From the earliest days of our marriage, I longed for and prayed for a large family.
My dream of love-filled, chaotic Christmas mornings came true when my only son presented me with the six most precious grandchildren on earth. They lived hundreds of miles away, but miles can’t affect the love of a grandma.
Each phone call was a treasure and each visit a joy of epic proportions. Is there a treasure of more worth than a ringing phone followed by six little voices yelling in unison across the miles, “I love you, Mimi!”?
Fourteen years of ever-increasing grandparent bliss came to an abrupt end with a sudden and bitter divorce.
Anger, hatred, and vengeance tore my world apart when my ex-daughter-in-law definitively declared my husband and I were no longer allowed any contact with our six little loves.
We had no rights or recourse.
The pain was beyond what words can convey. A good portion of our prayers were simply tears squeezed from broken hearts. “Why?” “What is the purpose?” “How can we I go on?”
It was six years before the first of our babies was old enough to re-establish contact. The sound of her voice on the phone bathed my shredded heart with a life-regenerating balm.
Over the next two years, two more of our precious ones came of age and chose to come back into our lives.
As I was in the process of directing the portrayal of Paul in Romans 8 of the NLT audio New Testament, Breathe, the fourth contacted us and came for a visit.
It was the first time we had even spoken to her in over ten years.
I listened in as the words of Paul, voiced by Kurt Naebig, sprang to life . . . and the words of God, penned by Paul, sprang to life within my heart:
God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).
Three of our grandchildren have chosen to relocate to be close to us and one visits and calls on a regular basis. But there are still two who have grown up outside our world.
The twins were only five years old the last time we saw those sweet little faces. It has been twelve years since we held them close.
We do not know the purpose in our lives or the lives of our grandchildren for the years of separation and pain.
But as I heard Kurt Naebig read Romans 8:28, I was impacted again with the fact that God has a plan for my life and my grandchildren’s lives.
True faith stands through times that seem hopeless, secure in the knowledge that all things work together for good.
Even when traumatic loss rips all sense from life—the Holy Spirit strengthens us, prays the prayers that are too agonizing to voice on our own —and allows us to walk forward, ever closer to the glory revealed to us through Jesus.
There are days when success is remembering to just breathe.
Just breathe deep…. and inhale the grace and goodness of God.
And then—exhale the stress and the strains of life.
There is a way to breathe—that exhales worries and inhales the Word.
It’s a strange grace—how in the spaces between the words of His Words — our soul finds the space it desperately needs to finally breathe.
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This story was written by Brenda Noel and originally posted on Annvoskamp.com.