Saturday, November 6, 2010

Legacy


Wednesday night, I got a text from my dad saying my grandmother's surgery (to remove some gall stones) had gone wrong and to pray. I knew she was having a surgery but that the chances of something going wrong were almost zero.
I immediately hit the floor with Lake and we started praying because I knew it was bad for my dad to text me. My mom called and told me she had a massive heart attack during the surgery. Everything started spinning.

My grandmother and grandfather are 2 of the most godly people I know. I am very close to them and practically worship the ground they walk on because they have shown me Jesus my whole life. They are ONE- not two-ONE. They are never apart. He loves her like Jesus loves His Bride and they have been married for over 65 years.

One of my earliest memories is being at her house and taking a bath before bed and then her tucking me in to a bed that was so clean it smelled like bleach. Everything in her house was that clean. She would read the Bible to me. It was such a safe place. Then, I would wake up hearing gospel music playing in her kitchen while she made biscuits and gravy for me. We watched Wheel of Fortune at night and walked around her garden during the day. We would break green beans and eat fresh cucumbers. There were always roses in the rose garden. Mamaw and Papaw always argued in a fun way and loved each other in a very beautiful simple way. They were hard workers and always served others. Constantly serving at their Church and meeting any need that came into their path. They were givers. Always giving me money to buy "a hamburger". They were at every one of my softball games and every homecoming. Holidays we were all together as a family. We didn't have a big family but it was perfect. Our family is safe and full of love. Everybody loves God and each other.
They have prayed for me by name every day of my life.
My grandparents make this world more beautiful. They are righteous. They are pure. They are praiseworthy. They are lovely. They are admirable. They are noble. They are every thing we are suppose to think upon as Philippians says. (Phil 4:8)
They make me feel close to God. They make me want to be more like Jesus. I have dreaded the day something happened to them since I was a little girl.

So, when I got that phone call, my world started to spin. I live 3 hours away and can't just jump in the car and go with 4 kids. I prayed and waited. My mom called back and said the cardiologist came and said it was NOT a heart attack but they didn't know why her body started to shut down. She was in ICU on a ventilator and barely alive.

I rushed home with the children the next day crying all the way. I drove straight to the hospital. I went back into her room in intensive care. There was my precious grandmother with a breathing tube in her mouth and a million wires sticking out. She was non-responsive.
My grandfather was there in a wheel chair. I put my head on his knee and just cried while he rubbed my hair. He said, "She is the only sweetheart I have ever had". He cried when he saw her lying there with all the tubes. He seemed lost and confused. I can only imagine what that must feel like after 65 years of marriage. They truly are ONE and now he could not reach her.
(That happened once in my marriage to Tim when he got so sick he passed out and for a few seconds I could not reach him. That was the scariest feeling I have ever had.)
My grandfather told her he loved her and prayed "Your will be done, God".
I will never forget how close I felt to Jesus at that very moment.

I stayed in the room with her for hours telling her how thankful I was for her and how I loved her. I told her I wanted to be like her and love God until my last days. I read the Bible to her. It was an HONOR to be able to read the Bible over her and pray for her since she had done that for me my whole life. It felt good to serve her in any way. Sometimes one of her eyes would open barely. My sister would put chapstick on her lips which were cracking because of the vent.
(My sister is way better at handling crisis situations than me- much less emotion so she can think more clearly).
The doctor came in and told us that one of her lungs had collapsed either from CPR or the vent. They had to fix it or she would die. I lost it. I just prayed and prayed over her. I hugged her and kissed her and played with her gray hair. I kissed her bruised hands which still looked so beautiful. I sat in the hall outside her room while they inserted a tube into her chest and I just bawled until there were no more tears it seemed.
The next 2 days things seemed to go downhill. She was having much trouble breathing and now has congestion in her lungs that poses a serious threat of pneumonia. I watched her sweet little chest work hard to get oxygen.
She still wouldn't talk. Her eyes looked sad and scared. I asked her if she wanted to go to be with the Lord and she nodded. I said through tears, "It's ok. It's ok. I DO TOO!! I don't want you to leave me here. I want to go with you!".
I read her 1 Cor 15
"Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, so also there are spiritual bodies."

