Tuesday, July 24, 2007

my Grandma.

*note - this is lengthy!*

As most of you probably know, my Grandma Carlson has not been doing well. Yesterday my mom called me and said that Grandma wasn't waking up and that if we wanted to see her before she passed away we should come down soon. Aaron and I decided to head down to the cities yesterday afternoon.

My grandma is not a Christian, and I had intended to send her a letter reminding her of Jesus' love a couple weeks ago. I never got around to writing or sending the letter (bad granddaughter!), so as we drove down the freeway I told God that if he wanted me to say something to Grandma He would have her wake up while we were down there.

We arrived at my aunts house and Jen and Mom and I went in to see Grandma. She is very weak and in much pain, and has a hard time breathing due to emphysema. She was sleeping. We spent the next hour or so chatting with family and going to check on Grandma. I told Jen about my prayer, and she, too, felt like she wanted to say something to Grandma about Jesus if she had the chance.

After a while we decided to head out to get some supper, and then my mom came out into the living and said "Grandma is awake if you want to come see her." We all went into her room and were talking to her, all she could really say was "yes" and "no" because it was hard for her to talk. I knew that God had given me an opportunity, but I was wasn't wanting to say anything in front of all of those people. So, we said our good-byes to Grandma and we were getting ready to leave. Jen came up to me and said "we need to go say something." And a moment later everyone had left the room and we knew we had to go talk to her.

My parents have told Grandma about how Jesus saves and how we can go to heaven and be with him if we repent of our sins, so we didn't need to tell her the whole story again. Plus, I think that would have been a tad bit overwhelming for her. I simply said "Grandma, Jesus loves you" and something else about heaven, I'm not sure what exactly. Jen said "Grandma, we love you, and so does Jesus." Grandma looked over at us and nodded her head, so we knew she heard us.

At this point Jen said she was thinking "Grandma could have given her life over to God right now, and he can still change her at this very moment." We were leaving, and Jen said "Bye Grandma, I love you." Grandma said "I love you too dear."

If you know our relationship with my grandma at all, this is a poignant moment. My grandma has never once said that she loved any of us, at least, not that we can remember. Our relationship with her is pretty distant. So for her to say "I love you" sent me, my mom, and mostly Jen into tears.

On our way back up to Duluth I called my Grandma Flavin and started telling her this story. After I told her about my initial prayer, she stopped me and said "You need to know that this morning I woke up with a heavy burden to pray for your grandma, and I prayed all day today that somehow somebody would be able to reach her today and talk to her about Jesus today."

So...it is very possible that in that moment my Grandma realized Jesus' love and that she gave her life to Him. I really really hope that she did. I hope that her saying "I love you" was an outward expression of a change that happened inside her heart. I hope that when I go to heaven she is there - wouldn't that be awesome?!

And what a reminder that maybe people just need to know that Jesus loves them.


Aimee said...

Thanks for sharing this story, Katie. I can't even imagine how heartsick you all have been about whether or not she's accepted Jesus' love. We'll continue to pray that she sees His love through your family and that she's kept comfortable. We'll also pray that God gives you guys peace that you've done all you can to witness to her. It'll be so wonderful when we get to heaven and see the faces of those who have made decisions for Christ as a result of Him shining through us. : )

Anonymous said...

Dearest Katie,
You brought me to tears reading this and we will continue to be praying for your family during this difficult time. Having just seen my own Grandma recently, I can relate to your feelings in some ways. My Grandma is 95 and isn't able to walk, but sits in a wheelchair all day long. She doesn't talk much either, but she does say some words at times.

I also can only imagine your burden at this time, but like your Grandma Flavin said, you may be surprised to see your Grandma Carlson in heaven some day. God is so good and we can't even begin to fathom His goodness and love for us. I am reminded of that daily when I realize how unworthy I am of any of His blessings - and believe me - I have been truly blessed with many and I surely don't understand it.

We will keep you in our prayers in the coming days and trust the Lord will comfort you, Aaron, your Mom and Dad, and Jen and Gary also. Thank you for sharing such a personal time with everyone. We love you.
Mom and Dad P.

Anonymous said...

i think i might cry again. :) I LOVE YOU KATIE!! so you know how in you've got mail, "you've got mail" are 3 very powerful words??? well, in the flavin family, "i love you" are 3 very powerful words, right? i hope that was a sign from God.