It’s not a guess that people follow each other’s lead, it’s a fact. It seems built into our human nature. If you watch a young child who has an older sibling, it is inevitable that they will mimic whatever they see “big brother or sister” doing. This can be great or not-so-great, depending on the behavior that older sibling decides to display. We have seen this first hand having a 10-year old and a 2-year old.
We were born to learn from each other. And where does the most influence in someone’s life come from? I believe it all starts at the top. For me, that’s my grandmother, although we call her Mimi. I had a chance to spend a little time with her this weekend which I always love. Although now in her later 80’s, nothing much has changed about her from my childhood memories and staying over at her house many Saturday nights. She is still full of energy and recently went zip-lining at the age of 86. Pretty cool.
She is still completely independent and drives herself everywhere, which includes church each week. On those Saturday nights I would spend at her house, I would always go with her to church the next morning. I will never forget a picture I saw of myself at about nine or ten when she put my hair in rollers the night before like she always did. Who remembers those? The pick ones? Well that was all fine and good except the next morning, judging from the picture of the back of my hair, she decided this particular week I would look spectacular without ever combing out the chucks of curls those rollers created. An interesting look I have to say. The funny thing is I’m sure I noticed this issue but I loved her so much, I would never say anything, maybe she was starting a new style. If that was the case it didn’t seem to catch on as I never saw anyone with the same hairdo moving forward. Oh well.
But beyond my nightly hair treatments and other fun routines we did together was what she instilled in me at a young age. God. The Bible. The importance of memorizing verses, which she paid me $.25 to learn. Hey, whatever works. It got me into the Word and I have to admit it was the most I read the Bible for many, many years after I got too old to stay overnight anymore.
I definitely had a time in my life through high school and college where I put God on a back burner. I wasn’t going to church every week anymore, but the basics she helped make a part of who I decided to be when I gave my life to Christ at twelve years old never left me. I am certain there were some choices in my life that were not always the best but big decisions I knew I would not waver on stuck with me. I have her to thank for that.
Her example of living out what she believed was monumental in my life. Was she perfect? Of course not, we all have our weakness. But I saw her stand firm on her choices each day that were rooted in God’s word. And the biggest of all…LOVE. When Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God first and then your neighbor as yourself, she’s nailed it in my humble opinion. She is absolutely dedicated in her love of her Savior. She also loves on everyone she comes in contact with. Her kindness and giving spirit is a marvel to behold.
I am grateful for her example in my life and for the woman she has been and still is today. Without her lead, I can’t say I fully know where my faith would be. Thankfully, I don’t have to wonder. More than 30 years after she first starting talking to me about following God, I am still doing my best to keep my promises to Him. And also be the same kind of leader she was to a new generation in my own children.
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