I welcomed another new little grandbaby into the world last week.
She was born in a rustic A-frame house that my daddy built many years ago, and I cried as her other grandma and I stood in awe at her arrival. It was like life had come full circle, and I was overwhelmed by the reminder of God’s love and grace as we met this beautiful little girl.
That A-frame had started as an adventure, Daddy clearing a spot for it in the middle of the woods, building its frame with old power poles from the utility company he worked for.
But Daddy’s adventure took a wrong turn at some point. People we dearly love can make some horrible mistakes, and my daddy was no exception. When he moved into the A-frame to start a new life with a new wife, the foundations of my world were shaken. The man who had shown me what God looked like, the man who loved me and protected me and cheered for me suddenly turned his back on almost everything he said he believed.
So I turned my back on him.
It took several years before I listened to God and finally understood that He hadn’t given me the job of punishing my father. He loved Daddy even more than I did, and He would take care of any discipline that needed to take place. My job was to forgive and to show him God’s love.
Now, thirty-three years later, I was standing in that same A-frame, the one that God made beautiful in His time. In His time, He had called both my daddy and my stepmother back to Him, and they both treasured a deeper-than-average appreciation for what it meant to be forgiven. They became the channel of many of God’s greatest blessing in my life, in the lives of my husband and children, and in the lives of many, many other people who knew them.
The thought swept over me in a new way, as we greeted our new granddaughter — how God can take what looks bad or even hopeless, what looks like a strategic victory for Satan, and still turn it around for our good and for His glory.
He can take an A-frame and transform it from a haven of hurt and betrayal, and turn it into:
the place where my husband proposed to me,
the place our children shared some of their sweetest and most exciting childhood memories,
the place our second-born proposed to his wife,
the place he and his wife chose to live when Grandpa and Grandy passed on,
and the place where He safely brought their new, healthy, whoppin’ 10-pound “little” girl into the world and into our lives.
He specializes in taking our bad and turning it into His good. And we are the awe-struck and underserving beneficiaries of that grace.
(Photo by Susannah Mahar)