|Anna Ruth and her great granddaughter, Rebekah Ruth|
This is a sad time but there are joys interwoven amidst the grief I am feeling.
The photo above touched my heart deeply not only because both people in the picture are precious to my heart, but also because it reminded me of a series of little miracles the Lord has done for us in the past couple of years, miracles I had actually, if not forgotten, dismissed in some way so that they had lost their power to encourage.
I think it is important to recognize small coincidences as being God's way of touching our earthbound timelines with a little bit of Heavenly light, and that we ought to treasure these small miracles in our hearts, tucked away as protection from the discouragement sorrows can bring. Our memories of how the Lord has blessed us in the past build faith that He will continue to bless us in the future.
I have shared this story before, but as I've received new understandings of the depth of the Lord's love through these seeming coincidences, I want to share it again!
Our little miracles arrived in this way: About 18 months ago both our daughter and our daughter-in-law announced their pregnancies. Our grandson and granddaughter were born in the fall of 2015, one month to the day apart. Independently of one another, these two couples chose Biblical names for their children. My daughter awoke with the word, "mirth," in her mind one morning and after thoroughly researching boy names that might mean mirth or laughter, she settled on the name Isaac.
Our daughter-in-law wanted her daughter named in remembrance of a beloved aunt who spelled her name Rebekah, like Isaac's wife in the Bible story. And so our family welcomed Isaac and Rebekah, and we smiled at the coincidence, and we felt the Lord smiling with us.
But the little miracles didn't stop there. Again, without consulting one another or me, my children decided to give Rebekah my mother's middle name, while Isaac received my father's middle name. Imagine the fullness in my heart when, in the midst of my grief over losing my mom and the always present sorrow of missing my dad, we welcomed little Isaac Lee and Rebekah Ruth.
I did not know myself, at the time, how I would feel to lose the last member of the older generation on my side of the family. I will be the only one left when my mother passes away; there will be no remaining older relatives who share my maiden name and history. I have cousins, and cousins are great blessings, but it has been several years since I saw my closest cousin for a face-to-face visit. I have no siblings. Having grandchildren who bear my parents' names means more to me than I first understood. My dad and mom have great grandchildren who will carry their names to a new generation, but more than that, my heart is comforted on levels that only the Lord knew I would need as I traverse my mother's transition to nursing home care and the rapidly approaching end of her journey through Alzheimer's.