O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
—Psalm 71:17-18 NKJV
Dear precious Grands,
Once upon a time, your Nina was a little girl living with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa. I remember moving in to a new house when I was four years old and shouting from the top of the stairs to hear the echo it created. We had steep stairs, and we had to go down them very carefully. Oh, how we loved to shout from the top of those stairs! There was an old-fashioned heater in the basement that sent the heat up through a grate near our dining room. When Nina and her sister stood on that grate in the morning to get warmed up, our nightgowns would billow and poof around us as the warm heat pushed them up!
Our home was a happy and noisy place. Eventually, four of us children lived there, although when we moved in, it was just my sister and me. Great Grandpa used to play a special song on the piano for us that we called the BaDoomBaDoomBa Song. It made us want to run and shriek. Ha! We could run in circles around the downstairs and, boy oh boy, did we! Poor Great Grandma. My mummy did not like all the noise, but she knew it made us all happy to race and shout! Your Nina had a happy childhood.
But the story I want to tell you about happened when I was four years old. It was a more serious and quieter thing. You see, your Nina grew up in a home where her parents loved Jesus, like your parents do. Every night before I was tucked into my bed, my sister and I (and later, my two younger brothers) would sit and listen to a Bible story told in my daddy’s deep, rumbly voice. He’d ask us questions about it to make sure we understood, and we loved to answer the questions and learn exciting stories of long-ago days when little boys fought giants with just stones in their pockets, and brave men like Daniel were thrown into lions’ dens, but the lions were as tame as kittens. Bedtime was fun. After the stories, we’d all kneel in a row and pray together and then sing some songs.
My mummy and daddy taught us that there was a God who loved us very, very much. He loved us so much that He came down to earth once upon a time and became a baby and grew up as a kid like us, so He understood our hurts and troubles well. This God made a way for us to live … forever! Wow. His name is Jesus, and He died for us, which was very sad, but He was So Strong that not even death could stop Him. Nope. He conquered death and paid the price for our sins—all the bad stuff we ever did—and walked right out of the grave. Amazing!
Well. One day when I was four, I just knew that everything my parents had told me was true, and I wanted so much to say “yes” to Jesus and ask Him to be my King and Savior. So, I found my mother and asked her to help me pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart. I didn’t know that she was pretty busy at that moment. My brother Raymond was about to be born, and she was packing to go to the hospital for his birth! But my dear mummy stopped her packing and cried happy tears, she was so glad I wanted Jesus in my heart. We knelt together right away, and I prayed.
Do you know what? Your Nina is now 63 years old, but I still remember praying and asking Jesus to be my very own Savior. I remember feeling So Good inside when I asked Him to come into my life and help me all the days I lived. And guess what? He came to live within me in a special way so He could whisper to me in my mind and help me and guide me. He is still helping me even to this day. All the days of my life, Jesus has been with me.
Some days were Really Hard. For example, your Nina cried so much when Papa had to go to war. It was a sad time. But even then, Jesus helped me when I cried, and He showed me how to be brave and take care of your moms when they were tiny and scared because their daddy had to fight a war. We all did better because we loved God, and He helped us. We read Bible stories and prayed and sang songs. Just like I did when I was a little girl. And we got through that hard time and many, many others with the help of God who stayed with us even when it was a bad time.
Most of you have done what I did. (Some of you are still too little, and one of you isn’t quite born yet—but almost!) Those of you who are old enough have asked Jesus to be your Savior. I am so very, very glad! Please remember this. Even on days when you don’t feel like He is there … He still is. And He will be with you and help you all your life as He has done for me. Stay close to Him. Talk to Him. Learn about Him in those Bible stories and someday … I hope you will have the joy of teaching about Him to your own children and grandchildren when you are 63! I bet that’s hard to imagine, but it will happen. And Nina will be so glad in Heaven, (if God lets me take a peek at you), as you stay faithful to the One True God who loves you even more than I do. And that’s a Whole Lot.
Love you forever,
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
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