Monday, June 6, 2011

In my Grandma's kitchen

When I think of faith, I think of my Grandma. My mother's mother was a woman of great faith. Born in a recently reconstructed Mississippi, she was the youngest of a large family. The depression brought them to California and a fresh start. It is where my Grandparents met and fell in love. I am their youngest grandchild, a precious spot to be in. When I was little, it was often me and them and even more often, me and my Grandma.

My Grandma taught me all about God's love for me through her love me. She put my desires first, but she still expected me to behave and help. Every night she would sit in her chair and pin her hair up in curls. Than she would write a letter to a family member and pray. She prayed for everyone she knew, but she prayed for her kids and grandkids twice a day everyday. She implored for us, she prayed blessings over us, she prayed for our futures, for our heartaches and our triumphs. She put us in God's hands.

In spite of all her prayer, she worried about everything. Anxiety was her "thorn in the flesh". Her worry would overwhelm her at times and she would cry or share her anxiety. I have often wondered how a woman of such immense faith, who put her family before God each day could be so consumed with worry. Than I realized that when she worried she would also pray, giving her worry to God.

My Grandma loved me enough to pray for my husband and my children, today her prayers surround me and go before me as I move forward. Thinking about those prayers makes me feel as safe and content as I did when she would put me down for a nap and sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children" while rubbing my back.  As a child, she and my Grandpa were my touchstones of safety and happiness.

Their deaths shocked me to the core, they died within six months of one another almost six years ago. I am just now begining to realize what the loss of their constant love meant for my Mother, sisters and I. In some ways, we are still orphans looking for a port.

My Grandma has been on my heart a lot in the past month. I keep thinking of how her prayers, her faith, have laid such a solid foundation for me. I marvel at her ability to look to the future and pray for my husband and children without knowing if she would ever see them.  That is faith. She knew that even when she left this earth, God would still be here with me, and that he would be faithful to the prayers of a woman who pleaded with him.

The other day I walked in on my Mom praying for each of her grandchildren, including my unknown child. She is carrying on the tradition that her mother set for her, and laying a foundation for the next generation or our family. She does this by faith not knowing if she will be around to see the seeds she planted in prayer bloom.

This is an amazing legacy to follow, and I am not old enough or wise enough to be as at peace and faithful as they are. I still want to see the now and am just figuring out how not to demand that God do things my way, it is almost impossible to imagine praying for things I may not see come.  However, I know that if I continue on a path of growth, I will get there. My Grandma prayed for me to be a fierce woman of God and there were many times in my twenties that I would feel bad about her wasted prayer. I did not understand that some prayers are like fine wines and take decades to age to perfection.

I am thankful to be the grandaughter and daughter of such amazing women of faith. I hope to live up to their legacy, but for now I will ponder Hebrews 11:13 "All these people were living in faith when they died, and they did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance..."

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