While my children were growing up, our house was the one where all the kids gathered (the swimming pool and home theater might have helped!) but I always wanted our home to be a place where my children’s friends could come and hang out.
It started really when they were very young — 3, 5, and 7. We got new neighbors who had an older son in high school and two younger girls in fifth and sixth grade. I remember the day we met them. “Come on over anytime!” I pleaded. And they did.
These two sweet girls became a real part of our family. They came by invitation, they stayed because of love, and they returned nearly everyday they lived next door to us. I loved it! They became a huge help to me as ‘big sisters’ to my own children. They kept them entertained and filled hours of the day playing with them throughout the summer months and after school during the rest of the year. Even as they grew older, the girls kept coming. They ate with us, watched our kids, help me clean the house, and went to church with us; we even took them on vacation with us! I claimed them as my own and often had to apologize to their mother for stealing them away.
Several years later, they moved out of state. It was an abrupt and painful move, and I grieved their loss. My children missed them desperately. We eventually lost touch with them, despite trying to contact them through friends and acquaintances we knew near where they lived. I remember my prayers and pleading with God to ‘take care of my girls.’ Twenty years have passed since then, with only a word here and there from people who heard from them.
And then — Facebook was invented.
Say what you will about Facebook — I have found it to be a great way to reconnect with people. And my girls found me! God is so good. He answers prayer, even when we don’t realize it — maybe even for years. I had asked God to keep His hand on their lives — to help them grow to know Him. I prayed they would find godly husbands and to build lives that would honor Him.
Just recently, one of my girls came to visit me. She brought her husband and four children and stayed with us for several days. I’m overwhelmed as I write this — because she has turned into the woman of God I dreamed she would become. And God let me see her and reconnect. He’s patched a hole in my heart and let me rejoice in seeing His handiwork!
“All believers, come here and listen, let me tell you what God did for me. I called out to him with my mouth… Blessed be God: he didn’t turn a deaf ear, he stayed with me, loyal in his love.” —Psalm 66:16,20
We suffer all kinds of ‘losses’ in life — but nothing is wasted in God’s hands. He uses our circumstances — bad and good — for His purposes if we yield ourselves to Him. He is at work, even when we can’t see it.