…(Zachariah’s] wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy…. When Elizabeth was full-term in her pregnancy, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives, seeing that God had overwhelmed her with mercy, celebrated with her. Luke 1:24, 57-58 (The Message)

Elizabeth’s story reminds me of my story of many, many years ago, although I was pregnant without a husband. As long as I could remember, my mother always called anyone in that situation “a tramp,” including the unwed daughter of her best friend from grade school. Unable to face what I perceived would be storming, raving and, perhaps, shunning from my mom, I moved to California to be by myself for the ensuing months.

Even knowing I would release my child for adoption, I relished my pregnancy, the intimacy of the child in my womb kicking, turning and growing. At full-term, I gave birth to a daughter, whom I named, on her original birth certificate, Sarah Naomi. I rejoiced in her, going to the hospital nursery to hold her and feed her a bottle, until we separated.

I held Sarah Naomi close in my heart for 50 years, unknown to my family, until my niece told me about corresponding with a female cousin through Ancestry.com. My niece rejoices in this new cousin.

In God’s time, God’s grace reunited me and my daughter Shelley Renae. We corresponded for a year before meeting in San Antonio, getting to know each other more deeply, delighting in the traits we share. We celebrated and rejoiced.

Gradually I broadened the circle of people who knew about Shelley, beginning with my two sons in a joint email. They each responded within ten minutes – both sharing the same message: “I’ve always wanted a sister!” They continue to rejoice with me.

Prayer: Good and Gracious God, Father and Mother of us all, I give thanks for your deep and abiding commitment to family and for reuniting Shelley and me after a long season apart. We rejoice and celebrate our relationship and friendship, knowing that it is patterned after the loving and always-accepting friendship of Jesus. May your love of family shine through us. Thank you for the gift of the many friends who celebrate and rejoice with us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Wondering While Waiting: When was a time you felt very supported by a friend?


Carol – Leadership Team: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.

Lebanon, IN