This post is not for your enjoyment or entertainment this time. This is a personal journal to myself that I am willing to share because of its message. That's what Grandpa would want: for his life to be a vessel to carry the message of Jesus Christ, of the salvation message he so often told anyone and everyone.
Yesterday the entire Way family, all 42 of us grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and aunts and uncles, enjoyed a beautiful Christmas celebration together. Tonight most of us we reunited within an instance of a phone call. We were still in a sense of celebration, but now with tears streaming down our tired faces. 79 years young my Grandpa Dawson was. After a fight with a lung condition these past number of years, God finally welcomed him home into Heaven. Ever since I can remember, Grandpa has always talked about how glorious heaven will be, and how important it is to him to have the entire family together in heaven one day. Well, tonight we celebrated the first member of the family moving up there to prepare the way for us to join alongside of him one day. I cannot begin to explain the impact he and my grandma have had on my life these past 23 years. Today will be a day I will forever cherish, forever until I see him again welcoming me inside the pearly gates.
Today I spent the most meaningful time with Grandpa that I have ever spent. All afternoon I was blessed with his and Grandma's insight, words of wisdom, and spiritual discussions. They asked what I was doing on my computer, and I was able to show them the design process I go through to create the clothing and other project designs. They were simply in awe of the artwork and the technology involved. They asked about the sketch book I carry along with me. I showed them the beginning sketches and the thought processes of designs and projects in their earliest infant stage. I then explained some of the meanings of the words and images they saw sketched out before them. I explained how this company that we are developing goes beyond just designs, but rather is purposed for you to seek the deeper meanings within the designs and to receive the messages represented. This may not make sense to you right now, but once we reveal to you the brand in its entirety within the upcoming weeks, months, and years, you will surely begin to understand its purpose of existence.
Grandpa said, "JoAnn, let's pray with Tyler and this sketch book of his; that it will carry the messages from God that He has placed on his life." At that moment, I sat there with Grandma and Grandpa, with our hands on one another and our other hands on the sketchbook, for 5 or 10 minutes as Grandpa led a prayer that is now sunk into my heart and mind for life. This may sound silly or strange to some of you, but it will be something I will always have with me, every step of the way.
For that to happen hours before his passing is a sign from God of the power and purpose that this company will represent. That time I had with them, and the hours we spent talking with my parents at the dinner table tonight, were the most meaningful and awesome conversations I have ever had. It wasn't more than 30 minutes after we left their home from dinner did we receive the call from Grandma. As we ran into their house, there was my grandma with my grandpa held up in her arms after breathing his last breath.
Grandpa has always shared the salvation message. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." To know that Grandpa is in heaven at this very moment is the most rewarding gift anyone could ever possibly receive. And to think, we all can share in that moment simply be accepting Jesus into our lives and into our hearts. Literally, for eternity, Grandpa will be rejoicing in heaven because of his short life here on Earth spent dedicated to the Kingdom of God. What a life and what an after-life we all can have in Christ. I pray that you too accept this gift, for if you do, you also will be forever rewarded in the richness of heaven.