“God I just want to meet my grandma before she passes away.” This was the simple prayer I can still see written in my Barbie diary in second grade over twenty years ago. It was a miracle I was asking Jesus for. I had just figured out the connection of what step family really meant in the sense that I didn’t really know who my dad’s mom was even though I deeply loved my step grandma and uncle and still do. I prayed often that same prayer off and on for the next four years waiting for Jesus to do the miracle.
In sixth grade my dad received a letter from his cousin on his mom’s side wanting to reconnect after not seeing him for over thirty years. As they reconnected through letters she suggested that my dad try to reconnect with his mother. She had her address and spoke to her often. I was so excited to hear that my grandma was still alive and prayed even more that the possibility would happen.
My dad wrote her a letter waiting to hear back first. This was a huge step for him especially since he hadn’t seen his mom in thirty years at that point. I will never forget watching the process that God took my dad on of trusting God to heal his heart from years of hurt; forgiving his mom and hoping that she would want to meet in person as she wrote back. And then they got to talk on the phone back and forth several times for about a year.
During Thanksgiving break of 2000, we drove down to Arkansas where my dad finally got to see his mom after thirty years; where I got to meet my grandma and her husband; where they got to meet my mom as well. God had answered my prayer and I got to see my grandma! It was an amazing break even though I could tell my grandma was struggling with the emotions and guilt of not seeing her son for so many years; missing out on so many things.
Because of this guilt, even though my dad had forgiven her, she spoke to him some after that meeting, but then cut off communication other than a few cards here and there for the next several years. Then my junior year of college, as I was praying yet again that she would want to keep in touch and be a part of our lives, I felt like I should write her a birthday card. My husband suggested I send her a Christmas card, as that would be less personal since everyone sends Christmas cards to those they care about in December. I sent it in hopes of hearing something back. God surprised me again when my husband and brother-in-law went to check the mail one day, about a week later. My husband hands me the mail sitting down to watch my reaction as I sifted through it. When I got to the bottom of the pile there it was, the Christmas card from my grandma! I couldn’t believe it. She actually wrote me back! God wasn’t surprised though, because He had used my husband’s suggestion to bring my grandma back into my life. Because of this, she also was brought back in touch with my dad as well.
See, here is where I should have known better than to be surprised. God had already answered so many prayers in this family relationship, but I was struggling to trust Him to do it again even when I knew He could.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” I love how the New Living Translation puts this verse.. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen..”. This is such a huge point, because when we pray we need to trust that God will come through for us. He will answer our prayers! It may not be in the way we want Him to answer, but He will take care of us and knows what is best for us. Sometimes it’s hard to wait for God to answer our prayers. I am personally still waiting on God to completely answer the prayers for my grandma and the rest of her kids, to include my dad’s sister and my aunt. Praying that they all not only will first be reconciled to God, but also to each other. I am praying that there will be forgiveness and healing and restoration.
What are you waiting on God to do in your life? Maybe it feels like He has forgotten you. I am here to tell you that He has not forgotten you. He loves you!
Maybe you are asking God to help you forgive someone who has hurt you. Ask God to give you a heart for that person like His heart for them; to love them like He loves them. This will help to see those around us like He sees them and begin to heal our heart and help to restore things that have been broken.
Jesus, thank You for helping me to share this story of how You brought reconciliation into my family and forgiveness for hurt. Thank You for helping me to be transparent so that whoever is reading this article may find hope and encouragement that You can do the same in their lives. I pray for those struggling to forgive hurt. Help them to see people like You see them no matter how they have wronged us. Jesus help us all to have faith and trust You as You continue to do what You have started in each of our lives! In Jesus Name, Amen.