“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” Proverbs 31:29 (KJV)
Recently, my great-grandmother, Sally Louvenia Rosemond (affectionately known as “Grandma Dearborn”) passed away. I am still getting adjusted to the fact that I will not see her again until we meet in Heaven, and I fear what her death may mean to the family, because she was our family’s pillar next to Jesus. As I sit and reflect on her life, what I knew of her, and what was revealed to me at her homegoing services, I come away with a new desire and sense of purpose for my walk with God. It’s now or never, and I want to do my best for Jesus Christ, just like Grandma Dearborn did.
The following lessons, I’ve learned from Grandma Dearborn:
Keep Jesus first, ALWAYS
Grandma was definitely a woman of faith, and of faithfulness. She loved Jesus, had repented of her sins, was baptized in Jesus’ name, and filled with the Holy Ghost just like the Bible says in Acts 2:38. But she didn’t let her salvation experience end there; she went on to develop a close and deep walk with the Lord. She was a woman of prayer, as my cousins, aunts, and uncles said, there were many times you walked to hear her praying, and you could feel the presence of God when you walked in her house. She instilled in her children a love for God and even in her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Even in the final months and weeks before her death, if she was able, she was in church. She knew how to be faithful to the house of God no matter what. The Holy Ghost and the love of God always shined through her and she always had open arms to anyone in need of love. She truly showed the displayed of Christ to others. Grandma was a worshiper, until the very end, loving Jesus with her whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. My great grandma, was a true Proverbs 31 woman.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10 KJV
“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:25-28 KJV
“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.” Titus 2:2 KJV
Love your family, no matter what
I wish I could say that we were a family of perfect people, but that would be one of the biggest lies known to mankind. The truth is, our family has had plenty of ups, downs, disappointments, and heartbreaks, but the Lord has been faithful, and Grandma always prayed and loved us. At her funeral, I heard stories of how she kept all her grandchildren during the summer months, even though food and money were low. She wanted her family to be in a safe and fun environment, and did her best to be in all of our lives. Even though she literally had a small village of children, grands, great-grands, and great-great grands, she still made sure to know all of us by name. I am one of seven, and every time I walked in the house, she knew exactly who I was. She was always sharp and always so loving. She always encouraged us to do more and reach for our biggest dreams.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” Psalm 127:3 KJV
Sacrifice may be tough at first, but it always pays off
As a way to demonstrate Grandma’s love, she always stepped to the plate when adverse situations arose. Unfortunately as an adolescent, her mother passed away. It was then that she took the reins and helped to raise her siblings. Later on in her life, with some of her children grown, while others still at home, her sister passed away in a fire, leaving behind 3 children. With permission from her husband, John Thomas, she adopted her sister’s children. As if that weren’t enough, her home was a summer camp for the grandchildren, even though she still had plenty of kids at home, including a son with some physical disabilities. And on top of that, she always opened her home to children in need. She took care of her husband until his death in 1992, and even assisted in the care of her slightly disabled son, Billy, until his death in the early 2000s. She literally spent most of her life sacrificing and giving for others, never complaining, but always giving glory to God. She definitely will receive her reward in Heaven.
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20KJV
“God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell…” Psalm 68:6a AMP
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” Luke 9:23
Even though I will always miss her, like Ruth, I want to make sure that her God is my God (Ruth 1:21) and that I live my life to honor Jesus Christ in all that I do… this is the only real way to honor her.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4 (KJV)