One of the greatest honors of my life befell me late last year.
My fourteen-year-old granddaughter asked me to be her confirmation sponsor. I was taken by surprise because my remembrance of confirmation sponsors was that they were gender specific and, as such, the field of qualified female candidates in our family is vast. It may be needless to say that my answer, in the affirmative, was spontaneous.
Forthwith, we began our journey — together with my daughter and her husband. We gathered documentation, attended classes to complete curriculum, and completed service hour requirements.
The next step was the confirmation retreat. While our candidates (including my granddaughter) spent the entire day in retreat, I (along with the other sponsors) participated for about four hours. We worked on team building exercises and communication skills. One of the suggestions for the retreat was for sponsors to write a letter of support to his/her confirmation candidate.
As I began my reflection on the content of my letter, many wonderful thoughts came to my mind. I immediately recalled fourteen years of growth and maturity and realized just how blessed I and my family are. I see a loving, lovely, kind, intelligent girl with a fantastic sense of humor and I totally love the person she has become.
With these thoughts in mind, I began drafting my letter, using 1 Chronicles 16:11… “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!” and Romans 12:9… “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” as the foundation of my message.
I began my letter by reminding my granddaughter of how much she is loved by me and her family. I expressed to her that my love for her is immeasurable and yet is nothing compared to the love God has for her (as He does for all of us); and, quoted my late pastor, Father Crumbley: “without His love we would all cease to exist.”
I incorporated 1 Chronicles by reminding her that during this time of confirmation, it is important to adopt a prayer life, because it is the fuel for love and strength. I shared with her my simple daily prayer: “bless us, keep us, make us holy”.
As I continued, I began to realize that my granddaughter walks a very straight line. Our conversations about school, bullies, mean girls, and drugs are easily accepted topics for her. She has a beautiful heart and truly cares about the disenfranchised. This is where I began to understand that my role as her sponsor is to teach and guide her in the acceptance of her spiritual life.
It is truly my belief that her walk is already in accordance with Romans 12:9 because her love is genuine; she abhors what is evil; and she holds fast to what is good.
So, as it goes in the world of grandfathers, I don’t believe that there is any prouder grandfather than I.