For my Grandfather

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Hello world! 🌎 I hope that you all enjoyed yesterday's first post in this new series as much as I did. Today I was opening my Youversion Bible app and the scripture above happened to be the verse of the day, I thought how fitting for this series about church girls. We spend so much of our lives trying to impress and win the approval of people when Gods approval is all that we really need. If you know me then you know that I typically march to the beat of my own drum and by nature I've been known to be contrary (God has brought me a long way). I've never attempted to stand out or be different I just am! I'm a people watcher, I can sit in a room quietly and just observe everyone around me.
I think growing up in church only magnified and sharpened my skills. Growing up in a Pentecostal holiness type of church was interesting, never really dull and rarely quiet. I am the granddaughter of a Bishop and he's had that title majority of my life, pastored my entire life and majority of my mothers life. My father was a youth minister, wasn't very active at home and my parents divorced when I was 10. My mother remarried when I was 11 and I always say we were a blended family that never blended. I spent much of my childhood, teenage years and young adulthood "under" my grandparents so to speak. They've lived in the same house since I was 5 so I've always said this is where I grew up since we were always moving around the city it seemed. I often say I "moved" in when I was 19 but basically lived here my whole life. And although I grew up in a church/ Christ centered family I've never found myself to be church focused or centered.
My mother taught me early on about how important a relationship with God is but she never forced church. Even as a teenager I never felt forced or like I had to be there. Now some might look at her sideways because she didn't exactly teach me to love church or its traditions but she taught me to love Jesus. My father wasn't around much after they divorced so I gravitated towards my grandfather and watched what a true man of God looks like and acts like. I'd been so use to watching men say one thing then do another but in my nearly 30 years of life I can honestly say he's a man of his word. I like to say I learned time management from my grandfather because he hates being late to anything! I despise tardiness and I'm usually 15 to 20 minutes early for everything. These past couple weeks he's been ill and I started reflecting on my childhood, how I always felt safe and secure because of him. Most know him as Bishop, Pastor, Elder etc... I've watched him my whole life with the one title really and that's "Papa." The man who would fix our toys when they were broken, take us to and from school, the man who we always followed to the grocery store because we knew there were no restrictions on what went into the cart. As a young woman I remember running errands with him and because I didn't drive he often picked me up from work and class. My sister and I were talking the other day about life and our failures. I don't think that any of us could do wrong in his eyes, everything we did made him proud whether it was a simple job, a college degree or simply making him dinner he has the ability to make you feel like you're the best in the world!
Lately I've been asking myself have my failed relationships failed because I put men on a "Papa scale?" Not really hero worship because I'm aware that he is human, that he's made mistakes like the rest of us but he lives up to the title of Superman that my family has given him. Because my father was basically non existent most times I had to draw from one extreme to the other, my grandfather was always there so he set the bar pretty high. As a single woman I can say that there aren't many men like my grandfather or many like the men in my family. For a long time I had an unrealistic expectation of who a man should be and I went by two rules: Couldn't be like my father, HAD TO BE  like my grandfather. Well that's a very vague and almost petty way of thinking now that I look at it. I think that these past few years of being on my own have taught me that yes I can always call home but also yes I can do this on my own.
As life changes, as he ages and I remember everything he has done for me I find myself asking what can I do for him? I've been emotional at times the past couple weeks but today I feel a sort of strength that I haven't been able to find lately. I understand that he won't be around forever, none of us will but I need him around awhile longer because I'm not done learning and observing him quite yet. Keep my family up in prayer!-CDJ❤️


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