Can you think of at least one person who has shaped you to become the person that you are today?
Someone who raised you under their loving arms, generous heart, and never-ending wisdom?
Someone who believes in how special you are and encourages you to achieve and become anything you want to in life?
I was primarily taken care of by my grandma and uncle from the age of 9 to 18 years old, which included my rebellious phase of a typical teenager.
My parents were living in Indonesia at the time and I was in America being exposed to worldly culture and tradition.
Having no parental supervision at such a young age and the stubborn attitude that I inherited as a young girl made me clash with my grandma every single day.
The Sharon you see today is the wonderful work of Jesus in and through me. Another blog post of that story which is worth sharing for another time!
But the B.C. Sharon (“Before Christ Sharon”) was a very disrespectful, rude, ignorant, prideful, and obnoxious little brat. Thank You Jesus for your blood and transformation in me! "What would I do without YOU, LORD?"
As I grew up I noticed how precious and beneficial my grandma’s correction was to my well-being. Her hard discipline helped me to find my true identity in Jesus Christ.
Growing up I thought my grandma was very tough on me compared to my older brother or little cousins. It felt as if I was not being understood due to our intensive miscommunication which only led to big fights and endless arguments.
Thankfully over time the Lord helped mend our hearts together so that we may have a closer bond with each other. It took years for us to finally be able to forgive, reconcile, and love each other. Truly we serve a redemptive God, and I am forever thankful to have been gifted with such a strong, independent, wise grandma who prepared me for the real world from a very young age.
My grandma taught me how to work hard and trust God despite our limited resources at the time. There are other important lessons that I still hold on to up to this day.
Here are 5 Invaluable Lessons I will forever cherish from Emak Lanny:
1.) Love & Serve God
My grandma’s prayer has always been that her whole family would live to love and serve the Lord. God answered her prayer and all of our family members are currently serving at a different local church. Our service to God also reflects our love for God. He’s been exceedingly good to us, so the least we can do to express our love and thanksgiving to Him is by serving Him through our talent, gift, time, money, and willingness to obey His will. Serving God also translates to serving our family members and friends too. It is learning to prioritize the need of others beyond our own.
2.) Be Faithful to the Little Things in Life
Don’t despise small, humble beginnings. As we are faithful to the little, God will start to entrust us with greater opportunities. My grandma came from a family that did not have much, but she stayed faithful in helping her parents’ candy business. Unfortunately, my grandma was not able to fully enjoy her childhood and teenage years, since the majority of her time was spent helping out her parents. She barely even had time to complete her schoolwork. While her sister and other friends are going to the movies, enjoying their life, my grandma had to stay at home to do the laundry, sweep the floor, or work at the candy factory.
YET God repaid all of her faithfulness by giving her my grandpa, who was an affluent and debonair gentleman. They ended up traveling around the world, bought several houses in Indonesia, and finally settled down in California. She would share her story of how she lived out the Cinderella life. After being married to my grandpa, my grandma also became a successful businesswoman who used her past experiences to elevate her family’s life and future. Talk about a Proverbs 31 woman.
3.) Be Responsible & Hard-working
My most fond memory of my grandma would be when she is working or helping out at my uncle’s warehouse. She would always give her very best in every task given to her. When her work was done she would then ask my uncle, “What else can I help you with?” Our family used to joke that Emak is like the energizer bunny who works nonstop. She may take a nap for 30 mins to recharge, but once she’s awake, she’s active and running again at full speed. My grandma’s tenacity to work hard is incomparable to anyone I know. She has shown us her children and her grandchildren how to not waste time and do the work that God has entrusted us with.
4.) Always Giving Thanks
In every season we go through in life my grandma never stops giving thanks. Sometimes I would find her singing to God in appreciation of how good God is in her life. It is rare for me to hear my grandma complain about anything. Most of the time she is so peaceful and full of joy. And even if people or certain situations are against her, she will still try to see the best and positive side of things and give thanks nonetheless. Instead of magnifying the issue around her, she chooses to magnify the God who can work all things out for her good. Her level of thanksgiving is equivalent to her level of faith and trust in God. That is why she is never worried about what will happen in the future because she has witnessed how her God will take great care of her.
5.) Be Extravagantly Generous
One particular night I remember my grandma writing multiple checks and putting them inside several envelopes to support various Christian ministries. I then asked her why she gives her money to ministries that she is not impacted by. She simply said “This is my way of ministering to other people. Even though I can’t reach out and share the gospel with them directly, I know that through this money lives will be touched and will be saved by other missionaries and evangelists working in the field.” She did not do this once or twice. She supported pastors and various ministries consistently without expecting anything in return.
Throughout her life, my grandma has always been extravagantly generous to strangers and her family members. Knowing how some of her family members such as her sister, aunt, or uncle are struggling financially, instinctively my grandma would extend her hand to be a blessing to them. I see why God always blesses her and my grandpa because the blessing ultimately never ends with them. They are abundantly blessed because they continue to be a blessing for many. ✨
Of course, it still pains my heart to see her go, however I know that one day we will be reunited together in heaven with King Jesus. In the meantime, I choose to apply these 5 lessons my grandma has left behind to all of her children and grandchildren. Even though she did not leave behind property or money, I know that I have received the greatest legacy from her which is her personal stories and persistent faith in Jesus Christ.
Until we meet again face to face Emak! Enjoy your heavenly rewards and mansion with King Jesus! Your love, hope, wisdom, and faith will forever be engraved within our hearts. 🤍