In a few days I will be getting on a plane and flying to an adjoining state to meet my newest granddaughter. She, like her sister, arrived on a Sunday morning after a somewhat frightening pregnancy. Unlike her sister, she weighed in at a whopping 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was screaming from the moment of her birth. My son and daughter-in-love christened her "New Life," a name quite appropriate to where our family is in the healing journey.
"Grace" announced her imminent arrival just days after our world and our hearts exploded into millions of fragments. Our family was forever changed but Grace came to remind us that as long as there is breath, there is hope. Her coming was prophetic, though we did not know that at the time. She announced the promise of a future to our family at a time when our past was disintegrating before our eyes. She brought joy to our hearts and continues to be a constant reminder that grace is an undeserved and unexpected favor.
I must admit that when our family experiences a significant event, I still experience conflicting emotions. Though I am happily remarried and very grateful that pedophilia and addiction no longer color my world, a new grandbaby is a poignant reminder of what we have lost. Life is not the way I envisioned it would be at this point; my kids no longer have an intact parental unit. My children's father and I will not share in this part of the journey that we began together; our paths have diverged, if ever they were really united. So it is a bittersweet time.
The conjoined twins of pedophilia and addiction strike at the heart of everything that is good and sacred about the vows we make to one another. They destroy truth with lies, fidelity with betrayal, and love with self-interest and self-gratification. Survivors flail about in the debris of the destruction they bring, trying desperately to make sense of the senseless. There seems to be no end to the suffering and pain they inflict on those closest to them, their primary and secondary victims.
But grace promises that there will be new life. Grace proclaims that this is not the end of my story, that there is life beyond the devastation and destruction. Grace points to a newness of life--a life that can be marked once more by truth, love and fidelity. Grace provides the space for a resurrection to take place. And our family is currently experiencing this resurrection: new relationships (including remarriage), new jobs, new homes, new dreams, new adventures, a restored sense of hope for the future and a new baby, appropriately named "Life."
So this weekend as I tickle "Grace" and cuddle "Life," I will express yet another prayer of gratitude. My two beautiful granddaughters are tangible proof that life is good, that hope is alive and that we have more than survived, we are thriving.