background

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Faithful


Let me share a little bit about being faithful that I learned this weekend..... Faithful is being committed to someone or something no matter what comes your way. Faithful is being busy, dedicated, tired, dealing with the good and the ugly, going at all costs to be a part of it, making it the best it can be, showing honor, desire, compassion and unconditonal love. Faithful is serving at ONE church for FORTY years. Yes, you read that right FORTY years. This past Sunday, my grandmother, Jackie Conley, was honored at her church, Edgewood United Methodist in Columbus, Georgia for being their piano and organist for FORTY YEARS. I cannot type it enough! :) She came to the church in 1968 after moving from Savannah, and one month later her husband was stricken with a brain tumor and passed away shortly after. This church helped feed, cloth and nurture her and her four young children. She jumped right in to help them by being their pianist and organist...and has never left her bench. We have planned NUMEROUS if not all family vacations around her Sundays so she could be there to play. She has hardly missed a Sunday in all of those forty years. She has accompanied some of the best! I was honored to be asked to speak at the 11 o' clock service and I tried my best to praise her name, which wasn't a hard task at all. Not only is this woman faithful to her position in the church, she is faithful to the Heavenly Father, more than anyone else I've ever known. She has never waivered in her faith despite her hard times, she is the most trusting, faithful child of God. I cannot think of the phrase "Bride of Christ" without thinking of her. She is the most PATIENT woman. I wish I had half of her patience. She is patient in teaching piano students, she patiently and repeatedly taught me to play the piano, a trait which I am FOREVER grateful to her for. She is the prime example of God's love. She loves others, and serves others just as Christ called us to do. No matter what became of the church throughout the years, she remained steady, strong and true to her Sunday school class, her women's bible studies and most devoted to the 88 keys in front of her. If you asked her to pray for you, I guarantee you she has. I never see her without her bible, devotional book and the comic section of the paper. :). A best friend, brought this to my attention as she heard the news of the celebration ceremony and said "40 years at the same church is amazing!! Can you imagine someone from our generation doing that? We’re more “disposable” than that generation…we change jobs, churches, houses, etc. Our grandparents live in the same houses they bought when they got married, retired from the first job they had and go to the same church they were probably married in!! I think they were more tolerant that we are. If their house got too small once they had kids, they just made them sleep in the same room and made do. If their job was awful, they just sucked it up and dealt with it. And if the church wasn’t doing so good, they just prayed about it and stuck with it until it was doing better. We move into bigger houses, quit our jobs because “it doesn’t make me happy” and bounce around from church to church. I wonder what that says about our generation? Maybe we should be more tolerant? Or maybe we’re happier b/c we MAKE our own happiness by improving our lives?
I only could think 'wow' after I read this. These are all fabulous points! No idea if its a generational thing or what, but regardless Jackie Conley is the definition of faithful. To stand to a promise and observance in duty. She has played every hymn ever written, played for weddings, funerals, colleges, students and anything else that came her way. She never left the gift she was given, nor never ignored it, she used it all for His glory. We can praise her all we want, but I know one day she'll hear the words from the one that matters "Well done, good and faithful servant" Matthew 25:21

6 comments:

pennie yearty said...

Wonderful story about a wonderful lady! I hope Grandma Conley gets to read this because I know she is equally proud of the person you have become. Aren't you lucky to have such great genes?

Kristen O'Kelley said...

Awww... 40 years is quite an accomplishment! I love this story; what a blessing to have a grandma like her!

HappyascanB said...

How amazing! You must make sure your precious Grandmother gets to read this. You're just like her, too!

Robyn said...

what a story!! what a lady!! and what a precious granddaughter! :)

John said...

Jennifer,

What a wonderful story and what a fantastic legacy of faith and faithfulness! You are sooooo blessed to have this kind of example in your life. I will look forward to following along now that I've found you in the blogosphere!

Blessings!

John

stacey maz said...

Jennifer - reading your blog always makes me smile :)