I leaped outside my comfort zone this week

I majorly stepped outside my comfort zone to speak at my grandma’s memorial service. She was that important to me, and I wanted to tell everyone why. She served food, raised children, and helped her husband. Sounds like anyone’s grandma, but there’s a reason she was a blessing to me specifically.

I was blessed with a very fun, outgoing, friendly family. If you haven’t met my grandpa yet, it’s only because you haven’t come within about a 10 foot radius of him. Even the introverts in my family are talkative.

No idea how I ended up a part of this family. I’m a quiet, introspective writer who only speaks when I have something to say. Naturally I took a background role, watching their antics and enjoying the conversation. It could have been a lonely role if it hadn’t been for my grandma. When all my cousins were the ones having adventures and drawing tons of friends, my grandma noticed me. She spent as much time with me as I’d give her, and she read every book I ever wrote (and believe me, there were many books, they were long, and not always good). She would have made the best sales agent ever, because she was my biggest fan.

Whenever I visited, the red carpet came out, cookies were served, and Grandma would sit on the edge of her seat to hear about my highly uninteresting life. Unless you’re a movie star, where else can you get that kind of treatment? Especially someone as quiet as me.

Aside from simply noticing me, we bonded because my Grandma was also a background person. My grandpa may have been the one turning in the essays and papers for his academic work, but it was my grandma who typed them up. On a typewriter. Her family may have run smoothly, but that’s because she was working her tail off behind the scenes to make it that way. She was a natural born leader, but she chose the role of a servant to honor God.

When are you in the background? Maybe you stay at home with kids, or you work on a menial task at church. Perhaps you do the right thing when no one’s looking. It’s tempting to become discouraged when no one realizes what you do. But don’t assume you are unimportant. Oh no, you are definitely not. Everyone who visited my grandma left feeling like an individual rather than part of the crowd. To each of those people, she meant the world. She noticed people the world did not, and took interest in people that others ignored. As a result, she had hundreds of people at her funeral, all celebrating her life. Even at 88, she had more friends than most young people. She may have felt ignored at times, but let me tell you – she was noticed by those she noticed.

Yes, she was an incredible servant of God. Why was I lucky enough to have this woman as my grandma? I have no idea. But I do know that God, in His sovereignty, knew what one quiet little girl needed for the first 30 years of her life.

And I thank God for my grandma.

Those in the background – keep doing what you’re doing. Someone is thanking God for you.

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One thought on “I leaped outside my comfort zone this week

  1. This is so nice, Joanna. I will use this as a sample of what you shared at the service. Thanks for writing it. Btw, I was a quiet little person too. I get it! Now God has changed me and made me louder! Luv u! Aunt Joani

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