This picture popped up on my time-hop this morning, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. It was the last photo that I ever took with my grandfather before he passed away. I feel like I should at least have a slight twinge of pain when I see this image as I grieve what “once was,” but instead, I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I stop to remember my Papaw.
I am grateful to have been loved by such an incredible man of God. Never have I known someone who loved the Lord so purely, so passionately, so fiercely and so completely.
I am grateful that his legacy lives in me. I am grateful for the example he set, and I strive daily to imitate his walk with Lord in my own life.
I am grateful for the memories he gave me – summer vacations, family holidays, snuggles in his office, Wednesday dinners followed by Awana at church.
I am grateful for the stories he told me and the sense of belonging that came from them. I will always feel a deep connection to the hills of Eastern Kentucky if for no other reason than the stories he shared.
I am grateful for his strength. So many times throughout the past year when I’ve felt like my own strength has been completely depleted, I have remembered the incredible resilience of my grandfather and that the same strength runs through my veins. I, of course, know that it’s the Lord who gives strength, but my grandfather was a living testimony to that truth.
I am grateful for his wisdom. So many times, I have longed to seek his advice or to have him pray over me. He sought the Lord in every decision he made, so I know that he would have guidance for the hard stuff.
I am grateful that he was there the day I got married. I am grateful that he held both of my sweet babies, and that I heard him speak their names.
I am grateful that even though they will never know him, my children are a part of his legacy. I want so desperately for them to love the Lord the way HE loved the Lord. He’s not here to show them, so it’s my turn to be the example.
Those are some impossibly big shoes to fill, but I am so grateful for a man who set the bar so high. I am grateful for the opportunity to keep his legacy alive. I am grateful that in the middle of an ordinary Tuesday, one photo can stop my in my tracks and force me to take a moment to celebrate the life of one of the greatest men I have ever known.
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