This has been an emotional week for me and another week of learning just how far I have grown as a Christian and in my faith and trust in God. The beginning of the week my mom called and told me my almost 90-year-old grandma, who is a strong Christian woman was in the ICU with the flu and pneumonia. I was so saddened by this news.
My grandma lived less than a mile from me growing up, but I didn’t get much of an opportunity to spend time with her or my grandpa because of religious differences between my family and my grandparents. It wasn’t until a couple years after Brain and I walked away from Mormonism that I really began to realize the role my grandparents had in me coming to Christ and that they were Christians. My grandparents found out about us leaving the LDS church by running into us at the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon. The church we attended at the time was 30 minutes from home and was in a bigger town with more options for grocery stores and other shopping. I remember when we saw my grandma at the store, she was so surprised to see us! Brian was working that day, but she was so surprised when I told her we had been attending a Christian Church in town and we had realized the problems with Mormonism. She told me her and my grandpa had been praying for all of us kids our whole lives. She told me they always attended our baptisms and church things they were invited to, to be supportive, but they always prayed that God would open our eyes to the truth. It was awesome to know I was an answered prayer for my grandparents.
Just a few years after seeing my grandma at the grocery store, my grandparents decided to sell their home in our small town and travel around the United States, taking time to visit their kids that lived all over. It was sad to see them go just when I started to have a close relationship with them. I felt so blessed that my kids were able to know my grandparents. After Brian and I became Christian, we had some of the most amazing and in-depth conversations with my grandparents, and especially my grandpa. I learned a lot about my grandparents in a short time and they gained an extra special place in my heart.
Growing up, all I knew about them is they weren’t Mormon, and they drank coffee. As a child in my head that made them not very good people. As an adult, and a Christian, I was humbled by the love they had for God and for their family. I remember a conversation I had with my grandpa on one of their visits home, he said he had my back, even with my family and if I was having a hard time because they didn’t support my choice to be a Christian he would stick up for me and even talk to my dad for me. It felt good to know I had an ally.
My grandpa passed away almost 6 years ago, and I miss him so much. I haven’t had to face death very much in my life. I remember feeling so sad and bitter when my grandpa passed away. When I heard about my grandma, I was sad, but I had a conversation with my husband, and then the next morning on my way to work, I had a conversation with God, I knew that she was in pain and suffering. My grandma was able to come and visit us this past summer and it was so nice to see her. I didn’t spend the time with her I wish I would have. But I know she said it has been hard without grandpa around. She has lived a great life. My prayer to God was, “Your will be done.”
When grandma passed away, I was sad that I didn’t get to know her more, sad I didn’t send the pictures, I always meant to send, sad I didn’t call or write more. I was sad for me, but the first thought that came to my head was the song “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. I knew that Grandma was in Heaven with Jesus and grandpa. The Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The next song I thought of was “Home” by Chris Tomlin. Grandma was Home and happy. And although, I was sad for me. I couldn’t help but be excited and happy for her.
It made me think, I am so grateful to be a Christian and to know I am saved. I have a lot of atheist and agnostic friends, and I can’t imagine living life without a belief in an afterlife or feeling uncertain of what that is. I am also so grateful I don’t have to worry or hope that I have done enough to make it to Heaven. All that needed to be done was done on the Cross. I just have to accept Christ as my Savior. I know my grandma is home and I will see her again.
I’m just a Small Town Girl… Living in a world where Heaven is certain.