Sunday, April 18, 2010

I THINK GOD SMILED

First let me say this post could have had 100 different titles. It is not a post I thought I would ever write, much less share. But with Micah's blessing, I am going to try and share the story. It's not my story and actually I play a very minor role in it, but it is a story that may JUST BE for someone out there in the blog world...On the other hand, it may just be for my family. It may be that this story is JUST for JACK. Regardless, it's a story worth telling and I do believe that God smiled today.

A little history, and please remember as I am sharing this, that Micah told me yesterday in a long conversation that he totally trusted me to tell it. Maybe he really needed me to record it.

Micah and his Dad have a complicated relationship. He is in prison. This was not a story that was new to me as Micah was Greg's (for new readers my son) good friend long before he was Amanda's husband or my son-in-law. I have never met Barry nor has Amanda. Before today, Micah had not seen him in years, though the prison he is in is only a couple of hours from where we live. The fact was Micah really had no desire to see him. He had lots of bitterness from all that his childhood wasn't, if that makes sense. It's far too complicated to explain in a post and I am not the one to even go there. Micah would have to fill in all those blanks and for this story they are not necessary. Micah had a wonderful relationship with his grandfather and now has the same type with my husband. BUT one with his Dad was always difficult.
Fast forward to him marrying Amanda and then the birth of Jack....my little Jack that grabs any and everyone's hearts. When Jack was about six months, I casually asked Micah one day if he minded me writing to his Dad, introducing myself and telling him he had a new little grandson.
He gave me his address a few days later,and that said to me that he wanted his Dad to know about his BOY and that his BOY had a little boy. The first letter started out something like this....Hi, I am Teresa and you don't know me, but we share the same grandson and I would love to tell you about him. At this point I had no idea if I would ever hear from him. Within a week, he wrote me a letter that was 6 legal pages long, thanking me for taking the time to write and YES, he would love to know about Jack. That began what I can only call a pen pal type of correspondence, as I wrote him every week and sent pictures of Jack and all the family. I told him what a fine man and father his son had become. I told him I had not wanted Amanda to marry him and now I could not imagine life without him. I told him about our trips, our day to day life, Jack's antics (which are many)! I shared with him any and everything I could think of that would make him proud of his boy. And somewhere along the way Micah wrote him and they began to correspond, not as often as I was, but at least it was a start. He made us all gifts..He shared with me many mistakes he had made in life, how he wished he could right many wrongs.
I would find myself forgetting that he was in prison. My sole reason for writing was to share Jack with him and at the time did not realize that he lived for my letters and pictures.
This went on for the past 18 months. Several times I mentioned to Micah that one day I hoped that he would take Jack to meet him and EVERY TIME I mentioned it, I got the same answer. NO!....I remember one letter that Barry sent me, he said he understood why Micah did not visit and if all he ever knew about Jack was what I penned on paper, he would always be thankful for that. Micah and I would go months and never discuss it. And I never gave his Dad any hope that he would ever lay eyes on his little grandson. To be honest I never thought he would. Early in our correspondence I had told Micah that his Dad was working for the chaplain and he told me everyone in prison got religion. I told him I thought I could read people and he warned me not to be fooled by his Dad. But I never once sensed that he did not want me to write to him. He wanted his Dad to know about his Jack.

