Not long ago, I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed. There’s no possible way that I can keep up with all of my friends’ posts, so I tend to zoom through as many as I can for five minutes here and five minutes there. I came upon this picture:
I thought, Cute! They must be twins. I happened to read the caption, written by a lady named Kathie. It read, “I find this such an interesting blessing…. The baby girl on the right is our daughter, Lisa Whittle, and the one on the left is the child of my cousin, now Becky Wade. They are playing at a family reunion in CA years ago — and both are now popular Christian authors…. Lisa’s are Christian inspiration books and Becky’s are Christian romance novels.”
My jaw dropped. I took a closer look at the photo, and sure enough. The baby on the left is ME.
I have lots of facebook friends that I don’t personally know. Kathie’s name and photo didn’t ring a bell, so I called my mom who explained the family connection. My Papaw (my dad’s dad) was the youngest of ten siblings. One of his sisters was named Gladys.
I remember Gladys as a woman with a sweet face and a kind disposition that always put me at ease.
Papaw’s son is my dad, Gary. And Gladys’s daughter is Kathie. They’re first cousins!
My dad and mom had me. And Kathie and her husband had Lisa. Which I think (someone correct me if I’m wrong) makes Lisa and me second cousins. As far as I know, I haven’t seen Lisa in person since the playpen picture. But after Kathie’s facebook post, I contacted her.
We were born just ten days apart. We each have three children. She’s a friend of our own Tricia Goyer (!!). And we are BOTH writers for the Christian market. Isn’t that astonishing?!
I’m delighted to have rediscovered a long lost cousin of mine. I love thinking of Papaw and Gladys, siblings that are both now in heaven, smiling over the fact that their granddaughters each have ministries writing for the glory of God. Papaw and Gladys were raised with faith. In turn, they handed down their faith to their kids, who passed it to their kids, who are now doing what they can to pass it to their kids.
Between you and me, I’m not always so sure that the faith I’m trying to instill in my children is sinking in. Sometimes, I’m more sure that they’re destined for a penitentiary. 🙂 Not all children of believers will become believers. But the fact that Lisa and I both came to it, due perhaps in part to grandparents and parents who gave their lives to Christ, renews my hope. Our heritage can become as much about belief as about customs, places, eye color, and traits. Amen?
Have you read Lisa’s books or heard her speak? Were your parents and grandparents believers? Did you come to faith, in part, because of their influence? Do you keep up with any of your second cousins?