97

My grandmother turns 98 this year and I recently made a trip back to Georgia to visit with her. I got to spend some great time with her walking, playing music together, and just catching up. I asked her as many questions as I could think of and listened to her talk about heaven. She made me my favorite pie and sang to me. She told me old stories of my childhood. We laughed and drank sweet tea. She cried as she talked about the day my granddaddy died, several years ago. I sat with her and tried to be as present as I could soaking up the memories we were making moment by moment. I filmed her just in case I forgot anything. I am so thankful that I have been able to be a part of my grandmother's life. She is the strongest person I know and she has always loved me and accepted me unconditionally. No matter what she offers a sweet word of encouragement or kindness, whatever it is I am going through. She is fiercely protective of me and adores my wife and our kids. She gave me my awesome mother and has been a great example of living in grace and serving God with her life.

As I hugged my grandmother goodbye on the last day of my trip, I got choked up. I realized that God could call my grandmother home any day. I realized life is short and the importance of cherishing the moments we are given and living with a grateful heart. I am inspired by my grandmother's desire to be a witness for Jesus and to appreciate the opportunities that God has given me to serve his people in worship. She has inspired me to see the importance of forgiveness, leaving the past behind you and to keep moving forward in life. She has inspired me to be independent and self-reliant. And I realized how much the small things we do every day can impact the lives of others and just how quickly our lives go by on earth.

It was an enriching and impactful trip that was truly good for my soul.