For almost a month I woke up daily between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. I learned from previous lessons and encounters that this usually means a shift is headed my way and I need to be covered. When I say I need to be covered, I mean that I need to spend some intentional time seeking God’s face and growing deeper in the word, so as God woke me up each morning I prayed and spent time with Him. I must admit that sometimes I was half asleep, other times I was bright eyed and bushy tailed but without fail – I prayed every time he woke me up. As time went on the praying earlier than normal slowed and became intermittent, so much so that I would still wake up and pray but I was not waking up so early. At the same time, I felt a sense of urgency to finish a project I was working on and I can say that I finished the task slightly ahead of schedule. After a while, I began to wonder if I truly needed to continue to do so as nothing had come and the urge to wake and pray had slowed.
On August 23rd, things began to fall into place. I woke up and tried to get about my day, the same as usual but for whatever reason, the day was moving along slow and things felt “off”. Around 1:45 pm I got a call from my mom, that changed my life forever. My mom told me my grandma was unresponsive. Initially, it did not register, I just sat there and I remember saying, “What do you mean she’s unresponsive? Is she sick? Are you about to head to the hospital? What are you saying?” Then my mom repeated it again, “She is not responding and I did not want you to find out on Facebook” and then, it hit me. My breath caught in my throat and it felt like I was about to convulse or something. No, I think a better description would be short, loud, successive gasps and I struggled to form sentences. I could hear my mom trying to console me and my daughter grabbed the phone at this point. I just sat there for a second, crying feeling like someone had just stolen all of the oxygen from the room like I was stuck in an unending tunnel.
I quickly regained my composure, comforted my children and headed out to pick up my younger daughters from school. This all happened in less than 2 minutes, but I promise it felt like I sat there for hours. I realize that my emotions are still stuck in that moment because I have not had an opportunity to breathe yet, I have not had an opportunity to fully process it – I had to keep going because life kept going. Though I know I have to hold it together, I also know it is imperative that I process this loss.
Over a year ago, God told me I needed to spend more time with my Grandma and my family back home, I listened. For the last month when God kept waking me to pray and gave me the urgency to finish the project I was working on, he was preparing me for August 23rd. As I sit here today, I am so grateful I listened.
The purpose of this post is not to truly process the loss of my Grandma, but instead to say I am grateful that I heeded God’s urges. Because I did, I spent the last 2 years spending as much time with her as I could. Because I did she knows I am an author. Because I did, I finally heard her tell me she was proud of me. Because I did, I finished my first book before she left this earth. Because I did she had a chance to watch my girls grow. Because I did she witnessed how much we love God and how we serve. Because I did, she left knowing her life and sacrifices were not in vain. For that, I am eternally grateful to God.
I hope you leave this post with 2 takeaways.
- Spend as much time with your loved ones as possible. I am blessed. My grandma was with us for 77 years, and she knew all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but some of you reading this post may not be here tomorrow, let alone 77 years. Take advantage of this moment, do not put anything off until tomorrow if you can do it today, do it. Tomorrow is truly not promised.
- If God tells you to do something, do it. You will either be grateful you did, or wish you had listened. As I look back on how much happened in this last year and ponder what if I had put it off, I would be full of sorrow; instead, I can rejoice. I miss my granny, but I thank God for these last 2 years!
Gone but not forgotten.