Fast forward to early last week and I get a call from Amanda telling me that Micah is going to see his Dad on Sunday and he is taking Jack. It had been a long time since we had even discussed his Dad. All week, all I could think of would be the look on Barry's face when they told him he had a visitor. Micah had filled out all the paperwork years ago so he was already on the accepted visitors list and little ones Jack's age did not have to be approved..All of this was to be a total surprise..and frankly I was very glad because I was not sure Micah would really do it. We had a long talk on Saturday and I could hear so many things in his voice and in what he said. I heard anticipation and even a little excitement, I heard an anxious man, I heard a little boy that was now a grown man that wondered if he was doing the right thing, I heard someone I loved wanting to have no regrets. He even told me he had worked with Jack teaching him to say Papa Barry. After we hung up, I prayed that it would be everything he hoped it would be.
Still all I could think about was the surprise that was in store for Barry today that he did not have an inkling of. Stay with me...I was keeping Parker today and Micah was here with him bright and early and something in me just knew that he was excited. That's probably a funny word to use, and he may ask me to take that word out. Amanda told me tonight on the drive down he was really nervous about how it would all play out. He may have even wanted to back out. They left Amanda with some relatives and he and Jack drove 20 minutes to the place that his Dad has called home for years. PRISON! That's a word that has many meanings. I know for myself I have been in my own prison many times with no physical walls restraining me and nothing requiring visitors to be searched or turn in their personal items before talking to me. I would imagine that most of us have. I have been a prisoner to bitterness at times in my life. Barry is in a prison with walls and lots of security. I can just picture Micah and Jack making their way through the check points and finally getting to the point where they called his Dad and said "You have a visitor"! His Dad's reaction was "My brother visited yesterday so it must not be me"! Yes, Mr. Strother, there is a visitor for you...these are my words now...and not only one visitor but two.

Meet Jack Strother. Meet your Boy's BOY. Micah said as he walked out he did not see them at first and THEN HE DID. Micah could read his lips or may have even been close enough to hear him say to the guard...."He's beautiful"! I may have to take a break now.
I think for the next 3 hours Barry must have been in total shock. I have a feeling after they left he bawled his eyes out. They stayed the entire allotted three hours. Micah said the guard came and told them when they had 10 minutes left so they could say their good-byes. Jack is far from timid, so he immediately let Papa Barry hold him. In Micah's words to me on the way home there was not one thing negative about the visit. They talked about golf, a love they both share, they talked about current events, and I think they talked about how proud a man in prison was of his son. And that little boy that I had so vividly described to him for the past 18 months, he got to hold and touch and love on...and there may be those that don't agree, some that say he did not deserve that visit or even a chance to meet his grandson or ever see his son again, but for me, I believe God smiled. And who knows, maybe a tiny part of that hole in Micah's heart will start to heal.


This picture is blurry, but they will not let you take camera's in but will make a picture for you. Hopefully I can scan it and touch it up and make a better picture...As you can see Jack is being his funny little self. This kid is a laugh a minute and today he met his other grandfather.

149 comments:

McNew Family said...

WOW, Teresa, thanks for sharing Micah's story - what a miracle! Blessings to you ALL!

JanMary said...

I have not popped over from Ireland to your blog in ages but was definitely meant to visit today :)

A beautiful moment that will change all their lives - how amazing!

Thanks for taking that that first courageous step and being prepared to share precious Jack.

Hugs :)

Grandma Cyndi said...

Through tears I read that beautiful story. Yes God did smile today and affirmed his ability to forgive and love even those whom society deem unloveable. What an incredible man Micah has become, and what a selfless act he performed. You are blessed to have such a compassionate son-in-love (law). Thank you for sharing him with all of us.

Theresa said...

I KNOW God smiled:) What a sweet post and a heart filled with pride... that's what I hear from all of this! I am proud of all of you for helping build this bridge. I believe that ALL are worthy of forgiveness. Sounds like a bright day in this dim life will never be forgotten. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story with me! HUGS and Prayers for all!

Kimberly said...

oh Teresa what a nice story! I am glad Micah went and took Jack with him. You can see the happiness in their eyes in this picture! I hope he visits with him again soon!

Jo Whitehurst said...

What a wonderful example of redemption and healing, mirroring our own through Christ! Thanks to Micah for trusting you to tell this, and thanks to you for telling it so well!

singedwingangel said...

AWw hun tell Micah how proud we are of his decision to let the past be in the past and allow this tohappen. Jesus told us that we all fall short, period.I know I have not been the mom I should be but i do the best with what I know. I nearly crie reading this. I am sure Barry felt alot like Paul and Silas in that moment. Prison bars still surrounding him but in his heart and spirit he was free and a grandfather and proud father.

Just a little something from Judy said...

