Paw Paw, my grandfather, used to sing this song to me before I went to sleep. Sometimes I randomly think of this song, and I try to remember what I can about my grandfather. In my eyes, Paw Paw was fearless. He was wise. He knew how to do everything. He knew the answers to all my questions. He could teach me anything I wanted to learn. To him there wasn't a thing in the world that I couldn't do. I could be an astronaut, teacher, president, artist, writer... i could change the world.. and he'd do what he could to help me get there. I think he really helped shape my teachable spirit. I think one of his favorite sayings was "Study Hard, Don't Hardly Study."
Paw paw passed away my sophomore year of high school. That definitely wasn't my first encounter with death. I think I better than any kid recognized my own mortality. As a 16 year old in high school, I always pictured my paw paw at my graduation.he used to always send me letters, I imagined a letter correspondence through college, At my wedding.. I don't think I cared who else would be there.. I wanted him to be. I think I remember when he was in the hospital for all those months pleading with God. That last visit, I knew it was coming. I remember leaving the nursing home and feeling such urgency in making sure I said goodbye to him. That I hugged him. That next week when he died, the phone rang at 630 am. I laid in bed waiting for my mom to bring me the phone. Trying to somehow prepare myself for what I had known was coming for weeks. It doesn't work. Those next couple weeks of grief and dealing with the loss of my paw paw, viewings, funerals, and such. As I grew in anger with the Lord he was preparing me for the day he would capture my heart.
My parents wanted me to go to a therapist. I'd done that a lot in my past.. and was finally old enough to say no. I don't want to. They encouraged me to talk to someone... maybe someone from the church or school. I made a deal with them that i'd find someone. I'm not sure how it all went down exactly but I ended up leaving Richmond Hill during spring break with Kristin- whom my parents didn't know nor did they know anything about her. Kristin took me with her youth group on Spring Break Trip to IHOP Atl and UGA Wesley (& leadership) & Rescue Atlanta
We knew each other through a prayer meeting. She was excited for me to see some prayer meetings. I had a bit of a different agenda going on. I was angry with God. I still prayed. I still read my bible..I was a christian, but i was tired of it. I guess it was the typical struggle with Death. We spent a lot of time in the prayer room... I said I hated God. I said I hated him for the way he took away the one person I wanted to be around. I said I didn't want to believe in Him anymore. He wasn't real. After lunch that day we went into prophetic ministry- at the time I thought it was just some of kristin's friends coming to chat with us. About this time I said I was through. It was over. I didn't know what I was going to do but I knew that if God loved me he would have given me just this one thing. That after all the crap from life- I'd have this one person who loved me. Who was on my team. This one thing. Then a girl pointed me out and said "His banner over you is love." In every circumstance no matter what's going on - What God thinks of you its all in love.
I had said I hated God because he took away the one that loved me. Then he told me he is the one that loved me. He's the one that has always loved me and always will love me.
From then on I clung to that love. If I know nothing else about God.. If I didn't know his faithfulness, if I didn't know His healing powers, if I didn't know His power. His grace. his mercy... I know His love. As I read the bible I now saw his love in every story. I'm ruined for His love. Though I was angry about this absence He seemed to create in my life, i'm now amazed by His presence.