Welcome to our second Hope Dweller Stories guest post! I know that God’s timing will be perfect with each and every guest post He puts into place, and I feel like this month’s guest post could not have been timed any more perfectly with it being the testimony of one man’s salvation. What better part of His story could be shared on Easter weekend than someone coming to know Jesus as Savior, of Jesus raising a dead heart back to life at just the right moment?!
Our guest post this time is sort of a two person guest post. It’s the testimony of LC Melton as told by his granddaughter, Charissa Williams. It’s her story also as God called her to be a significant part of his salvation story. It’s a beautiful story of God’s reckless love for us in action. It’s His story at work, with every inch of it pointing to Him. Here’s Charissa with her grandfather’s story.
I’m going to give you a little background so my grandpa’s testimony makes a little more sense. My grandpa died at the age of 90. He was a tough, intimidating man, but I saw that he was very caring through the stories from his students. He was a teacher, who touched the lives of many. In fact, he had a student that would visit him often from Oklahoma. My grandpa was a talented blacksmith and wordsmith with published writings. He and my grandma wrote and illustrated a book of poetry together. He was amazing, but I never felt very close to him growing up.
When I was a child my dad told me to give my grandpa a hug every time that we left their house. I vividly remember asking “why” when I was older. Why hug someone who stands like a statue with no words, emotion, acknowledgment that they are even being hugged? I’m a rule follower, so I did. My dad later told me that grandpa needed to know we loved him even if he didn’t show it back to us, which many years later became my family’s calling that came to a close a year ago in March.
When my husband, Mike, found out that his teaching position was being cut 7 years ago, we began praying about what we were to do. He applied for jobs, searched for anything that was available in the area but nothing turned up. I was at a women’s prayer meeting when I had a very vivid vision of our family living with my grandpa. I laughed and said NO WAY!!! Then I remember my grandma’s wish, to see my grandpa saved before she passed away. She didn’t see that happen on this earth, but she spent years in prayer and ministry to her husband. When I got home I mentioned the vision to Mike. His reply was that for a while he had been feeling that God was going to move us to KS closer to my family and away from TX, but didn’t want to mention it until God revealed it to me as well. So instead of the NO WAY I was expecting, it became a question of how is that ever going to happen?
God moved mountains and we moved in with my grandpa and lived with him, cared for him, loved on him for almost 6 years before he died. The last year of his life was the hardest. He didn’t want to live anymore. He didn’t understand why he was still alive. God filled me with boldness to share with my grandpa truth at just the moments it needed to be spoken. God filled me with the strength to love when the enemy tried to persuade me to quit. All of that to say, here is my grandpa’s testimony. He is not here on this earth to share it, but I am. I pray that God moves in your life as you read this, I pray that He shows you His unconditional love that is real to you right where you are in your life, through your struggles and your victories. You are so deeply loved! God will do anything and everything to care for you, because you are His!
The Testimony of LC Melton
Grandpa’s testimony is a story of God’s amazing, overwhelming, unconditional, reckless love. God will stop at absolutely nothing to rescue His sheep. God pursued and wooed my grandpa for 90 years! God never grew weary, never gave up, he stopped at nothing to bring my grandpa home.
Five and a half years ago God called my family to live in my grandpa’s home, showing Grandpa – through the good, the bad, and the ugly – His love, unconditional love. Over these years I began to see slight changes in my grandpa. All the while asking God to remove the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Asking God to tear down all the walls Grandpa had built up around his heart throughout his lifetime.
When Grandpa had his first stroke, the day after his 90th birthday party, God filled me with boldness to pursue Grandpa like I never had before. I began asking him tough questions and not backing down when he may have wanted to change the subject.
The biggest change I saw in him occurred when he returned to LakePoint, a rehab/skilled nursing facility, after his final time in the hospital. When the kids and I hugged him, he hugged us back. When we told him that we loved him, he actually said, “I love you.” When we told him God loved him even more, he said, “Thank you.” He began to seek, asking me questions, him leading the conversation where I had before.
When I received the call that my dad was faced with the decision of calling an ambulance or keeping Grandpa comfortable, I was surprised and rushed up to LakePoint to be sure my kids had time with him in case he went to the hospital. When we walked into the room and saw him, I felt that the end of his time with us was near, but God had already begun to fill my heart with peace during Grandpa’s last stay in the hospital. A peace and confidence that the Lord would answer the cry of the saints! I didn’t know how or when, but seeing Grandpa with God for eternity was the very heart of the Father’s desire for my grandpa.