What a special, very special story this was for me to read. This is what love and forgiveness is all about. When I think of all that God has forgiven me for, I know He wants us to forgive others and the hurts involved. How often the little ones that God blesses our lives with, in turn are used to heal and bless others. I loved this story! It took a long time for you to share it , but I know it will be a real blessing to many. Thank you for sharing your heart and for stepping out and taking the first restoring step. I am sure this man cried when the two left after the visit.

You are a caring, loving lady.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I am so sure that God was smiling. What a loving and wonderful story. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I have no words...Only tears.

Cathy said...

I aam so glad that you shared this touching story...I agree...I think He smiled too!

Thanks soo much for all of your precious visits to my blog...you are an angel!

Enjoy!
Cathy

Pam B. said...

Oh my!! We ALL can learn from this! You amaze me in all that I have seen you walk through. You are an amazing Mom, Grammy, wife, Mother in law and friend.
Love you!

Andrea said...

Tears are pouring and YES, GOD smiled. I do not know why little Jack's grandfather is in prison and it is NONE of my business. GOD is greater than any crime and HE forgives. My sin is no less than this man's....sin is sin!
My daughter in law shares your son in laws family history. Her mother left her when she was young and her father was in and out of prison all of her life. After being released for a few years and living homeless in Florida, he stepped out in front of a car and was killed. Thankfully, she had seen him at her grandmothers funeral and a few other times since and he had held our precious Savannah (the granddaughter we share). No matter what his crimes were or how Jen feels/felt about him...I believe GOD gave them all time to make peace with the situation and I praise HIM for that. May GOD continue to heal Micah's heart and Jen's (our DIL) heart as they parent their children.
Praising GOD with you,
andrea

Kristine said...

Oh...I am all teary-eyed and have chills on my arms. That is a beautiful story. They sure resemble each other. Thank you for sharing your family. I'm sure glad I found you!(c:

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing this story! Tears are streaming down face. I know that Barry had to be more than overjoyed and that Micah's heart will start to mend.

Blessings,
Karen

Grami's girls said...

For some reason my first comment didnt' work I think. I'm sure God is still smiling and I am bawling. How wonderful for Micah and Barry to restore this relationship. Micah is blessed he has you in his life and you have allowed God to use you in this way..becky

Mammy said...

I think God must have laughed out loud and even clapped his hands. What a great gift this man was given yesterday. I have shared the story of my daughter-in-law with you and I was brought to tears as I read your post. I can only imagine what healing there was in that prison visit yesterday...Thanks for sharing this story with us.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Barry's heart must be signing after seeing his "boy's boy". I can feel the emotions of how that all took place. I hope that this is a relationship that will continue for a long time. Will there ever be a chance that he will leave the confines of prison?

Thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful, touching story!

Laurie in Ca. said...

Teresa, this is beautiful and makes my heart full. God did smile and this is just the beginning of the restoration He is going to do in these mens hearts and lives. I believe in forgiveness and that it sets the soul free. This picture shows three generations of men that God is going to use in many wonderful ways. God Bless you for being the bridge that God asked you to be. Being a grandparent melts the heart and I am sure Grandpa's heart went to mush:) Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is God in Action:) And a huge SMILE is on my face too.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Tabi said...

Blurry picture or not, look at those smiles!! What a wonderful story!

Sheryl said...

beautiful! micah deserves much praise for being willing to extend himself toward his dad. what a gift that was.

YOU my friend are an example to all of us of how we need to be reaching out to others. how wonderful for you to know that this man needed to know his son & grandson.

i am glad that micah will not have regrets.

GrammyMouseTails said...

Wow! What a touching story. I like so many have tears in my eyes. I pray that Barry will use this visit to continue on the right track to be a better man and continue to earn Micah's trust. You are a special woman to offer to share Jack's story with his paternal grandfather, esp with the hardships & difficulties involved.
hugs, Faythe @GMT

Nezzy said...

Yes girl, I can feel the warmth of God's smile as I read this story and those smiling faces in that blurry picture are shinnin' bright and clear. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this grandpa and plant the seeds for healing Micah's heart. You are precious Teresa!

You have a wonderfully blessed week!!!

partialemptynester said...

