This week has been tough, Mary’s grandma Byrd passed away Friday and I was asked to conduct the funeral service. This wonderful lady of God had left notes and prayers around in her things so that family might find them after she was gone. I’ve heard several of the family members say that they were going to do the same thing. And I think it’s a wonderful idea. Leave notes for your family, and your loved ones will have something personal from you that will be worth more to them than any material wealth you might pass on.
Grandma Byrd basically wrote her own funeral sermon. I want to share some of the things she left behind.
This was found in her Bible.
Whoever gets this bible when I am gone, I want you to know this bible has traveled a many a Rocky road with me. It’s never let me down. It has been my best friend. I have slept with it. I have cried with it. I have laughed with it. It has helped us through wars. It has helped us through sickness. It has helped when we lost a loved one. It has comforted me and has been there when I needed it. It has grown old and torn with me, but it is still true, just like my love for my children, it will never die.
Also there was a prayer journal – the following are some highlights from 1978 and 1979.
Holy divine Father, I praise your name, I love you Jesus, thank you for the Holy Spirit. I remember as a child when you called me into the kingdom, thank you so much. What a wonderful experience I had praying at the rock at the country spring… Help me and my family because you know the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Mary has often told me this story of How Grandma loved to sit at that rock and pray and how she felt so close to God there. It’s as familiar to me as one of my own memories – I can just see Grandma sitting there.
And Grandma knew that what she was called to do was ultimately to glorify and serve The Lord. Listen to this…
I thank you that you love me, just a cleaning lady here, but a child of God. I would ask you for a better job and things but I see a spiritual need. Make a way for me to witness at work. Bless my husband in a great way and let his boss give him his due compliment.
And you know as we grow up many of us express ourselves by trying to step out of the norm in our appearance, we can get a little rebellious I guess. I understand this now as I’m a parent of young adults and teens. Grandma knew that she couldn’t force her children to look a certain way – so she took it to The Lord.
Dear Jesus… help Mike to work things out at work, help him Lord to get his hair cut…
Grandma’s prayers were most often about her family, she says…
Now Lord as I fly down to see my mother, I thank you because you’ll be with us and I ask you Dear God to look after the grandchildren, touch Marie’s body and spirit… Thank you so much for the beautiful gift of getting to see my mother and dad. Thank you for blessing Marie, thank you for my children, husband and everything you have given me. Bless Mike because he has been so good to us… taking us to church when we didn’t have a way to go.
Grandma struggled with things that we all do – she was a great cook and as Mary has often told me – and I think this is one of those things she heard Grandma say – “you can’t trust a skinny cook!” But even these things were part of Grandma’s prayers…
Dear God, heavenly Father, I come to you asking you, to be my strength, God give me courage and energy, help me to lose some of this weight!
I like that – I’m going to join Grandma in this prayer.
And look at this…
I know not so many words how I could tell the world. Oh, how I love Jesus. How I wish I could lead someone to the Lord. (You’ve done it Grandma) My prayer is, oh Lord, that I may live in a way you could use me that I could be an instrument… not to try to lead you but to let you lead me. Only then could I be a help to my Lord. How could I get the lonely and blind to see Jesus? I am not a pretty person, neither am I rich in worldly goods, but so rich in God’s love. How wonderful He is! How could I praise Him enough?
How I log to be just with God. To go to the place of worship.
I’m so happy that Grandma’s prayers are answered today!