Come and hear,all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.If I had cherished sin in my heart,

   the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened

   and has heard my prayer.Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalms 66:16-20

 My son has the cheesiest grin on his face. Even though he is four years old, Elijah seems to know just how special it is to be spending time with my father. Tori my youngest drags Grandpa to the rock wall and instructs him how to help her climb, while my oldest waits her turn to jump rope with him. We spent an entire morning lost in the moment of making memories in simple child’s play.

      My Dad has spent years in the bottom of a liquor bottle or strung on out drugs. Just barely a year ago, God wrestled with his heart and Dad surrendered. When he did surrender, God restored his life, his spirit, and our relationship. 
     I spent years praying for this man. Wounded and abandoned, I prayed for him. Angry and confused by his self centered ways, I prayed for him. Forgiving and letting go, I prayed for him. My Dad has been clean just over a year and God’s spirit has done more that just restore this man. He’s restored our family, opened the lines communication and healed the wounds in our hearts; this is the year of redemption for our family. 

      What gives me the greatest joy is watching my babies call my Dad, “Grandpa”, while he plays with them on the floor and spoils them rotten like Grandpa’s were meant to do. And as the afternoon fades into the evening, we sit out on the back porch swapping scriptures like playing cards and how each one applies to our lives. We talk about the past, no feelings of bitterness erupt as we reflect on God’s purpose and plan. Every once in a while, I glimpse the midst in his eyes, as his heart grows heavy with what he’s missed out on; and yet I smile because of the blessing of the moment. 
      So many of us have loved ones that are caught in addiction or lost to the thinking of there is no God while we sit back, holding our breath and praying. We wonder if God hears our prayers and if redemption and restoration will be seen in our lifetime. Our hearts ache with the emptiness of the void our severed ties bring, and yet I’m living proof God does hear our prayers…and yes beloved, He does answer them.

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