And you, dear grammygirlfriend, wonder why so many of us love your blog?! You share life, hope, love...you give of yourself and show us how to give of ourselves. You are the proverbial woman we all look to hear from at the well each morning as we fill our jugs for our families to drink from...this is why I blog: Titus 2:3-5! There just isn't always a chance in our modern world for us younger women to learn from the older women and for us middle-aged women to begin learning how to teach the younger women...but here, each at our own little computers, we are a community of christian women learning from each other how to love as Jesus' loves! Thank you!

partialemptynester said...

And you, grammygirlfriend, wonder why we all LOVE your blog?! God not only smiled, He had to have reached down and hugged all of you at the same time, regardless of where you all were geographically! I love it! You are a Titus 2:3-5 woman for us all, that's for sure! A good reason for blogging!

Doreen McGettigan said...

Oh that story made me so teary..and how brave of Micah to open the door to hopefully healing a hole in his heart..and how brave you were to share the joy of your grand son with a stranger..you have a good heart!

Beth E. said...

What a touching post, Teresa. I'm so happy for the breakthrough that has been made in the relationship between Micah and his dad. Just think...little Jack is already involved in a form of ministry! His very existence has allowed healing to take place in the hearts of his loved ones...what a wonderful gift from God!

Lynn said...

What a heartfelt story!!

Lilly, Matt, and Sara said...

That is beautiful...and I bet God did smile! By the looks of the picture, he wasn't the only one smiling!

Just Call Me Grammy said...

What a beautiful story of a very important day for all three of them!

billypandnikkysmom said...

Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful story! God Bless!

Tiffany said...

Oh, wow. god is so good. Thank you for sharing this precious story. I just found your blog, and it is so lovely!

Lindsey said...

Wow! That is a great story. I have tears in my eyes.

Kat said...

Oh sweet friend! You made me cry. You made me smile. You made me proud to call you friend.

I believe God used you and your sweet heart to help mend the relationship of father and son.

I know you believe in snail mail and it certainly was used positively over these many many months.

I pray things continue to grow for them all.

You are a blessing!

Hugs!
Kat

(love your cards...love YOU)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, I'm soooo glad I stopped by today! What a beautiful story...it brought tears to my eyes!! Thank you, Teresa! Love, Janine XO

Anonymous said...

Wow ~ that picture is one of the sweetest things that I have ever seen ~ redemption is a BEAUTIFUL thing. I LOVE your heart, Teresa. Your compassion and forgiveness planted the most beautiful seed and opened the door for healing. I pray every good thing for your family and for Barry.

Tammy Ewert

ethelmaepotter! said...

What a touching post, and what an incredible spirit you have! Not many people would be willing to give a man in prison the chance that you did...bravo to you for healing some hearts today!

God's student said...

I stumbled across your blog quite by accident today, and I'm really glad I did.
WOW.
God smiled while I cried...
What an amazing, uplifting, inspiring story!

Jane In The Jungle said...

Excellent post Teresa......you can see the healing hand of God at work for both Micah and Barry, what a blessing!
Thanks for stopping by the jungle!

Cotton Blossom said...

What a precious gift you have shared with us. Thank you.

Janet said...

I remember hearing a definition of forgiveness that has stayed with me. It went something like this - Forgiveness is not saying that what was done is OK. It is saying that I choose not to allow what was done to affect me in a negative way any longer, and I choose to move on with my life.

It sounds to me like Micah has chosen to forgive, and what a great gift that is for his father, for his son, and for himself. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us, and may God continue to bless all of you.

Shinny Upatree said...

Micah can now say NO REGRETS. It was the right thing to do and I'm sure God not only smiled but HE laughed with joy.

Holly said...

Still thinking about this today...what a beautiful story God has weaved here. Love to you! And thank you, thank you, thank you!!! for my card yesterday. It came at the perfect time.

Love,
holly

Heart2Heart said...

Teresa,

This is one beautiful story to show just how powerful our God really is and how he can change hearts from the inside out and once again reunite families that others thought impossible or hopeless and yes, I do believe that God more than smiled but celebrated in heaven!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for stopping by. I read you story yesterday but didn't have time to leave a comment. God smiling down on your family is what he does best. Thank you for sharing.

