Sometimes, finding the right words to express what I feel is hard. I don’t know if there are words to adequately describe the events of the last week. Saying goodbye to my Grandmother this past week has been one of the hardest weeks to endure of my life. Seeing my father standing over her casket and crying is a hard thing to witness. Death has a way of bringing out the best in people during this time. Many times true love is shown, servants hearts are made and true friendships are revealed. It is a time that hearts are revealed. It is also a time of short tempers, unkind words and the ugliness of pride and control can sneak in between family members. I have always heard that true character is always revealed during hardship. Well, as I am reflecting on the past week events, I am searching for the lessons to be learned .
My Grandmother was a Proverbs 31 woman if there ever was one that walked this earth. As I was by her bed side all day Tuesday and holding her hand much of the time, memories flashed back and forth in my mind.
As a child going to visit my Grandparents was always a joyous time. My Grandfather was always the center of attention. There were always people in their small home, laughter and old stories always centered around big family dinners. There were never harsh words spoken in their home. There was always such a feeling of love, acceptance and playful joy from every corner of their home. We would laugh, talk and share. I always felt safe there.
My Grandfather was a Pastor for 55 years. There was never a time in their home that I did not learn more about Jesus. Never entered their home that I did not hear a prayer at some point during the visit. I see the plaques in stores today that say Jesus is the center of our home, well, there was no visible plaque in their home BUT all who entered the threshold knew that Jesus was indeed the center of their home.
If there is one theme that resides this week with me , it is over and over I heard that my Grandmother was such a kind and sweet woman. Quiet and reserved but a prayer warrior. Everyone says that they can never remember a time that they ever heard her complain. Ever ~ What a legacy she left to all who knew her. We could all use more of this beautiful characteristic of her. When harsh words were spoken around her, she would smile and show love still. She taught us that love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it is not self seeking and it holds no records of wrong. It encourages, it endures and it last….. it last long after death.
One friend of Grandma’s shared with me that she was in a circle of people and the speaker was asking each one to share a precious memory or one of the happiest times that you can remember. Without a seconds thought, she raised her hands in the air and said her happiest day was when she found Jesus. How I smiled. It says it all. As I write this, let me say I hope we all find Jesus. More of Jesus everyday ~
Tuesday night was the last time I saw her. I just remember kissing her face and hands. It was as if I couldn’t get enough of her at that moment because I knew it might be the last one. She was so very tired and she was struggling so to breath. Even with the oxygen mask and breathing treatments , there are times she was gasping for air. She opened her eyes once and gave me a strong squeeze as I was holding her hand one last time and as I was pouring out “I love you’s” to her, thanking her for being the best grandmother to me .
I know she has taken the most amazing journey now and that God is with her now. She now knows true peace. Her suffering has ended and she has been given the words, “WELL DONE, MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT” many times. I wish I could just be on the sideline to have heard them. I know that we will see her again. The words of their dear friend, Pastor McMasters keeps ringing through my head from her funeral. This life is temporary, so short compared to eternity. We who have the Lord will be reunited with her again for eternity. Those of us that don’t serve the Lord will never see her again so say your final goodbyes. Even at her funeral, there was an invitation to make sure all knew the Lord. The more of my loved ones that are in Heaven with each passing one, the more I long to be there with my Lord and my family.
This world is not our home . We are just passing through. We are citizens of Heaven, thanks to the redeeming shed blood of our Savior. If there is one thing I ask of the Lord, one thing that I seek from this life of 97 years of this precious woman is that we learn from it. We love instead of react. We let many things go. Let the hurts of the past go. Let the pain of the past go. Place them at the foot of the cross once and for all. I know there is a time for everything. Without darkness we would not know light and without death we would not recognize the wonderful miracle of life. Death is a fate for us all and none can bypass it unless our Lord decides to return before we die. There were times that I pictured death as a curtain closing upon us marking the end. Now, I see it as more of the opening of a curtain revealing the beginning . It is the beginning of life everlasting. It really is just the beginning of life with the one who is the way and the truth and the life ~ The only life I care to know, a life with Jesus.
There is a promise that I have made to her, to myself and more importantly to my Lord from this past week. It is a promise of restoration, a promise that I will continuously seek out ones that are hurting and encourage them. I will continue to see a need and meet it. I will be a difference maker for my Lord and my family name, “GOZA.” The beautiful name of an Italian heritage. My Grandparent’s, they started a legacy for the Lord many years ago when that went into the ministry. May each one of us that has their DNA running through our veins pick up the flaming torch where they left off in their journey. May we live with a purpose. May we focus on eternity.
Lord, use each one of us. Our talent, our strengths, our gifts that you have given us to continue this legacy that they started. One person at a time. May we be a part in leading the lost and the hopeless to you. Increase our love and passion so that we will be difference makers for you. Thank you for the examples that you gave us here on earth through my Grandparents. There were truly a blessing and they are the biggest reason I am standing here today knowing that you Lord are my foundation on which I stand.
Just like the song we chose to honor her life with , She is resting high on that mountain. Her work on Earth is done. She has gone to Heaven shouting her love for the Father and the Son. I miss you already ~ Keep looking for me MeMa because when I get there, I will be looking for you too ~