"Converse"ations with Meg
Sacrificial giver, strong, available, steady, and inspiring are all words Granny’s family would use to describe her. She was a sacrificial giver by always putting others first, she loved to plan and cook big meals for her family, she always gave meaningful gifts to her daughters and grandchildren, she never forgot a birthday and she was quick to give hugs. Her strength came as someone who worked as a nurse, worked in the church, raised a family, and still managed to make the best gumbo and banana pudding in south MS. Granny knew her value and knew her strength. When she was working one day, a doctor threw stuff on the floor and told the nurses to clean it up, she told him to clean it up himself, which he eventually did. She knew her worth and her value and was strong and confident in her capabilities. Granny was always available in the day to day. She would help whenever she was needed, no matter if it meant sacrificing her time or money or plans. She was a constant steady, always reliable and always ready to jump in for those around her. She spent many nights at athletic events, trying to keep Grampsy from getting in trouble, and cheering on her grandkids. We always knew, no matter where it was, she would be there. Granny was also inspiring. She inspired many of our family to follow in her footsteps and go into nursing. She also inspired us in her day to day actions just to love harder, act with compassion, and to always make the people around you feel like they are important and valued. Speaking for her grandkids, I think she made every single one of us feel like we were her favorite.
Looking through the Bible, there are so many examples of strong women, women whose lives teach us to be more and more like Christ. Granny could be compared to two specific women. Ruth, in the way Ruth constantly trusted Christ, she always relied on him even in circumstances she did not understand or could not control. Her faith was always strong and she knew, just like Ruth, that she was loved and cherished by God, and he would love and take care of her. The other is Mary. Mary chose to wash the feet of Jesus with her perfume, not caring the value of it or what others around her thought. Mary was compassionate with such a servant’s heart, just like Granny.
Proverbs 31 outlines the qualities of woman with Godly character. While Granny was an example of a Godly woman in many aspects, two of these verses in Proverbs 31 she really and truly lived out day in, and day out. Proverbs 31: 20, “She opens her hands to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” As a nurse, Granny was filled with compassion and daily got to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need. What a blessing she was to not only her family, but the community around her. In Proverbs 31:26, it says “She speaks of wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Granny was faithful to be in the word daily, and when she spoke, she was slow to anger, and she spoke truth. Her advice and instruction could be depended on because of the wisdom she had.
Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. This verse could have been written about Juanita Grantham! She was all of these things. As Christians, we are expected to look different from the world by showing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, these are not always things of the world. Granny lived these things, with her family, with her church, her friends, and as a nurse. She was not of the world, she was different and a light for Christ. Proverbs 31:31 says “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” What a cool picture, our Granny, fully healed being honored at the gate of heaven for all the works she has done.
Give Grampsy a hug for us, and y’all save us some Gumbo!