Wes Stafford, president of Compassion International, is asking folks to share their story – the story of someone who changed their lives by speaking into them courage or hope or compassion. Here’s my story:
As a child I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, and I loved being there. My grandmother was an amazing hostess, a woman who gave freely of herself to all in her sphere of influence, and she whispered into my life words that changed me.
Over and over and over, she whispered “yes.”
She leaned over, close to me, at the restaurant, holding up her fingers, and said, “Yes! You can learn to do those nine multiplication facts! Let me show you this trick. . . .” That night, while out with the family, my grandma taught me all of my nines!
When I was probably eight, and I wanted to help her color posters for her class room, she said, “Yes, let’s do it together!” Looking back, I’m sure that I didn’t do nearly as good a job as she would have, but I colored my best, showed her my picture, and she hung it in her classroom alongside the poster that she had colored.
A summer later, when I asked to put together a sewing project, she said, “Yes! I think you can do that, and I’ll help!” Then we went to the fabric store and bought all of the supplies with her money, and she sat in the room with me answering questions and helping me every step of the way.
I learned to make macaroni and cheese – the kind that is made with milk and actual cheese – while in her care and under her “yes.”
I also learned to sew clothes, how to host a meal, how to be a wife in love with her husband, how to crochet, how to manage pain, how to discuss a book, how to see the good in a person, how to bird-watch, how to love a child, and so much more . . . all because she said, “Yes, let’s do that together.”
While my grandma has gone on to be with Jesus, I still carry her “yes” in my heart; it’s a constant reminder that I can do anything with God! When my own children are discouraged I so often picture myself in my grandma’s role – sitting down beside them saying, “Yes! You can do this!” And they do!
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