The morning started off in the usual way. Our daughter, Annie, pulled away from the curb of our home in her little black Mustang and headed off to school just like she had every other morning of that fall semester. She was a senior at our suburban Dallas high school and would be in the first graduating class of the new century. Annie was really enjoying her senior year and looking forward to going to college where she planned to become a second-grade schoolteacher.
At 9:30 A.M., I was having my second cup of coffee (okay, it was really my third!) and checking my e-mail in my home office. The home phone rang. The school nurse said, “Annie is here in my office, and she has something she needs to tell you.”Well, a huge lump jumped up in my throat as my daughter got on the phone. Between her sobs I could barely make out what she was saying, but there was no mistake about what I heard, “Mom, I’m pregnant.”
I stifled a sob of my own and said, “Come home, Honey, just come home.” I immediately called my husband, Tim, on his cell phone. He was en route to the church where he is the pastor of worship and administration. Through tears I told him the news, and he headed back home.
A few minutes later I heard the garage door open, signalling Tim’s arrival. I looked out the living-room window, and that little black Mustang was pulling up to the front curb. Tim rushed in from the garage and opened the front door just in time for Annie to run up the steps and into her father’s outstretched arms. I stood there in tearful amazement, watching the two of them in a silent embrace that truly said it all: “I love you. I forgive you. I’m here for you.”
Our daughter graduated with her class on May 19, 2000, and gave birth to our first grandchild, an eight-and-a-half-pound boy, on July 12. Within minutes after he was born, she handed him to her daddy, who extended his arms for him. As we caressed him we knew, without a doubt, that sometimes our greatest blessings come through circumstances we never dreamed we’d experience. But it’s up to us to love unconditionally and to be there with outstretched arms.
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