… is laying down your life for another. John 15:13
Remember my grandmother, mamagrand?
She taught me something amazing because of what she’s done with her life. “Laying down you life” doesn’t just apply to the death of your body, it can also mean the death of your own desires, goals, personal ambitions…
My grandma is in her late 80s. About 25 years ago, she laid down her life in the name of love.
Let me share this amazing story of sacrifice…
My grandfather sat down with her and told her his dream for their future together, to start a church in Santa Elena, a very poor province in the Philippines that didn’t have an Adventist church…. and to start a church school as well. It would be a difficult, expensive, lifelong goal for the two of them. Although my grandmother wanted to move to the United States to be with her children and grandchildren, she put her desires aside and submitted to her husband willingly.
Two months later, he died in a car wreck. Her children told her she should take the insurance money and travel the world with her friends to get over the pain.
I never met such a loyal woman. Mamagrand loved this man… beyond “till death do us part.” She could have done anything with that money. She could have done anything with her life. She was free to pursue her own dreams.
But she didn’t want his dream to die with his body, so she devoted the rest of her life and gave up all the insurance money to making his dream a reality. This kind of sacrificial love is rare. Now, 25 + years later, she’s still adding to that church, to that elementary school in Santa Elena. She’s still championing this cause to potential donors everywhere she visits.
I asked her what keeps her going. She said:
“When Jesus comes, and I see him again, I’ll say, ‘Look honey. It’s your dream church. Your dream school! Everything you wanted!’ And I picture the joy on his face… And it’s all worth it.”
And btw, after he died, she said she would never get married again! She kept her promise. What devotion!
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with getting remarried if your spouse dies. I’m not saying it’s wrong to go after your own dreams. I’m just inspired by mamagrand and have never met anyone who’s life is so utterly intertwined with another person that it was no sacrifice for her at all to make it her life goal to fulfill her husband’s dream. He’s not even alive to see it.
I want to encourage all of us who still have time to share our lives with our significant other, to lay down our lives for them. What does this mean? To consider their needs and dreams before our own. To say through our words and our actions that we give them preference. That’s real love.