Wake-up Calls and Sweet Memories


I was born in New York, in the month of October. The sting of cold was already in the air. My grandmother had flown up from Texas to help my mother and to meet me. My grandfather however, had stayed in Texas to manage his business. As I would learn later in life, he was a terrible alcoholic. Some people get amorous when they drink or just go to sleep. He got mean. My mother had prayed for him to stop drinking for as long as she could remember– but didn't think he ever would. 

So it wasn’t a surprise when he decided in a drunken state to drive to New York to see me. He was speeding and swerving when he lost control of his car and sent it careening off the road, rolling and eventually throwing him from it. There was no reason he should have lived, much less walked away without a scratch. But he did.

A passerby saw the crash and couldn’t believe my grandfather was unharmed and that his car didn’t hit anyone else. The car itself was totaled and had to be towed.

By the time my grandfather got home, the effects of the alcohol were wearing off and the reality of what had just happened became very real.

He told me, “I got on my knees in this very living room and prayed, “God please take this away from me. I never want to drink again. All of a sudden, I saw a light and felt a warm presence and heard the words, ‘It is finished.’”

He never took a drink again. The rest of his life, he told anyone and everyone who walked up to his door or into his home about how Christ saved his life and took away his addiction. He led countless people to God. 

I can tell you that story because I had heard it at least 100 times before my grandfather died. I along with the rest of our family were by his bedside when he left this earth and went home to be with Christ.

His last words to us were, “It’s beautiful! I gotta go!”

He was surrounded by his entire family. Everyone who loved him – my grandmother, his daughter and son-in-law, his grandchildren and son. But he wanted to go.

Pain and trials come and go. This earth is not our home. No one knew that better than my grandfather.  However, during his time here, he was able to make use of what God gave him. In doing so, a drunkard became a servant. God is real and capable of anything. He only asks for our obedience and our trust.

Acts 17:27 (NIV) “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”

Are you seeking him today? Are you telling your children age-appropriate life stories that demonstrate God’s goodness and grace?

What are some stories you might share with your children?

Encourage them to keep a journal or a small list on their wall or bulletin board of answered prayers. One of the best ways to keep focused and not lose heart is to remind yourself of what God has already done.

Then when your child experiences a loss, or difficulty they will have their own experiences of God’s goodness in their life to recall.

Psalm 40: 1-3, “Iwaited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth – Praise to our God: many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.

Sherry Shepherd is an experienced, adaptable professional specialized in writing for faith-based organizations. She has worked as an editor and writer for newspaper, movie guides, publishing houses, churches and several non-profits. Her scope of work includes corporate and fundraising materials, advertising, web, brochures, booklets, books, blogs and biblical training materials. However, her heart is drawn to any type of creative writing, where she can motivate while conveying a biblical message and telling a story. Sherry is the mother of three grown children, who have been the source of some of her greatest joy, laughter and material!