Disease, I wandered in my faith for a long time.  I know at times my grandparents must have wondered if I was truly saved at all--yet I always knew they still loved me, even if they didn't like what I was doing.  They called me, they wrote me, they spent time with me--they knew what was going on in my life.  They faithfully prayed for me for another 13 years before seeing God bring any answers.

"Who are you going to follow?" God seemed to ask when I was nineteen.  "Me—or the world?"

With the choice laid before me—and the loneliness and failure that sin and following the world had brought me so far, I knew there was only one choice to make.

My grandma died a few years after I chose to stop walking the fence between God and the world, and my grandpa died eight years later.  Now I often wish I could call one of them, ask their advice, draw on their strength—but God has said their legacy is sufficient for me.  When I question how I can continue on, I remember their faithfulness and how God sustained them—and I know He will sustain me too.

I wrote this poem for their 50th wedding anniversary:

 I remember so well those trips
through cornfields upon cornfields
or snowy midnights,
Mom and Dad pretending we were lost
on the way to your house.

Summer days full of laughter and tears,
card-playing, miniature golf,
pot roast with all the trimmings.

Then the dark shadow fell upon our house—
Dad was gone.

Grandma would say,"Why him and not me?
I would have gone in his place."
And there was Grandpa,
his tender eyes always there.

Through that sweet, sweet sadness
God revealed in His own time
His greater plan for us.
Summer days grew to years in school
impossible without you.

His Spirit has filled our house
with His love
poured out through you,
who have been ever-committed to us.

What a miracle to see
God ever-present in our family.
And even though we may sometimes squabble,
Yet now we are only a "poor reflection"
of what we then shall be.

May God's grace ever fill us
with the fullness of His love
and may we be ever-faithful servants.

Thankyou, Grandma and Grandpa
for the years you've invested in us
and the Gospel you've ingrained in our minds.
Surely God has engraved our hearts
and brought us together in His Word.

"Glory to God in the Highest
and on earth, peace to men
on whom His favor rests."  Luke 2:14

Happy Golden Anniversary

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