For several years, my husband, Pat, and I have been the “in-between” parents. Our son, John, and his family live three hours away in one direction and our other son, Kevin, lives three-and-a-half hours away in the other direction. Each family travels to visit us on different weekends once per month. A few times a year, everyone meets at our home, giving the cousins an opportunity to get to know one another. I am incredibly grateful that both families have been willing to make so many trips.
Recently, my husband’s health has been declining. Like so many grandparents, we knew our living situation was going to have to change—so we prayed for the Lord’s guidance. One night early last spring, I woke up at 1:00 a.m. to find Pat on the floor. I wondered who I could call to assist me in getting him back in bed. Once Pat had been taken care of, I thought, “Ok Lord, it’s time to make a move.” We prayed about splitting our time between the locations where our children live. We knew it would be wonderful to be closer to each family at least part of the year, but we would also be leaving lifelong friends, extended family, and our church community. It was really a three-way split and we saw no easy solution. Both of our sons’ families were settled where they were living. We agreed that we needed to have conversations with our sons.
The next week, John called me over his lunch break. “Mom, Katia and I have decided to move to be near you and dad.” I was stunned and absolutely silent. “Mom, are you unhappy that we’re moving closer to you?” he asked. I caught my breath and replied, “Oh no; I’m delighted! I just can’t believe it.” He went on to say that he and Katia had been talking about what was most important to them. They both wanted to be closer to family and had made the decision that now was the time.
“What about your job?” I asked John. “Well, at first, my employer was unhappy about my decision but the company just decided to open up a new branch location two miles from you!”
A few days later, a friend of mine said, “Wow, what an answer to your prayers!” I responded, “I never prayed for this. I never thought it was a possibility.” We had been praying for the grace to make the move. The Lord knew what would be best for all of us, and it was beyond my greatest expectation!
By next fall, John and his family will move. Not only will we see his family more, but it will also give us more time with Kevin’s family. We knew God wanted us to pass on our faith in our family. Now we know we can always trust he will help us in unforeseeable ways.
God is so good! May he surprise you with an unforeseen blessing this year.
Beth McNamara is on the board of Grandly Missions