Jensmere said...

Oh Teresa...I can hardly see for the tears! What a beautiful, beautiful thing you have shared! By following your heart and opening the door a tiny bit, God was able to step in and throw it wide open! How wonderful is His restoration! How miraculous is His love!

Bless you!
Susan

Bonnie said...

Teresa, What a beautiful story. It is so great to hear about others and their miracle stories. What a blessing. Thanks for your story.

Nina Diane said...

oh Teresa....such a moving story. I think it is just wonderful that this happened. Thank you for sharing

Kirstin said...

Hi! I wanted to let you know I gave you an award. You can pick it up on my blog if you'd like, or just consider yourself awarded. Your blog is so encouraging and inspiring. I love this post!

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

First time I have come by your main blog and what a beautiful story I found to read this morning. For when it comes down to it Christianity is all about a relationship restored between a Father and his child, a love story of grace, forgiveness and redemption. This is God's desire so I'm certain that God smiled. And also a lovely reminder of God's promise in Malachi that 'the hearts of the fathers will turn to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers'. So lovely to read about this happening in such a miraculous way in your family.

elizabeth said...

Great story! So wonderful!

My Passionate Pink Life said...

Sometimes God works in ways that surprise everyone...I think you have an amazing family and they are so lucky to have you...beautiful story...Hugs, Jennifer

Niki said...

Teresa, thanks so much for stopping by my blog.
I loved getting your comment.
What a truly beautiful story.
One could not ask for a better outcome.
Little Jack is so blessed.
Niki x

Brooke said...

Beautiful story! Love your new blog makeover!

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

i'm balling. thank you for sharing this beautiful story. i think it is amazing that you took the time to write barry for 18 whole months just so he could know about his boy and his boy's boy. this is so touching. may God continue to heal their relationship!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

What a blessing, what a gift! You know what, Teresa. I am SO GLAD that God doesn't give me what I deserve. I am so glad that through Jesus Christ, He gives me eternal life, hope, a future, JOY, and peace.

Thank you for sharing the gift of this visit. I pray that it is the first of many as Micah and his dad's relationship is restored.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a touching story. I think just letting go of the anger must have been a wonderful, healing thing for your SIL.

Jules said...

What a wonderful and touching story...gave me goosebumps.

Talkin' Texan said...

What a touching story. Yes, I think God did smile. He is all about relationships you know. :)
Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! Come back and visit often. It will be great getting to know you!
Blessings to you and your family.

WackyMummy said...

You're right... that IS a touchy subject, but not one of us is in a position to judge. No one is all good or all bad. Anyways, glad it worked out. =)

Holly Days Closet said...

You and I are on simlar paths and I wondered what my role would be. I see my grand child all the time and feel so bad for her other grand parnets who hardly ever or never see her. You have encouraged me to take the steps needed so they can know her as I do. Thank you so much.
Holly

Barefoot With Children said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely
i am in tears and can't think of anything else to say.

Happy Birthday Author said...

Thank you for inviting me to your blog. Also, thank you for sharing your latest post. It was an emotional read.

Debbie said...

That story was so touching for me, I had tears in my eyes as the thought of him meeting his grandson and seeing his grown son. Everything has a reason, and this story hit home for me. My husband did not see his Dad for 20 years, long story on that one....well they connected last summer, and my father in law I never knew, has been such a wonderful part of our life now, and he too has two grandsons...it is just wonderful. And even though I do not know the situation and why the man is in prison, it does not matter to me, as this was meant to be a new lease in his life! Many blessings and thanks for sharing...you most certainly had a big role in this!

Melissa in Mel's World said...

Oh.My.Word...there are not enough words to express my excitement for you and your family. No matter what anyone else thinks or feels this was a BIG day for you all and the beginning of healing for everyone involved. So excited for you and so thankful you shared it with us!

xoxo,
Melissa in Mel's World

Mon Style du Jour said...

You seem to be an amazing person! :)

Wendy said...

