We named our 6th child Sahara Donys Broten. She gets her middle name from my Grandma Donys. Last summer, on August 19, after 85 years of life, my grandma went home to be with the LORD.
Several years ago, my grandma asked me if when it was time for her to leave this world, I would be willing to come back from Africa and share the message at her funeral. It was something I did for her husband, my Grandpa Roy, back in 2010 and she said it would mean a lot if I did the same for her. I told her at that time that it would be an honor and I’d be happy to.
Thankfully, our family had recently returned from our summer holiday and were still in the capital awaiting the arrival of lost luggage. So, while Sonja and the kids continued on out to our village, I boarded a plane for Minnesota to be with my family and share at my Grandma’s funeral. Shortly after I arrived, I was looking through items from my grandma’s apartment and came across her Bible. The ribbon marker was in the Psalms, which she read each morning, and one of the Psalms on that page was Psalm 48. I chose to look at her life through the lens of this Psalm:
GREAT is the LORD and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, His holy mountain. Walk about Zion and go around her; count her towers; consider her ramparts; go through her palaces; that you may tell it to the next generation. For such is God, our God forever and ever; He will guide us unto death. (Psalm 48:1, 12-14 NASB)
As David writes in that Psalm about God’s city, Jerusalem, he writes that the people of God should take note of her towers, her ramparts, and her palaces and tell it to the next generation. Why…so they can talk about what a great metropolis Jerusalem is? NO! He wrote this so that they might make the connection that just as Jerusalem has stood the test of time, not fading or diminished, but strong and mighty, so was their God to them. He is a fortress and a strong tower forever, even unto death, to those who seek Him and take refuge in Him.
I read all of David’s “hers” for the city of Jerusalem in Psalm 48 and I couldn’t help but think of my grandma. I want to take note of her towers, ramparts, and palaces. Not to praise her, but to remember the hope that she had in God to be her fortress forever, even unto death. As I did with my Grandpa Roy eight years ago, I’d like to use this blog to share some observations from my Grandma Donys’ life through the eyes of a grandchild. I hope you’ll read along in the days to come.