Life Lessons I Learned From my Grandma: On Her Own

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a very special relationship with my grandma.  She and I have had a close relationship all of my life.  We have spent a lot of time together laughing and talking about life.  My grandma turned 90 years old this week, and I believe that she has had an amazing life.  She has experienced many trials during her life, but she has faced them with a smile on her face, joy in her heart, and an unwavering faith in God.  I have learned so much from my grandma, and I believe you can too.  So, I have decided to commemorate her 90th birthday by sharing a few stories about my grandma’s life with you.  I hope these stories will show you how her faith has brought her through the difficult times that she has experienced.  I will be posting everyday this week and every post will be stories of how God has been with my grandma throughout her life.  I believe the stories will help you to see how God can work in all of our lives and how we can achieve peace through every experience we encounter with His help.  Having such a wonderful grandmother in my life has brought me immeasurable peace and PEACE MATTERS.  

On Her Own

On August 21, 1998, my grandpa, Norman Cutsinger, suffered a heart attack while mowing the lawn at the church that he and my grandma, Ruth Cutsinger, attended.  At first my grandpa seemed okay.  They took him to the local hospital and did some preliminary tests.  They decided to send him to a bigger hospital in St. Louis, Missouri for further evaluation and treatment. When he arrived in St. Louis the doctors decided to do a heart catheterization, which is a fairly routine procedure.  He said his good-byes to the family and went for the test.  Soon, the doctor came out and said that my grandpa had suffered another heart attack.  He was on life support and in a coma.  They said the likelihood of him waking up again was very slim.  My grandma had just recovered from colon cancer and now she was facing losing her husband.  They had been together for thirty-seven years after finally reconnecting in 1961.  My grandma sat with my grandpa for what turned out to be the last week of his life.  

Finally, on August 28th, the doctors told my grandma that there was no hope and that it was time to disconnect my grandpa from life support.  My grandma, being the strong person she is, accepted the doctors’ advice.  She sat with my grandpa for the last time as he drew his final breath.  I remember waiting for my grandma to come home after my grandpa had died.  I really didn’t know what to expect.  I had seen her go through a lot of trials in life but never something like this.  When she came through the door, there she was, with her sad, but familiar smile.  She once again had the strength of an army with her.  I know now her strength came from God and the angels that He had surrounding her that day.  She immediately began planning my grandpa’s funeral.  She knew what she had to do, and she was prepared to do it.  

While at the funeral, I sat once again, in amazement at my grandma.  She smiled and laughed and actually comforted other mourners.  She was a pillar of strength in the midst of the worst storm of her life.  You see my grandma had never been alone.  She was married at the age of 16, and she had never lived alone or even spent the night alone.  My grandparents owned two houses.  One house was on a lake and the other one was in the country on a busy highway.  Everyone knew that my grandma was afraid to stay by herself, and we did not know what she was going to do.  However, my grandma knew.  She was going to sell both houses and move to a small house in town.  Selling the lake house would be easy.  The houses on the lake sold quickly, and that is what happened.  The house on the highway was different.  People came to look at it, but no one seemed to be interested.  My grandma was becoming very frustrated and could not understand why the house was not selling.  She knew in her heart that she could not stay there.  Finally, one morning she surrendered it to God.  She told God that if He wanted her to stay in that house she would.  She let Him take control.  That is exactly what God was waiting for.  Three days later, her house sold.  

She immediately began looking for a house in town, which presented more frustrations.  All the houses in her price range needed too much work, and my grandma was not up to that.  My cousin, Tim, was building houses at the time, and he told her that he could build her a house that would fit her needs perfectly.  My grandma decided to take him up on his offer and began looking for a lot on which to build in town.  One day, she was driving around and God told her to drive down North Douglas Street.  My grandma argued with God and told Him that she did not want to go that way.  God insisted, and my grandma finally did as she was asked.  When she drove down the street, she found two lots for sale about which she had not known.  When she called her relator, she was told that a couple had tried to buy the lots for the full asking price; however, the owner would not sell the lots to them.  My grandma was undeterred.  She asked the relator to call the man and see if he would take less money for the lots.  The realtor did as she was asked and called my grandma back.  She said, “You are not going to believe this, but the owner said he would take $4,000.00 for the two lots.”  The asking price was $8,000.00.  The relator could not understand why he had had a change of heart, but my grandma knew why.  God intended those lots for her.  

Even after she bought the lots, people tried to tell her she was making a mistake.  They told her that it was not a good place to build, but my grandma again was undeterred.  She knew that God wanted her there, so she continued with her plans.  On May 1, 1999, my grandma moved into her new house.  

My grandpa had only been gone a few months, and my grandma had made a life change with what seemed to be little effort.  She had done so with the faith that God would take care of her just as He had done all her life.  She still lives in that house today and has always been at peace there, proving that when God leads us somewhere, even if other people think we are wrong, we will find peace.  

Peace is what God wants for all of us.  He wants us to trust Him and have faith that He has a plan.  He wants us to submit to His will and follow His lead.  He is often waiting for us to submit to Him.  Once we do, He can take over and work things out in His time.  Once we surrender to God, we will begin to experience peace.  If we allow God to be in control, then much of the worry and fear that we experience can be eliminated.  Faith is a scary thing, but we are always rewarded for having it, and that reward is peace.  Without peace in this life, we have nothing.  

So, the next time you are struggling and becoming impatient because you are waiting for something that has not yet happened, think of my grandma and hand it over to God.  Truly submit to His will.  Let Him be in control.  It will bring you a peace that goes far beyond your understanding, and PEACE MATTERS.   


This is one of my favorite pictures of my grandparents.  It was taken not long after they were married in a photo booth at a local carnival.