This past week, my mom contacted me to tell me my great grandmother had passed away at the age of 97. After a busy weekend of ministry, I made the flight home to be with my family and attend the funeral. I’ve had a lot of time to process her passing, but I also have been thinking a lot about her life.

I spent many days and nights with my great grandma, especially when I was young. I’d often stay overnight at her house while my parents were out. She’d feed me a ton of food, we’d talk and read the Bible together, and she would teach me things. I loved helping her out too, and I was able to do so the older I got. I remember going over to her house each year to help her decorate for Christmas. She would often yell at me to be careful as I hung lights from her back porch. I really love my great grandma!

She is the mother of my mom’s dad. For those of you who know me well, you may recognize my mom’s dad. He was one of the strongest men in my life. I credit much of who I am to my grandfather. This was the woman who gave birth to him and raised him to become the man I looked up to so much. She and my great grandfather were the ones who helped my grandpa understand Jesus at a young age and prayed for him to grow into the man he became.

People often talk about the idea of leaving a legacy. I’ve even spoken about it, but it wasn’t until recently that I began to understand what it is all about in connection to spirituality. If my great grandparents had not understood who Jesus was and accepted Him long ago, my grandfather may not have done the same. And my mother may not have followed suit. And where would that leave me? While I have always held my grandfather in high regard, I now hold my great grandparents in equally high regard.

I don’t know when God will take me home to be with Him forever. While I do long to be in heaven, I know there is still a lot of work to do right here on earth. But when He does, I hope I can leave a legacy behind like my great grandma. I pray that my future kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and extended family will be in love with Jesus and making an impact for Him in this world. I pray that my students are still going strong in their faith and are leaving a legacy of their own.

My great grandma lived a really long life, and I owe her a lot. She taught me how to read the Bible. She began to teach me how to write cursive. She taught me a lot about cooking. She taught me what it was like to show hospitality to others. She taught me a lot about perseverance, as life was not always perfect for them. She showed me the importance of being involved and serving in the local church. She taught me how to use my gifts for God’s kingdom. She taught me how to live a life dedicated to serving God and others. She taught me how to leave a legacy.

For all of this, I am eternally grateful for this amazing woman of God that I get to call my great grandma!

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