Friday, April 23, 2010
A Woman Of Strength
I have been so blessed throughout my life with incredible examples of Christian women, but the person who influenced me the most was my Grammy. My Grammy was a woman of true strength, because she did not find strength in herself, rather she found her strength in her Father. She loved deeply, compassionately and without fear! She never missed an opportunity to share the word with someone else. My Grammy was a person that always put God first in everything that she did. She went out of her way to make sure that we each felt important every day. She was not only my faith giant, but she was also my best friend. Although, I am a Bible major at Oklahoma Christian, no one will ever be able to teach me more about ministry then she did simply by how she lived her life.
On February 9, 2007 I was told that my Grammy had inoperable and incurable brain cancer. At best she had twelve months to live. At the time she was only 55 years old. My spirit was utterly crushed! All that kept running through my mind that night was I can't live without her! This can't be happening! I didn't go to the hospital that night, because I wanted to somehow pull it together before she saw me. As soon as I saw her I started bawling. I curled up in her bed & laid my head on her chest & just sobbed. I will never forget what she said that day..."kk, promise me something! Promise me win or lose you will get up & you will praise Him!"
Throughout the next two months I watched her suffer an unbelievable painful death! Once we were told she was dying she never got out of bed again. She lost her ability to walk, and talk, she couldn't even lift her own hands. Watching her die every day was so miserable, but the promise I had made to her was always in the back of my mind...I will praise Him win or lose... regardless of circumstance. After watching her hurt for so long I honestly began to pray that the Lord would just take her home! I couldn't take watching her hurt anymore! The day I told her goodbye I told her that she didn't need to fight for me anymore! I didn't want her to leave me, but somehow, someway, I would be okay, simply because she had taught me how to get through unbearable trials! She had taught me to find my peace in the Lord and to give him my struggles. I would often sing to her, because I didn't know what to say. That day I sang the song "It is well with my soul." As I sang tears poured down my cheeks. I knew the value of what I was saying. I was surrendering my pain and heartache to the Lord so that I could praise Him in the midst of the most painful storm I had ever encountered.
Three years later the pain is the same! So much has happened in the past three years that I wish more then anything she had been a part of. I graduated high school, started dating, started college, and buried my precious little Lexi. I once again find myself in a storm that I cannot begin to see my way through, but this time I find myself in this place alone! Up until now my Grammy has carried me through my struggles by gently and passionately reminding me who I belong to and where I am going. This time, I must face the destruction on my own. She can't do this for me! But even though she can't do this for me, she taught me how to do this on my own. In her short life she taught me how to give all that I have to my Father and allow Him to carry me through this. She taught me how to live my life for Him, she taught me how to die for Him, and she taught me how to climb down in the trenches and walk through peoples' struggles with them. I will never forget the legacy she left and the advice she gave me throughout my life. I was given all the tools that I need to face anything that comes my way through her example! When I was a little girl she would sing the song "Make me a servant" to me. The older I got the more I began to pray that God would do whatever it took to change me into the woman He wanted me to be. I never knew how painful that prayer could possibly be! With growth comes pain! Sometimes almost unbearable pain, but I know that to overcome these trials I must surrender my burdens to the Lord. I have to give Him my pain & once again allow Him to heal my broken heart.
The Easter before my Grammy died she gave me a ring. A ring that I wear every day. It says with love and was originally for me to take with me when I went into the mission field in Honduras. Now, I am doing local mission in the inner city parts of Tulsa. Every time I look at my ring I remember to take her with me. I take with me her love for the Lord, her love for others, and her focus on eternity. Until I am able to meet her at the gates of Heaven I will continue to fight to leave a legacy that changed eternity. Not because of who I am, but because of who He is! Tomorrow has been three years since we said goodbye. Although it is not any easier, I have a promise that I will see her again. Faith is the substance of things hoped for & the evidence of this unseen.
"In hard times you do not get to quit ministry! It is in the midst of the hard times that you push ministry into overdrive!" - Grammy; Theresa Kennedy
"Make me a servant. Lord make me like you. For you are a servant. Make me one too. Make me a servant. Do what you must do. To make me a servant make me like you"
1 Corinthians 4:18 "For we do not focus on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!"