I am sitting here with tears as I read your beautiful story. I am so glad you shared it with us. You are a special person for reaching out to his dad and starting the road of healing and hope. Blessing to you and your family :)
Wendy

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you for inviting me to your blog. Teresa. This was indeed a wnderful miracle to read about. Love and forgiveness are powerful gifts that often go hand in hand. I'm so glad Mioah was able to give both to his Dad. Little Jack is precious.
The scripture you have on your sidebar today speaks volumes to me. I'm adding myself to your many followers!
Warm regards,
Pat

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

I read this entry the first day - and read it again tonight... it is very touching and powerful... I keep thinking (what would I do?) --thanks for sharing!

Bri said...

Wow ~ you ARE special, Teresa and I hope to get to know you better. I'm just now going back to visit friends I was fortunate to have found after UBP10. I hope we get to chat soon. I'm sure we have lots in common.

God bless your sweet big heart.
Bri

JEANNE said...

What a beautiful story. It touched my heart beyond belief. This is a story sooo worthy of sharing. I LOVE happy endings. I was spellbound reading it through to the end.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for realizing that this story should be shared. I imagine there are more stories like this and it renews our faith in God and mankind to read this one.
Hugs, Jeanne

Tammy said...

What a great post! Look at all 3 of their smiles!!! I was so touched by your story. Thanks for sharing it! Thanks for stopping by today...I love that you spent time visiting...off to put your button and blog on my blog :)

-stephanie- said...

What a beautiful ending to a sad beginning. God bless all of you.

Debbie said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and sharing this post with me. It really touched my heart. It made me think about a personal struggle in my life that I think needs to be resolved. This was very inspirational. Thank you, and thank Micah for letting you share this with all of us.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Yea and Amen.....not only is God smiling.....the angels are having a concert!

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, my friend.

Wiz said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

Wow, this was a beautiful story and I think it may be a good one for everyone to read. Thanks so much for sharing!

Summer said...

I just happened across your blog and I am so glad that I did! What a story! A true miracle! Your blog is just precious and that bible verse is my favorite of all times! I refer to it often going through my battle with DM!

Look forward to reading more

xoxo
Summer :0)

Joyce said...

This is just a beautiful story and it really got me thinking about forgiveness and judgment and how we humans rank sin but to God we are all human and we are all sinners. And God is all about second chances. And beyond.

I'm glad things worked out as they did. A really touching story.

pamela said...

What a beautiful story. I came by to return the favor of you leaving a comment on my blog but actually you gave me another gift. I'm still wiping the tears but it is a story I will remember. For the first time in my life I have a friend whose husband is facing prison for a white collar crime. It is unbelievable. I have always thought of felons as "those people" but in reality they are us. They are people that have made some serious poor judgements in their lives but when we know them personally those mistakes seem more understandable and ultimately forgivable. Thank you for your story.
Pamela @ Becolorful

Vicki said...

What a beautiful story! I cried. God is so awesome and his timing is always perfect! Your blog is gorgeous, I found you through a comment you left on my friend's blog.

Love the Decor! said...

Wow!!
God is good!! thanks for sharing your story and thanks for popping over and for your sweet comments!

Casual (dash) Cottage said...

Beautiful story...
I bawled through the whole thing.

God's Ways are perfect in everything!
amen.

covnitkepr1 said...

I to believes God smiles...thanks for sharing
I'm your newest follower and I invite you to look over my blog and perhaps become one also.

Sara said...

Wow, what a touching and beautiful story! I love your title and couldn't agree more. What a touching reunion between father and son!

Thank you so much for following me and I am now your newest follower.

Have a great weekend,
Sara

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

As I neared the end of your story of Micah, Jack & Barry... you talked about prison. I cried. I have 4 little grandsons; ages range from 2 yrs to 8 yrs old. I've met the 8 yr old briefly in 2007. He didn't have a desire to jump in my lap and hug or cuddle me. He only knew me by my phone voice. Now, the three oldest boys are with other family members who won't share them with me. They live over 2,000 miles away from me. I've tried to communicate, they won't have it. You see... my daughter is a drug addict alcoholic. She chose that life. However, she has chosen to distance herself from me. She blames me for all her troubles. But, back to the boys. As I read how Micah didn't want Barry to see Jack... I thought of my own grandsons. I thought of how Barry's situation of being in prison relates to me. My family have put me in a mental/emotional prison for moving far away. It's part of my story. I started my life over in 1998. They hate me for who and what I am. They treat me like I'm a criminal. Therefore, I'm in a prison. They won't let me see or communicate with my grandsons.