I told her that her new body would be full of POWER and she will be free from this tired 86 year old body.
I didn't know what to pray. I wanted to pray for healing- that was the desire of my heart but the desire of hers was to be with Jesus and freed from her suffering. I just kept asking God to be merciful and honor her as she had honored Him her whole life. To send His angels. We listened to gospel music and I sang, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know" to her. I called God by 3 of His names Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Shalom, and Jehovah Shammah.

I cried with my dad. I watched the numbers on machines going too high and too low and wanted a doctor in there the whole time so they could help her. I told her I wanted to get her out of there so she could be with Papaw at home where she belonged.


A few major things came into my mind...
1. Why do we wait for the last few minutes of someone's life to pour out our love on them and tell them all we love about them? Why do hold back until the last hours?
I don't want to do that. I don't want to live with the "if only I would have told them" thoughts. I want to tell people how thankful I am for them and all the reasons I love them NOW- not later. NOW.

2. When I am in that hospital bed with numbers going too high or too low, what legacy will I leave and who will I have impacted? Am I giving my life away for the gospel and to others? What will I leave here after I am gone that is of eternal value? Because I don't know how many more days I have. How am I living each day?

3. What will be the one thing people remember about me when they sit around talking about me at my funeral? What mark did I leave on people? What fragrance will follow me?

The Bible says our lives are like a vapor.
"For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." James 4:14

I didn't want her life to vanish away. I realized how sacred the heritage was that I was born into and was humbled wondering why I was allowed to be in such a beautiful family. I had a sense of determination and reverence that I MUST continue what had been given to me. The torch was being handed down in the spiritual realm, it felt and I was determined to take it and run by the Spirit of God.



I took my grandmother a rose and showed it to her. I told her how her life reminded me of a rose in all it's beauty. How beautiful her life was spreading the fragrance of Christ everywhere.

"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;" 1 Peter 1:24

I thought my grandmother Louise was going to die last night. But, this morning she greeted me with bright eyes and jokes. I told her God had some very important jobs left for her to do and she rolled her eyes :). I wondered if she had seen the glories of heaven as she was on her way and then my grandfather's prayers brought her back. You never know but I know she longs for heaven. So do I.

Please continue to pray for her as she is in ICU fighting for her life. She has congestion in her lungs and struggles to breathe but the doctors think she is going to make a full recovery (or they did at 11 am). It seems like we are going 2 steps forward and one back. Please pray for God to send His angels to care for her.
I will be thrilled if He heals her and gets her back home with my grandfather.

I teach the girls in the conferences how creation is waiting on the Bride of Christ to be revealed. I kept thinking of the song, "Here comes the Bride" while I was with her. She will be dressed in white because Revelation says that our wedding gowns are made up of righteous acts. I cannot imagine how beautiful my grandmother's wedding gown will be.. I know a Vera Wang will pale in comparison.
I want my wedding gown to be beautiful like my grandmother Louise's.
"Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)"
Rev 19:8

The end of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24 ends with "she became his wife, and he loved her". That is how the story will end with my grandparents. She is a beautiful bride and her groom loves her.

What a picture of Jesus Christ and His Bride my grandparents are to me.

So incredibly thankful and humbled~

Steph

10 comments:

B ~ said...

so beautiful ~ thank you for sharing this ~

Anonymous said...

Breathtaking!

Hopeful Housewife said...

I have a confession....I am a "google reader stalker" but I have come out to say thank you for sharing this! My husband stared at me in disbelief as I bawled reading this today. What a beautiful testimony of love and faith. I am praying for your sweet grandparents! Thank you!

linda said...

Amen and Amen - To God Be The Glory
We are praying for her and your family at this time.
Blessings
Linda Marsh
Ocala, Fla.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written - as always! You, your family and your grandmother are in my prayers!

Love - Teresa

Steffani said...

You have been so blessed to have so many wonderful years with your grandparents...but the time we have never seems long enough! I have lost several loved ones, and walking "through the valley of the shadow of death" is one of the hardest things ever. I will pray for you! <3 ~Steffani W.

jmason said...

Praying for your grandparents!

Anonymous said...

how is your grandmother doing now?

Anonymous said...

Praying for you in VA ~

Cindy at Some Really Neat Stuff said...

I hope you don't mind but I cryed through your whole post. It started with that beautiful picture of your grandparents. I'll be praying for both of your grandparents and for you and the rest of your family too.