Russell Hudson, my hero. He is my precious granddad that I have been attached to for 27 years. As I sit here next to hospital bed, I would do anything to crawl up in the bed and take his place. He would do the same for me. For all of his family.

I have so many emotions that flood through me that I think they literally have shut down. It is helping me cope with all the events occurring in my life now. My greatest fear to say “yes” and move to Uganda was the fear of something happening and I wouldn’t be able to be here. This is perfect timing and yet the worst timing. I am able to spend these moments with my granddad but yet how can I leave? What if this is the last time I get to spend with him? What if I do not get to be there when Jesus comes to receive him and sit next to my Grammi and love her at the funeral? What if he gets to go home and I don’t get to participate in the talks with him that I love so much?

Then I remember one night several months back in Uganda, I read Matthew 10..if you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, then you will lose it but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. 

I remembered thinking how blessed I was to have parents that trusted me to the Lord’s will. Parents that gave me back to the Lord and grandparents that started the legacy many years ago. I did not have to worry about my parents fighting me on my decision and knew that although it would be difficult for them, they would support and walk this journey with me. 

The Lord reminded me of this verse the other night as I was torn into pieces thinking about leaving my granddad while he is still so sick in the hospital. I am struggling with guilt and selfishness. Although I know that this is not a decision I made on my own I often wonder if I am supposed to stay here and walk with my family through this. I hear Him say to me, you must love me above your family. You must know that when you give up your life you find it. You must know that I love you way too much to call you on this journey if it wasn’t for your good. For the good of my family. For the good of my granddad. 

He has taught me so many things that one day I will share but the one that I am clinging to now is strength. Strength not in myself but in my God. We have do hard sometimes, but I can do it. Even tonight as I write this by his bedside, I just got to share Jesus with his night nurse. There is purpose, even in the suffering. He will always get the glory, even in moments of pain and a place where my heart wants to scream out “stop”! He opens doors for me to go beyond my pain and talk to a lost soul. He leaves the room and I kiss my granddad and say, “once again, we are here for Him, how quick is He to remind us.” He turns my eyes from me to Him. 

As I prepare to say goodbye to my granddad maybe for the last time, my heart cannot bear it. But I remember that I really am saying my final goodbye to everyone when I leave. I am not saying I will not return home but every day is a gift. I might not even make it on the plane to Africa…He can take us at any time. What I know is that while we are here living and breathing, we should love each other more and live beyond ourselves. When will we finally understand that we are but a vapor? We really aren’t meant for here. 

That is what my granddad did. He loved. I pray I hold dear to the legacy that he lived before me and is continuing to fight for with each breath. 

“Awaken what is inside of me. Tune my heart to all you are in me. Even though you are here, God come. May the vision of You be the death of me. And even though You have given everything…Jesus come.”

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