The boys. That’s what our family has called them most of their lives. They came to our family unexpectedly. Our daughters were teenagers when they were pregnant with the boys. Those were difficult years.
The day we learned our oldest daughter was pregnant, I remember sitting in the backyard crying like a baby. My mind was filled with doubt and questions. Questions like, “How can this be?” “Where did I go wrong?” “What’s the future hold for my daughter and this child?” You may be one of our dear friends that offered encouragement, love and a shoulder to cry on. Karen and I will never forget your kindness. Thank you.
Just when the pain from that experience began to subside, we discovered our second daughter was expecting. This news was almost too much to bear. I questioned, “Didn’t we handle the first pregnancy in the right way?” “Why do we have to travel this road again?” If you’ve had to walk through times like that you understand the pain.
Our daughters and their boys lived with us for 4 years. The boys thought they were brothers. Life for them was good. In the winter, I took them sledding in our backyard. During the summer, I encouraged them to sit in their metal Tonka dump trucks and ride down the hill! Grandpas think activities like that are a lot more fun than mothers do!
It was bittersweet when our two daughters married and moved into their own homes. Karen and I certainly missed our daughters and the boys, but the peace and quiet was delightful! As time passed the boys continued to grow and flourish. The choices their young parents had made caused life to be harder than it needed to be but they were determined to succeed. The young couples worked fulltime jobs, attended college, loved each other and loved the boys. Life was hard but God was gracious.
Throughout the years, I taught the boys to fish and hunt. We’ve played countless basketball games together. I’ve won over and over and I’ve done more trash talking to them than a good grandfather should! But, we’ve had great fun.
Recently, my church held a Men’s Night Out. When the boys found out we’d be watching the Final Four basketball tournament, eating chicken wings and playing in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament they were all in!
The boys arrived early and signed us up for the 3 on 3 tournament. With each game we played, the competition increased. The players kept getting taller, stronger and better. Many of the other players were 10 to 15 year older than the boys and 25 to 30 years younger than me. I’ll just blurt it out- the boys and I won the tournament! Maybe we could never beat some of those teams again but we did that night. I went to bed with a smile on my face. That night, in my mind, the boys had become young men. We were a team. We were family.
The boys call me Ba. This is a story of Ba and the boys. It’s a personal story. The boys will never know how much their lives have enriched mine. I’m better because of them. From the evening I first learned their mother was pregnant, through the time we all lived together, and until the present, God has been writing a beautiful story. It’s not been without hardship and sorrow but it’s our story, it’s my story.
It’s a story of crying out to God, of His faithfulness and redemption. A story of love, forgiveness, and hope. A story of family and love for one another.
Perhaps your story is harder than you ever dreamed possible. I encourage you to keep your eyes on the Good Shepherd. Stay close to him. Trust him. Remember, God doesn’t judge us on the circumstances of our story. He looks at our behavior and attitude as we journey through our story. May God give you wisdom, strength and peace.
Blessings to you!