Theo Youngberg: Remembering anew my grandmother, 12 years later

We just said goodbye for now to Jodi’s mom two weeks ago today. I was inspired by my wife sharing deeply, and vulnerably, and honestly, and kindly regarding the impact of her mother’s life on her and all of us really in her “fight for joy.” Jodi just recorded her words she shared as her season wrap up to Season Two of her podcast. Click HERE to listen Jodi read the full transcript she wrote for the funeral. It is powerful, it is inspiring, and it is also very helpful to me. Jodi is quite a woman.

Jodi’s words made me think about the power of words shared over a loved one’s life. They can be words shared to highlight a great theme in one’s life who was loved and who shaped our life through years of sacrifice and joy. My grandmother died over 12 years ago, before we had a YouTube channel, before we had a blog, before Jodi had her podcast. I found the DVD of the video I made for the funeral to help tell some of my grandmother’s story. I have loved video for many years as a powerful way to connect visually with a few key words a true message. My grandmother inspired me in many ways. Her’s was “a life well lived” after 95 years of living.

Click HERE or on the picture to see the video:

I wish that I had what I had shared At my grandfather’s funeral when he died. That was the first profound loss in my life, and it left me shocked. It shaped me, and it left me to taste the bitter, brokenness of this world. That is when I first felt that an example was not enough. We do not just need an example of someone like Jesus who lived well, who lived perfectly and for us to try to do the same. We need a savior to undo this brokenness and set all things right.

I flew out from Michigan without Jodi to attend his funeral because she was having serious complications with Justine’s preganancy. I did not feel at that time in my life that I wanted to attack the unknown waters of standing up before a group of people and let them into a special tribute to a man who loved me deeply. So, instead of speaking, I wrote out a few key difference makers that he taught me that had shaped my life. I asked the pastor to read it instead.

I realized then that though his words were my words, his cadence and empathy and tone in places was not mine. As loving of a pastor that he was, and as good of a job that he did reading it, I would not do that again. I would read it. That is why I shared at my grandmother’s funeral. I hope to find the hard copy of his someday. It is lost. For now, my grandmother’s is not lost nor is the video after 12 years of not seeing it. I now have it and can be glad again as I see and read these things. Today, my hope in God is encouraged.

Funeral Testimony: Here is what I shared that hard day in June of 2008. Jackson was one of the pallbearers in the same church where we mourned Jodi’s mom Virginia, guided by the same funeral home, walking the casket out the same front door. This time is was Turner’s turn as pallbearer to do this hard yet honoring task. Life was different then for four of us. Her loss was deep for me after my grandfather and she both were lifelong mentors and friends, grandparents in the most grand sense of the word. I am thankful to God for the impact they both made on my life.

Theo Youngberg – Memorial Service 6/12/08:

How a Saint Persevered to the End

By Eric Blick, grandson

My grandmother was a saint, and if you believe in Christ as your only hope from the wrath of a perfectly holy God, then according to 1 Corinthians 1, you are a saint too. A saint is one who not just professes belief in Christ, but one who also continues in belief to the end (Heb 3:14). The faith of my grandmother was alive and believing for over 70 years. As we look at her life after 95 years, we ask the question, “How?” “How did she persevere in belief to the end?”

The answer is two fold: 1. God alone does it. He causes perseverance, and 2. He uses God-ordained “means” to accomplish this end. God does these two things out of delight and for the glory of His name, not ours. CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO CONTINUE READING: theo-youngberg-perseverance-of-the-saints.pdf

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