I await the day that God puts into place the opportunity for me to see my grandsons and that my family finally reconciles with me so that I can see my grandsons.

Thank you for sharing this story. It has shed some light on God smiling in my life.

Thank you for stopping by my blog Teresa.

Happy Friday and I hope you enjoyed your massage.

Kathleen said...

Very touching..I can understand your sil's feelings though. It is good he can forgive...

Erin said...

Following you back from FF. I wish that my cousins (my uncle was in prison for a long time) could have had that type of healing. Amazing and I'm sure God did smile.

Abby said...

This is an amazing story, My grandparents have always been a big part of my life and I'm glad little Jack will have that opportunity with another grandparent. And it's wonderful that Micah was able to find the forgiveness to see his father again.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

That WAS a miracle story! Thank you so much for sharing it!

I wanted to drop by and thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I really, really appreciate it! I'm so glad you did, I have such a big grin on my face now, after reading this post! I'm your newest follower, cheers!!

Julie said...

Teresa, I have goosebumps running up and down my arms and legs from your post. How incredibly AMAZING and nothing short of God's Miracle!

Praise God!

I also want to thank you for stopping by my blog and visiting!

I am going to read more of your posts and stop in on the links you posted in your comment.

Very nice to meet you! :-)

Unknown Mami said...

Even through the blurriness of the photo, I can tell there was joy in that meeting.

WhiteStone said...

Oh, Teresa, this was so touching. My hubby and I (with several other volunteers) both teach Bible in a very large county facility. Some go on to state or federal prisons... some for very long times. We always give our address and write to a few. Yes, some get "religion" in prison and when they leave they go back to their old way of living. But there are also those who become strong believers inside. And regardless of their failures, those who have children cherish every bit of contact, every letter, every photo. If you want to email me you can reach me at judystill who is always at the hotmail place.

May Be Miracles said...

Teresa,
What an amazing story...so glad you shared it. God truly is smiling - He smiles when love prevails.
You are a beautiful writer...what a loving and generous heart you have. I am enjoying your blog very much. God Bless...Dustine

grammy said...

That was a wonderful story...I can see why you were so moved by it. I hope and pray that all involved will grow and heal from this. You did a good job of getting it all down in writing.

Thanks for dropping by my place (o:

Red Couch Recipes said...

Beautiful story and I love family reunions. Joni

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

That really is an amazing story! I mean, I don't know words that will can convey how awesome that is. Thanks for sharing and being part of it.
Cindy

Bob West said...

I enjoyed your blog! Very inspiring
Hopefully you will enjoy mine
God Bless, Bob West
http://westbob.blogspot.com/2010/01/whats-your-favorite-verse.html

Robyn Campbell said...

Following you back. What a wonderful story. I'm glad Micah went. I'm glad God and you gave him that push that he needed. I'm glad for Micah's sake. Thanks for sharing. Lovely.

Xenia said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Teresa! This is such a great post and it brought tears to my eyes - I'm so glad to hear how well everything went and I hope this only leads to many more wonderful times for your family!

Trisha said...

Beautiful story of hope and forgiveness!

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

I am so glad you linked me to this precious story of healing! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I so appreciate you taking the time to comment! I am your newest follower.

xinex said...

What a lovely story, Teresa! I love stories with a happy ending and I would give you a lot of credit for making that happy moment made possible....Christine

Life Is A SandCastle said...

beautiful story, so many people don't get that chance. Following from FF

-K said...

Great blog. Following you back.

-K

Momstart said...

Thanks for sharing this story with me, it's a beautiful story and AMEN!

Pam said...

What a wonderful story. PTL for everything going so well!

Java said...

Hi Teresa!
Thank you for visiting me today! I just spend about an hour catching up on your wonderful blog! And what a great post this was! I got chills reading it!
I'm your newest follower and I'm looking forward to reading more!
If you get a minute, please follow me back!
Take care.
Javayan

Blissful Babe said...

