Musings of a Grandmother-to-Be

I’m finally going to be a grandmother for the first time. And all the thoughts and emotions swirling inside of me need to be sorted and find expression. Excitement. Giddy with anticipation. Love already growing for someone yet unknown. And fear, concern, worry. But also hope, curiosity, and joy. And inadequacy. And relief…

All my grandmother-friends tell me that this is the greatest “gig,” even better than advertised. The writer of Proverbs seems to agree, stating that grandchildren are the crown of the elderly (Pr 17:6).

I know I am entering this new phase a little later than many of my peers. My age has occupied a good bit of my contemplation lately as I realize I have less years ahead of me than those behind. I tire easily. My memory’s not as sharp as it was. My body sore and achy. I’ve thought about how much longer I want to be employed. I’ve wondered if I have it in me anymore to handle changes, to flex with new ways of doing things.

Because I know that even good things bring change. And every change brings good things. A grandchild means new priorities, new schedules, new use of time. I’ve had the luxury of ten years of an empty nest to do “my own thing,” to write, travel, and pursue ministry. I also acknowledge there’s going be hard days ahead. And yet a precious, miraculous life is beginning, a fresh chapter starting.

Now that I know new life is on the way, I’ve been given new life. I realize I can’t peter out just yet. In some ways I’m only beginning. Beginning to love again, instruct again, mentor again, embrace again. Yes, to enlarge my heart for someone new. Someone God chooses for me. I still don’t know if it’s a him or her. I don’t know anything about their personality, gifts, or potential struggles. I have to keep my body strong and take care of myself so that I can be present for them.

Some scriptures encourage me:

Isaiah says God will teach my children and give them peace (Is 54:13). I find this comforting as I trust the Lord to instruct my adult children as they start their parenting journey.

A few chapters later, Isaiah reminds me that God will put his words in my mouth and they will always be on my lips, and on the lips of my children, and the lips of their descendants (Is 59:21). Following the example of King Hezekiah, I will endeavor to tell the next generation of God’s great goodness and faithfulness (Is 38:19).

As I wait to hold this tiny one who carries some of my DNA (how wondrous is that?), I rely on and trust in the Lord (Is 50:10). I pray now as the little one forms, that they will be an instrument of life and hope for me, for their parents, but also for God. I resolve to see the image of God in them and love them unconditionally. I remain open to whatever God wants to teach me through this child.

I say this with some trepidation because I know that all things don’t always appear to work out for good (Rom 8:28) or I won’t see some of the good in my lifetime. I also know this child enters a world of chaos and evil. However, when did a child ever enter a world that wasn’t full of chaos and evil?

I also wonder how to be a grandmother. How do let my children raise this one (it is theirs after all) and still be involved and helpful and part of his or her life? I know I will mess up. I know they will roll their eyes at me some days. And yet, I want to be part of their life. To see the next generation grow, to discover who will remain after I am gone. 

Again Isaiah comforts me with the promise that God will sustain me and carry me even when I am old and have gray hairs (Is 46:4). Like now.

And I can always ask for wisdom as my mother taught me to do when I held my firstborn (her grandson and the father-to-be) in my arms (Jam 1:5).

Lord, thank you for this gift of life, this entry into the grandmother club which I hear so much about. I entrust this dear child into your hands. I ask you to give me wisdom and grace to love this one as you love me, to be a support to their parents, to find new energy and life to press forward even as my body begs to wind down.

Eva has been teaching and mentoring women for over thirty-five years. Her experience as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea, cross-cultural worker in Indonesia, women’s ministry director, and Bible College adjunct professor adds a global dimension to her study of Scripture and the stories she tells. Through her blog, Pondered Treasures, and her book, Favored Blessed Pierced: A Fresh Look at Mary of Nazareth, Eva invites readers to slow down, reflect, and practically apply God’s word to life. Currently she and her husband live in Richardson, Texas and promote the well-being of global workers in a church planting mission agency. A graduate of Baylor University, she also has a Master of Christian Education from Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C. Crafting (specifically macramé) and spending time with her two sons and a daughter-in-law rejuvenates her soul.

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