My grandfather was a special, kind, hard-working man. Growing up, I have so many memories of us playing scrabble with Grandma, picking and frying dandelion for a treat, and spending so many days together as a family.
A few years ago, as my grandma’s dementia grew worse, my grandparents became in need of some extra care. Soon, they ended up in a nearby nursing home together. On July 3, 2018, Grandma ended her race here on earth. To keep Grandpa company in the years that followed, my daughter Sailor and I continued to visit him. You could tell sweet Sailor being around made him feel young again.
Then COVID hit. The nursing home went on lockdown to try to protect the elderly. And while we were so thankful Grandpa was kept safe, 14 slow months ticked by, in which Grandpa’s health declined and the discovery and worsening of dementia set in.
Then on May 15, 2021, Grandpa went home with Jesus and to be reunited with the love of his life, my Grandma. Death is always hard, but this hit me particularly hard, because I lost 14 months of my Grandpa’s life and I didn’t have a choice in it. The grief of missed memories, outside of my control, broke my heart.
But in one of the evenings that followed his passing, while I was in a puddle of tears, God sent me a sunset.
Sunsets always stop me in my tracks. They are so breathtaking and for the few minutes that pink and orange overtake the sky, nothing else matters except for God. Just God. And on this night, it turned my hurting to thankfulness.
I soaked in the colors and thanked God for all the years I did get to spend with my Grandpa. I looked at the brilliant sky in amazement that the God of the universe shows up for us in our mess. With this beautiful, gentle reminder, I was assured that I was not alone in my grief. I was seen by Him. And I’m so grateful for that! Grateful for the hope, the promise, that one day we will all be reunited in Heaven together. What a reunion that will be!
Even in our darkest moments, we are not alone. King David, who experienced grief throughout his lifetime wrote in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
If you are living through a moment of heartache, know that you are seen by the creator of the universe. Even right now, He is here with you, working out His master plan for your life! I challenge you to write out a prayer simply thanking God for being with you in your struggle, and encourage you to never stop looking for those sweet, gentle encouragements from Him that you are not alone.
Janelle lives in Maine with her husband Matthew, daughter Sailor Grace, and baby boy due in September. Her passion for Jesus and sharing His love with others led her to Mary & Martha almost one year ago, and it has been such a special blessing in her life to help spread hope, truth, and joy to so many through this opportunity.
You can learn more about how you can be a Consultant and share your story just like Janelle by visiting your Consultant’s website or going to www.maryandmartha.com/join.