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018 I had the privilege of spending about an hour alone with my grandpa on his last day here on this earth. As I sat down next to his side and took his hand, I let him know that I was there, that I loved him, and God loved him. I thought about reading scripture to him, but nothing was coming to my mind of what I should read, so I prayed and asked God to show me.
“Sing, my Nightingale,” He responded.
So, I began to sing Out of Hiding (Steffany Gretzinger). I asked the Lord to send warring angels to remove anything that was not of Him, then ministering angels to minister to Grandpa in the ways he needed to be. Other songs I sang, declaring the words over Grandpa were: Lion and the Lamb (Leeland), What a Beautiful Name (Hillsong), This is Amazing Grace (Jeremy Riddle), and Reckless Love (Cory Asbury).
As I was singing Reckless Love I would pause and let Grandpa know that God called my family to love on him and that the love we tried to show him was only a fraction of the love that God the Father had for him. God desperately wanted Grandpa to sit at His table; all he had to do was to receive the invitation. And no, he didn’t deserve it, which he often told me that he didn’t. He couldn’t earn it, but still Jesus died for him, LC Melton, because He loves him that much. God would go to the ends of the earth for him, LC Melton. There was nothing God would not do for him!
As the song was ending, I said, “Just receive His love. Receive the gift that has already been given to you.”
Then I had this overwhelming feeling that there was a battle being fought. A battle I could not fight, but my God would, AND He would win the victory! So, I sang Surrounded (Michael W. Smith).
Then I cried out for my grandpa that God’s glory would pour down on him and sang Living Water (Gateway Worship). Followed by the beginning of King of My Heart and Place of Freedom, but not the whole song.
The Lord then led me to sing Resurrecting (Elevation Worship). As I was singing it, I felt as if God was truly resurrecting Grandpa right then and there. Grandpa began to move and tried to speak by moving his mouth, but no sound or words came out. I turned off the music and asked grandpa if he wanted to say something.
“Well, yeah,” he replied.
“I’m right here, I’m listening.”
He began moving his mouth, but no sound was coming to form words.
I asked, “Are you ready to ask Jesus to be your Savior?”
He made the faintest sound that sounded like, “Yeah.” The last word, that I’m aware of, spoken by my grandpa.
I know he continued to hear us and knew he was surrounded by the love of his family as we all spent his last moments on earth with him.
Praise the Lord, for LC Melton is now sitting at his place at the Father’s table. The place the Father prepared for him.
As I began sharing his testimony with my kids on, Friday, March 9th. I remembered Rev 12:10-11. God was telling me that Grandpa was no longer here to share his testimony, but I am. I pray these words and Grandpa’s life bring glory to God’s name. There have been at least four generations of saints praying, interceding, asking the Lord for Grandpa’s salvation and that God would allow him enough time on this earth! I told my children that they could have peace in Grandpa’s death because God answered their prayers, that I believed Great PaPa was sitting right now at the Father’s table.
Michah responded with confidence and tears in his eyes, “I believe that, too. Mommy, he answered your prayer, too. You asked God and prayed that He would allow Great PaPa enough time to become a Christian. He gave him just enough time to become a Christian.”
My grandpa’s story and legacy now also includes a testimony to God’s unconditional love that is so great we can’t even fathom, His faithfulness, His goodness, His reckless love that stops at nothing to rescue His precious child.
What a powerful testimony of God’s amazing love for us! What a testament to His powerful redemption plan! As I think of what we are celebrating this weekend, Christ’s death on the cross, His payment for our sins, and then His glorious resurrection that demonstrates His power over sin, darkness, and death, I can’t help but be both joyfully excited and humbled by all that He has done for me. He desires to do the same for you! If you don’t already know Him as Savior, He is beckoning you to lay it all down at His feet, every burden, every bit of hurt, every sin, every bit of brokenness, and let Him redeem it and make you new. Don’t miss out on the power of His redemption story in your life!
Do you have someone that you’ve been crying out to the Lord for? Don’t give up hope! Keep praying, keep bringing them before the Lord, knowing that He is at work, that even as much as you desire to see them come to know Him, He desires it even more.