One of the great things about getting older is having experience. Specifically, faith experience to see when God’s hand has touched your life. How He has guided. Little nudges all along the way, bringing a Wow happening, helping us to understand. Faith is little by little. It grows.
One of my faith experiences is knowing He brought my “adopted grandmother” Sweet Jean and myself together over 22 years ago. Today would have been her 91st birthday.
We met my first job out of college when I was 23 and she was 68. And we stuck. Helping Jean clean out her house before moving to assisted living I asked her what life advice she has. Without hesitation she said:
“Trust in the Lord, He will take care of you.” She spoke in a gentle and knowing manner, the pace of her words steady.
Jean was concerned about running out of money, it was close in the end, but she didn’t. He took care of her. Never married and no children, I helped bridge the gap. And towards the end I was her advocate in declining health. Giving Jean’s eulogy was one of my best moments. But not until I was driving to her funeral did I realize how God orchestrated us together some 22 years prior. I looked up and said aloud “You knew all along it would be me!” He will take care of you.
In the last year of Jean’s life, I asked her, “Jean, what is the difference between faith and trust.”
And even through the hazes of dementia she said, “Well, faith is something you put everything into.” Yes, that is what I’ve been learning. You have to put everything… All.
In my very last conversation with Jean I shared a scripture I had recently learned “Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfector of our faith.” Later in the conversation she said “Well, maybe we’ll make it.” I said “Yes, we will make it!” And Faith…sometimes you need to borrow a little. No matter how long you have believed, I’ve learned sometimes we all need a little encouragement or uplift.
Early in my photo project I shared with Jean my frustration on all the little things with trying to figure out how to take my photos and turn them into something. I was asking myself how important this was to me and I realized if I didn’t do it, no one else was going to.
She said: “I think you’ll do it.” In her slow and steady voice, knowing. Close to 2 years later, I have kept with it. Faith. Yes, we will make it.
Today I think of my sweet Jean and it’s not painful tears of miss. It’s embracing and reliving the beautiful moments of love. Live. Breathe. Alive. To make it, it takes faith. He will take care of you.
Yes, we’ll make it.
LiveBreatheAlive.com Blog: Pursuit of the Cross series: Designed to encourage others to seek and see the cross in everyday life.