"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace." ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
This Sunday, my great-grandmother passed away in her sleep, due to a heart-attack. She went quietly, with no pain. And it was a total shock for our family. She was in good health & was as sassy and spry as they come! (I get some of my sass from her, I expect.) So none of us were quite prepared for God to call her home like He did. And honestly, I don't think we ever would have been.
My great-grandmother was a devout Christian woman, full of Hold Spirit & exuding love at every turn. She lived to the ripe old age of 85 (but would have been 86 yesterday.) She was over-the-top-full of life, pep, and sass as you could possibly imagine, and this fact made her unbelievably young for her age!
She was one of the main reasons I love reading & writing. Her literary talents included, but were not limited to poetry, short-stories, & newspaper articles... She encouraged my dream to be a writer from the very beginning. The stories she could tell me from her childhood days were amazing! (She was born in the 30's.) The pictures she could show me from her black-and-white photo albums were a treasure-trove. And each one had a special tale behind it. My appetite for good stories was whetted.
The time that she spent with me made learning fun! (Scrabble games were a family tradition, crossword puzzles were a common past-time at her house, letter-writing was an art we all practiced, and reading/collecting books was an addictive hobby.)
In short, I would not be who I am today were it not for "G'ma" Mable. This blog might have never started had she not been the encouragement that she was to me. I consider myself insanely blessed to be able to say that I knew her and had a relationship with her. Not many teenagers can say that about their great-grandmothers & talk about how much of an impact they have had on their lives.
My point is, I am sad but at the same time I am glad for her. My heart hurts, but my spirit sings. My flesh weeps for this precious woman, but the Holy Spirit comforts me with assurances that she is happy to be with Jesus. It is a difficult thing to work through. However, during this time of grief, I am reminded that it is a season like anything else. I find comfort in the words, "for everything there is a season..." This pain will not last forever. It is for a season.
Yes, it hurts right now, but one day we will meet again. Yes, it is hard to smile right now, but soon it will be easy again. And yes, it is hard to think of G'ma without tears right now, but one day I will be strong enough to not weep for her. He who gives me strength will heal my hurts and build me up stronger than ever before.
Do not overlook the season you are currently enduring. Whether it be one of pain, of joy, one of sadness, of excitement, or of simply waiting--take the time to praise the God of the universe for being by your side through it all. He knows what you are going through, and He sees your heart. He is a Father who takes joy in His children, smiling when they smile & holding them up when they cry. Through it all, He has your best interest in mind. ("And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28) And remember, He is always with you through all of the up's & the down's...
Now, in honor of my great-grandma's life, I wrote a poem about her. She continues to be an inspiration for me both in my life & in my writing. It is amazing how quickly the words come to you when your heart is full. This poem was finished under 15 minutes, but I think it helps to give you an idea about who she was to me! I praise God for her, I thank Him for her life, and I rejoice that she is in heaven with her Creator...
"A Poem for My Great-Grandmother."
A heart of gold and hair of silver...
Her gray eyes, how they glittered.
On special days, poems she gave.
Her little letters I now save.
She gave to me memories sweet.
And in my head, I'll always keep
The stories she once told to me
About her life and family.
Goodbye for now, we'll meet again
In the blessed promised land.
I miss you Grandma, your gentle hands,
Your soft words, & loving glance.
But your story will live on,
I won't forget your heart's sweet song.
Do you have someone special who influenced your life? Who inspires you? Did you have the chance to know your great-grandmother? Tell me in the comments below & share these special stories about your special people...
Currently Reading: The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Just Finished: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Listening to: Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling via Audible.com