The Story of Our Lives

Grandma Lucille, my mom’s mom, told me so many wonderful stories about her parents.  Now, I’m sharing stories with my children about her.  She was a true Proverbs 31 woman.

Her mama, my great-grandma–we called her Granny Bennett–was another Proverbs 31 woman and “mama” to eleven children.  She devoted her whole life to God, family, and church.  She walked a mile to and from Gillsville Baptist Church every time they had a service for 76 of her 88 years.  Amazing!

At our reunion that day, her grandchildren consistently shared,  “If you ever spent the night at granny’s, at sundown you read the Bible and prayed.  And often you were asked to recite your favorite Bible verse.”  As one shared, “Most of us children fought over Jesus wept, and often got in trouble for giggling during Bible reading.”   The room filled with laughter.

My great grandparents left a legacy as they taught their children and grandchildren the importance of prayer and hiding God’s word in their hearts.

I recently read a devotional by Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham.  She wrote how the light in her mom’s bedroom always indicated that she would find her mom there on her knees in prayer.  She knew not to bother her during prayer time.  I love that!

Truth is, some of us haven’t had a pretty story.  But the beauty is, God has a plan to use it anyway.  For every person with a difficult past, there’s another person–or several–with difficult pasts.  God uses our bumpy, messed up stories to help others, AND He calls us out to be chain breakers for future generations. Maybe there’s a chain of dark, secret sin that’s been passed on in your family. Pray that God would help you break those chains.  Offer your story to God.  Dark as it may have been, you can honor Him by sharing.  You never know who it might help set free.

Our stories are really God’s.  He knew all along how our story would be written. He determined before our time how He would use our stories in His.  He knew whether we would be willing to let HIm use us.  He determined how He would be glorified through our lives, no matter how bumpy or smooth our existence.

Just as the most vivid Bennett reunion memory is one of Bible reading and prayer, we create memories for our children.  I’m blessed with a Godly mama who was blessed with a Godly mama, who was also blessed with a Godly mama!  In the same way, I want to bless my children and their children’s children.

Even for those with no children, God has surely placed younger ones in your life.  We all have a span of influence.  We all have opportunities staring us in the face to leave a legacy.

What kind of story are we writing with our choices?  Are we choosing to leave a legacy of blessing or curse?

A hundred years from now, what will they be saying…or writing… about us?

4 thoughts on “The Story of Our Lives

  1. Carol McCall says:

    What a wonderful heritage! Your post reminds me of my own faithful treasures. I am abundantly thankful for the main 3 Proverbs 31 women God placed in my life: Aunt Fairy (really my great-aunt), Aunt Marie, and Mrs. Abernathy. During a season when I was growing skeptical that being a Christian really made a difference in a person’s life, I observed each of them. I saw love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control demonstrated. Even with difficult people and challenging circumstances, I saw what I now know to be the fruit of the Spirit. I saw them love and trust Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord. Over time I realized they each nourished themselves with Scripture, prayed for others, and served others (even when it wasn’t easy or convenient). They lived their faith in Christ Jesus by walking in intimacy with Him and allowing His character to flow through them. After I became an adult and studied spiritual disciplines, I realized I had observed some of them in each one of those women. Their awareness of our Heavenly Father’s love transformed them. Two of them are already in our Lord’s presence, and the other one is still a living testimony. May those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ leave such a God-honoring legacy.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Amen! That’s part of the reason I write…to leave a legacy. Hopefully it’s God honoring!

      I know there are tons of women who observe your life and see Jesus. In the same way you speak of those women in your life, others speak of you and the Holy Spirit inside you!

  2. Marcella (Bennett) Whitlock says:

    Rivera, Granny Bennett was my granny. My dad and your grandmother were brother and sister (My aunt Lucille.) I so remember all of that. Evelyn came and stayed alot with them and we had a wonderful time. We lived in the same house, we had our bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and shared the same bathroom Outside. We had doors that we could close off and make it be a seperate house, but I don’t think the doors we ever closed. I have so many memories of the Godly family that we have shared. I sometimes wonder what I would have been today, if I had not be raised with all the loving Bennett family.

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