I have always considered myself a Christian. However, growing up, I always just considered it to be a religion. Sure, I would pray, but only during troubling times. I never read the Bible either. In fact, I would only ever pick up my Bible for church on Sunday. Christianity, to me, was just an answer to the question “what’s your religion?” I mean, I believed in God, but I can honestly say that I never had a relationship with Him. Not until 2016, that is.
My Grandma Claire grew up Catholic and converted to Christianity. She would pray all the time and mentioned God in almost all her conversations. She knew the Bible front to back, and just really had that close relationship to Him. In late 2015, my Grandma Claire broke her hip. I always remember her saying that breaking a hip would be the death of her, and, well it started the death process. She ended up on hospice in 2016. We all knew her death was coming; it was only a matter of time.
The thing is, is that her faith never once faltered during this time. She would sing praise songs, recite Bible verses (often in French), and was looking forward to going home. That made me realize that I did not have that. I never had that relationship with God like my Grandma Claire did. She made me realize that I wanted it though. So, I started reading the Bible every day, and slowly started talking to God more and more.
When it came very close to her death, my pastor came over, prayed over her, and recited Psalm 23. Of course, as he was reciting it my Grandma was mouthing along to the words. Now whenever I read that Psalm, I think of her. But I also think of something more.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”Psalm 23:4
David, the author of the psalm, cared for sheep. He was speaking out of experience in calling God a shepherd. Sheep depend on the shepherd for provision, guidance, and protection. They need not fear when the Shepherd is nearby. God is our Shepherd; we are His sheep. We as sheep are obedient followers that follow our Shepherd who leads us to the right places and in the right ways. He guides and protects; we need only follow Him. We follow Him and He will guide us. He guided my Grandma Claire through life and death. I learned I can trust Him with my life and follow him as well. All thanks to my Grandma. Her death was the spark for me to get closer to God.