Graham, the eldest son of the Steven’s family who lives down the street from my sister in Chicago, went to be with the Lord just before Easter. He was only 19 years old and loved God with all of his heart. The constant outpouring of love and support for Graham and his family from the community and on FaceBook (Prayers for Graham) was monumental. A celebration of his life was held on Easter Sunday.
The Holy Spirit keeps guiding me to Romans 8:28 – We are assured and know that all things work together and are for good to and for those who love God and are called according to His design and purpose. That is the scripture that I always turn to as a reminder that God always has a perfect purpose in all that He does.
One of the many testimonies resulting from this incredible young man’s life occurred this afternoon. My niece, one of Graham’s friends, was incredibly stirred by the words of love expressed by the hundreds of people who attended his memorial service last night. As a result, she is now searching for a Christian church to attend so she can learn more about the Bible, and enjoy praise and worship time each Sunday. We agreed in prayer that God would lead her to the right place.
Our conversation confirmed what I know to be true – that our Father brings the good out of any situation, no matter how tragic it may seem to be. I am so thankful for my relationship with Him and for opening my niece’s heart to know Him better.
I mailed out my Christmas cards one week early to ensure they would arrive before December 25th. On Christmas Eve, one of the cards was returned to me marked “unable to deliver”. I called my Aunt to inquire as to her new address in Michigan and also asked for her eldest daughter’s phone number. While growing up in Chicago, I only recall meeting my Aunt Margie and her five children one time in my life. They drove from Indiana to our house and spent the night when I was sixteen. I don’t know why we did not spend more time with our cousins but knew it was finally time to reconnect with them after all these years.
I called my cousin Jill and left her a message the day after Christmas. She returned my call and we talked for 20 minutes to try and catch up on thirty years. Later that day, I also connected on FaceBook with my cousins Jodi and James. My younger sister also became their friends on FaceBook. We are all excited about meeting for a family reunion this summer at Lake Michigan. My parents always took my 3 sisters and me to the lake every summer. Revisiting that location would bring back a lot of fond memories. Plus it would be wonderful to create some new ones with our longlost cousins.
You know I am a firm believer in God’s perfect timing. Had my aunt’s Christmas card not been returned to me in the mail, I don’t know if I would have connected with my mom’s side of the family. Reach out to your loved ones this
season even if you have not spoken to them in months or even years. The results may surprise you! Have a blessed new year!