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  • DJ Hejtmanek

The Legacy of Our 'Yes' to God

Updated: May 28, 2019

Generational family portrait
Photo Credit: Bethany Pepin

I’ve heard our daughter, Bethany Pepin, say this phrase several times as she stood to minister – “Put your YES on the table.” It resonates deeply in me, sounding a clarion call to my soul.

Let me tell you why...a story I somehow failed to tell our children, until now.

I grew up on this story of “yes.”

When my father, Gordon Arthur May, was a young man and newlywed, he experienced an intestinal obstruction that almost took his life. This was before any of his three children were born, so my ears always perked up for the story. The outcome affected my destiny and my siblings. In typical childhood recollection, key facets of the story are vivid; most details dim.

I still hear my Papa’s voice: “Gordon was a goner, for sure.”

Grandmother Dude was a reserved, stately woman, almost six feet tall, and formidable. Papa was a retired oil field worker, rough, playful, and quite a softie. Papa accepted Christ, the story goes, when he was 35 years old in a country Baptist church outside Gilliam, Louisiana. Their modest grey home sat on a country acre studded with old oaks and a front-and-center twisty chinaberry tree which produced delightful flowers and berries. Rusty green lawn chairs circled the grass in the deep shade. An oil jack endlessly pumped time behind their house.

Not their pump, I might add. Just North Louisiana ambiance.

So my Daddy was fighting for his life in the hospital. Which one? The charity hospital, I suspect. The one in Shreveport, Louisiana, thirty miles south of Gilliam, called Confederate Memorial Hospital once upon a time.

Grandmother Dude kneels in the hospital chapel and prays. Save her boy and she will always say yes to God.

Papa walks down a sterile hospital corridor and hears a voice, an audible voice, say: “Gordon’s gonna be okay.” Papa turns to find the person speaking and “nary a soul” is in the hallway.

Papa has heard from God.

And my Daddy was okay. I was born a couple of years later, followed by my brother Byron, then my sister Patti. Lives that wouldn't have existed if God hadn't moved. Did my grandmother's yes make a difference? I don't know; I like to think so.

Gordon lived to 77 years of age, when pancreatic cancer claimed his life.

Grandmother Dude continued to say yes until she was 94. She played the organ in church, taught Sunday School, cooked fried chicken and mashed potatoes for her family, and baked a phenomenal chocolate meringue pie. She served well. She lost one of her four sons early, then her beloved Eugene, my Papa. She was a rock. She walked a quiet life of devoted obedience. (She also said yes to bacon every morning!)

I see the legacy of her “yes” flowing through our generations and rejoice.

Yes to believing in His sacrifice for our salvation. Yes to walking in faith. Yes to repentance from dead works. Yes to instant obedience to His voice. Yes to sacrificial giving. Yes to holiness. Yes to service in His Kingdom. Yes to health and wholeness. Yes to victorious living. Yes to fulfilling His purposes in the earth. Yes to generational blessings.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I am thankful to be part of Grandmother Dude’s legacy of yes, which extends to a multitude, including our children, our grandchildren, our future great grandchildren, to a thousand generations. Did this legacy of faith begin with her? Probably not. I look forward to meeting our generational pioneers of blessing one day on the other side.

What is your legacy?

Are you opening the door to a godly heritage? Or continuing that legacy? We each have a choice to make.

Put your YES on the table today.


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