The role of a grandmother brings with it a legacy to pass on to the women who follow.
The grandfather leads by example in life skills, in faith and in strength. The grandmother nurtures, she teaches how to listen, to be gentle, humble and gracious and to be a woman filled with faith. The grandfather takes on responsibility for the wellbeing of his family, for making decisions and for ensuring that he walks alongside his family, not dragging them behind. He invests his very soul into praying for every individual member of the generations who follow and encourages his wife to do the same. The grandmother is wise, she guides through her intuition and leads her husband in a way that does not intrude on who he is. She prays with all her might, inspires and gently encourages all whom she meets.
Both, together, serve one another and take delight in discipling their children and grandchildren. As a team they walk as one and as old age takes hold of them both they continue to put the other’s needs first – enticing a smile or a laugh and making sure the other’s heart is content so that they can be a shining light to others.
In all of these things, my grandparents were the lifeblood of our family. They fulfilled their roles in their very beings because at their core they had faith. Their every breath was an inspiration and now that they are both at home with the Lord, I miss them greatly. I am determined with all of my might to continue the legacy they gave us.
I’ve entered a season in my life that is completely new to me by one definition alone: I don’t know what’s next. I have always had ambitions, aims, goals and planned paths to help me get to where I wanted to go but I find myself in the slightly baffling position of having achieved what I wanted to by this age. In one sense, that is an incredible blessing but in another sense it leaves me feeling a little lost.
So I ask – what’s next? I have no defined journey to work towards and no comfort from knowing where I’m going because I’m there. I got to my destination. I had never really considered much past this point.
I’m living life without knowing: without knowing where I’m going, what’s next, how I’m going to get there or how I’m going to feel like I’m still achieving and learning new things. I’m not trusting in my own ability to get somewhere nor am I trusting in time to work in my favour, which leaves me trusting in the only one who knows what’s next for me: God.
It’s probably a good place to be because in my ‘not knowing’ I am left with no choice but to place my life in His hands. I have no clue what I’m stepping into so I’m thankful that I have someone walking alongside me. I am hoping that I learn how to live life without knowing in a way that is fulfilling and I am also hoping that as and when a little direction comes my way, I don’t forget how to take each step in faith.
This verse has had layers of meaning added to it over recent weeks. It has popped up often in my quiet times, in conversation and at a conference I went to recently.
It reminds me that no matter what I may do and say, no matter what priorities push to the fore and no matter what stage of life I am at, there is one thing that remains the same: I serve the Lord. Regardless of the goals I have for myself, for us as a couple or for our future family, we serve the One who made us.
It is a declaration over my household and to all who enter that we are made to live for God and it is a challenge to me to make time in my daily schedule to spend time with my Father to bring my perspective in line with His. When I do that, the definition of a life well lived is realigned and falls according to how willingly I’m bringing God into my every day.
Joshua knew where his allegiance lay. He was speaking to God’s chosen people and even they had forgotten the great I Am and all that He had done for them. There was no shame in Joshua’s declaration. For me, it is a promise not only for myself but for my family, that those who live under our roof serve the Lord and as such, our relationship with Him becomes our priority.
When my husband is having a tough time, it truly breaks my heart. It is as though my own soul is being torn apart. That makes sense really when you consider that he is the person I treasure most on this earth. He is an extension of me and therefore it comes as no surprise that what he feels, I feel. When he’s anxious, I’m a complete fidget, abuzz with his nerves. When he’s happy, I’m giddy with joy. When he’s sad, I cry.
So when there is very little I can do to make things better, I feel powerless.
A wonderful friend who has walked through so many highs and lows of life with me, text me a beautiful encouragement yesterday. She understands that the reason I’m hurting is because I care about him to the core of who I am, but her following words were a little insight into my heart:
“You love him and you desire good for him. But you are his partner, his helper; you are not his saviour.”
What wisdom. I cannot possibly make everything right for him on my own. I am only human. It is easy in marriage to assume the responsibility of being everything to your spouse but that isn’t what we’re supposed to be; everything cannot rest on one flawed human being.
I was made to be by his side, to help him, support him, encourage him and love him with all of my being. But releasing me from the duty of saving him is quite a revelation. Our friends, our family and our God all play huge roles in who we become. We’ll walk this life, through its mountaintops and valleys, together.