Three days from now will mark the one year anniversary of my father-in-law's passing. It will be our 2nd Thanksgiving without him and he is just as missed this year as he was last year. If you are not familiar with his life you can read about him here:
For the last year, we have devoted at least one weekend a month to visiting my mother-in-law and my husband's aunt whom I warmly refer to "our ladies." They are in their 80s but there are no other people alive that we would rather visit with. We look so forward to being with them. It's not just that we get to eat pizza late at night, or feast at the local buffet, or buy yummy cinnamon jelly beans. It's much, much more than that.
These two women have lived life with the Lord. They prayed my sorry self into the Kingdom of God. They fasted until I got right and I will be eternally grateful. Their experiences, insights, revelations, and correction when we need it, are invaluable. At the sign of trouble, my first call is to them. Their prayers are powerful and they've learned to persist in patience and faith. Many times my husband's aunt has kept my feet on level ground when I just wanted to dig a hole and die. I felt this way about my father-in-law as well and begged the Lord to let him stay on earth but it was not to be.
I have determined to not have regrets where my spiritual heritage is concerned. When I get the opportunity, I pick their brains concerning scripture and what they've experienced as Pentecostal believers through the years. I ask them what God is teaching them now. Their answers are so rich and deep. You see, my husband is a 3rd generation Pentecostal. First hand stories have been passed down through the family almost from the very beginning of Pentecostalism in the United States. It's a testament of who God is and what He could do if we would let Him. I feel that I could never fill their shoes, but I desire to have their mantel in the Lord. I pray that the residue of who they are will settle on my life.
These last days will require for believers to be at their very best because deception will be strong and many will be destroyed, even the elect. So the days we spend recalling the works of God, the salvations they've witnessed, the supernatural events they saw and experienced, the deliverances they've seen are so valuable to me. There is also so much laughter and love as we go on adventures together, eat together, and yes, even nap together. (They wear us young ins out!)
Even today, we realize that some day, we will go visit their grave marker, as we did my father-in-law's just yesterday. But we won't be crying because we wish that we had spent more time together. We will cry because we miss them. We will cry because we are grateful for all that they poured into our lives. And we will laugh as we remember the stories they told and the adventures we had with them. But most of all, we will carry their lives in our hearts and they will spur us on in hope, encouragement, and love until we all meet again, this time never to say goodbye.
(The photo is of my father-in-laws tombstone. May the same be said of me when I'm gone).
Today I am thankful for my spiritual heritage.