JoAnne Kelly’s Thin Place: Laboring for Love

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“It was far from perfect but we were all learning to love and become the best family we could.” JoAnne Kelly’s words from her Thin Place Story remind us love is a process.

Housekeeping note: JoAnne’s story kicks off Thin Place Thursday. Now it’s easier to remember when the Thin Place Stories will run. (You can also get reminders about new posts by following/subscribing via the icons on the upper right side of the page.)

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After more than 24 hours of labor I still had lots of energy. It was a good thing, considering I was the mom, partner and labor-coach of my laboring daughter. I didn’t know it then, but the toughest part was still coming before my grandson would be born on that memorable day. It was going to be a day of new birth and renewed sight.

Let me back up a few months to the time we received a phone call from our oldest daughter, living on the other side of the world. The words “I’m pregnant” were not delivered in the timing, nor in the way I had ever imagined hearing such good news from one of my girls. She was not married or in a relationship, and it was her 19th birthday. It was surreal. Struggling with betrayal, anger and shock, I began an unstable journey for the next few months. I gradually was able to give her and her unborn child over to God and His care. The following months saw her come home, work through forgiveness and blossom as a beautiful young pregnant mom. It was far from perfect, but we were all learning to love and become the best family we could.

Let me back up a few decades before that to the time my husband and I received a phone call that began the journey to adopt our oldest daughter. At the other side of the city a teen-aged girl had decided to allow us to become the parents of her unborn child. This stranger had made a courageous and heart-wrenching decision. Elated and grateful, I began the waiting period of a soon-to-be adoptive mother. The months that followed saw lives become intertwined as God formed a new family, and gave us a beautiful baby girl by adoption.

Returning to the labor and delivery room 19 years later, time passed with tears, pain and prayer. The overwhelming privilege I had began to hit me as my daughter realized her little boy was about to be delivered. With his head crowning, and the tears flowing (and, yes, the camera clicking) rushes of memory and gratitude flooded over me. Unable to be a part of my daughter’s birth more than 19 years earlier, there I was, joyfully welcoming her son – my grandson. Time stood still for a moment as a very thin line formed between the world in that delivery room and the supernatural, all-knowing love of our heavenly Father. The way God weaves us together, loves, and allows us to love is a mystery that I saw much more clearly through the miracle of new life that day.

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