My grandma is hanging between life on this earth and life in heaven tonight.
With each labored breath, she draws closer to seeing her Jesus.
Stella Donoho taught me more than I ever realized. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t recognize just how much she has taught me until I was reviewing her life today, while I was praying for God to take her Home.
Grandma lost her husband back in the mid 1970’s. That was a long time ago. She never married again. Instead, she focused on her relationship with her Lord and Savior, spending hours in Bible Study and prayer. I want to be more like her
Grandma taught me contentment. She never had much at all. She lived in tiny, little houses with furniture she had had for years and years. Never did she complain. Never did she want more. She felt blessed to have a place to live and a Bible to study. Her contentment was a form of peace. Beautiful peace. So often I am not content. I want to be more like her.
Grandma was a hard worker. Even in her early 80’s, when asked what she did, she’d say “I take care of old people.” Now these “old people” were younger than her. But she would spend hours sitting with them, lovingly taking care of them day after day. She was a great comfort to many in their last days–just by her peaceful presence. I want to be more like her.
Grandma knew how to be happy. In these last months, she’s had to move from her independent apartment, to various hospital stays after having fallen and breaking something. Then would come rehab. This last “home” has been in a nursing home, and she loved the people there. Grandma always had a knack for seeking out those that were lonely, that others would shun. I want to be more like her.
Grandma knew how to worship her Jesus. In her apartment complex, she had a friend named Peggy, a black lady who lived down the hall from her. Many Thursday or Saturday nights they would get together in Grandma’s apartment and watch old Gaither DVD’s together, praising God and singing along, with many “Hallelujah’s” and “Praise You Jesus'”. She believed the Holy Spirit–or the Holy Ghost visited them during these times of worship. I’m sure she was right. I want to be more like her.
I didn’t write her enough. I didn’t call her enough. I didn’t spend enough time with her. And I regret all that now. But she never chastised me. No, she loved the very few times we had together and enjoyed our phone conversations when they would happen, always letting me know she was praying for me. And she was, I know she was. I want to be more like her.
Tonight as I think of her struggling in these last hours, 12 hours away from VA, I ask that God carry her home. That He grant her rest–and the joy of being with “her Jesus”. Yes, we will grieve. Many will grieve. But only because we selfishly no longer have her here with us, to share her wisdom and to watch her walk with God. But we all know that soon she will walk closer to God than she ever has, and there will be no more tears, no more loneliness, no more suffering—only the joy of being Home.
I didn’t know until today that one of her favorite songs is “Under His Wings”. Until today, I’d never heard it before. It’s a beautiful song. I want you to see the lyrics below; because they are truth. The enemy seeks to do us harm, but we are safe under His wings. It is based on Psalm 91:4 which reads:
Below is a video of the song “Under His Wings” along with the lyrics. My grandma is already under His wings, and soon she will be at His feet.
My way was filled with danger, I felt alone
The enemy had singled me out to do me wrong
And when he drew near, my heart filled with fear
Then I heard someone dear calling me to his side
And I ran under His wings, and there He covered Me
And now I can sing
The enemy still looks for me, but what he can’t see
Is that I’m under my Lords wings, under His wings
Thunder rolled, dark clouds hung low, I was out
In a storm, shivering in the coldness there, no safe
Retreat from harm, then there blew strong winds
Would this be my end, then I heard my friend calling
Me to His side, and I ran under his wings and there
He covered me and now I can sing
The storm still rages, but in the Rock of Ages I’m resting
Warmly, here under My Lords wings, under His wings
Night time came, the shadows fell, I could not
Find my way, the terrors of the night took hold
How I yearned for break of day, then he saw my plight
And out in the night He shined His light and called me to
His side, and I ran under His wings, and there he covered me
And now I can sing
And the night’s still there but why should I care, when
I’m made aware that I’m under my Lords wings
Under His wings, and there He covers me and now I
Under His wings, Under His wings, who from His love
Can sever, Under His wings, my soul shall abide
Safely abide, forever, Amen.