What a wonderful and dear story. Thank you for sharing. :)

And thank you for the comment and the follow!

Have a Blissful & Blessed weekend!

Lori E said...

Quite a story and you told it so well.

herbrokenwing said...

God may have smiled... But I sobbed...

WOW,,, I'm speechless...

thank you for sharing this...it truly shows God's unfailing love

Colleen said...

What an amazing story! Thank you for vising my blog and for the lovely comment. I'm glad I popped over here to read that powerful post. Thanks for sharing!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Well that just brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful story. To think, you started the ball rolling. I am happy for everyone. Thank you for telling me to read this. It made my day!

Jen said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. So glad you shared this wonderful story of healing. My husband was reconciled to his Dad after 17 years...the year our first child turned 1. Our family is blessed to have Granddaddy....and we can't imagine the last (now 14) years without him....and one day we will share a similar story to this with them.

Following you back. Happy weekend.

snoodlings.com said...

Beautiful story, Teresa!

And I love your heart and consistency in writing Barry. God used you to facilitate this day. Wow.

magically ordinary said...

What a wonderful story to share. Thank you!

Tracey said...

What an amazing and heartwarming story. So happy to see how little Jack can bring healing and love to a father and son. He truly is a blessing! Thanks for sharing! :)

Cherry Hill Cottage~ said...

Ain't God GOOD!
; - )
We had a preacher say that very Sunday morning!
Loved your heart warming story!
Thank you for sharing it, and for the invite!
O, my daughter shares the same name as your wonderful son-in-law,
Mika...
Hope you have a wonderful week!

Meant to be a mom said...

Thanks for sharing this story with us. Its so special. I do hope that Micah is able to heal and I'm sure his father feels truly blessed and happy to have gotten to meet his grandson. :)

valerie said...

Teresa, I know God smiled!
What a precious story. Just look at the smiles on all their faces. Micah is blessed with one amazing mother-in-law.
Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story.
Love you,
Valerie

mommaof3 said...

Thats a touching story! :)

Thanks for coming by my blog come back again sometimes

Tiffany said...

Hi Teresa!

You just visited my blog today and I have to tell you that I think this story was meant for me to hear! My father is also in prison and I have had such a similar story to Micah in that I have not wanted to have much of a relationship with my own father. It brings a lot of shame and that is just hard for a child to understand. I have recently opened the lines of communication with my father and he does ask me to visit and take our little Emmie. I am scared that it will be a negative experience, but your story gives me hope!

God Bless,
Tiffany

Mrs. Claus said...

Thanks for following . . . I'm following back!

Lady Hill said...

Thank you for stopping by today. I think your timing was perfect. I needed to read a story like yours tonight. I needed a story of hope and love and God smiling. Thank you for sharing this story. Thank you for sharing your Jack with Barry. I'm sure it means the world to him.
I do not know you, at all, I've only read one post, but I'm sure you have a good heart, and that is so incredibly nice to come by.

I'm your newest follower.
http://fromlazytolady.blogspot.com

Crystal Velvet said...

Thank you.

now where the heck are the tissues!

Becka said...

Ok, so Im crying, what a blessed story,
Its amazing.
Thanks for sharing,
Becka

Lindsay @ Just My Blog said...

This is a beautiful story. I'm so proud of Micah for allowing his father to meet Jack and for standing up and being such a good father and stepfather and husband and man. May God bless him in all that he does.

Twin-Spiration said...

I have a lump in my throat and goose bumps after reading your story. You said it right when you said God smiled today! He is still smiling about it.
What an amazing person you are to have been sharing this wonderful little boy with his grandfather.
God was using you my friend throughout this whole process and I am so touched by this story.
Thank you so so much for finding my blog and asking me to read about your miracle. I would have been sad if I was not a part of this wonderful miracle and I look SO forward to many more follow ups to come.
God bless you friend!
www.twin-spiration.com

lisasmith said...

What a beautiful story... your family legacy speaks so strongly of God's grace, redemption and forgiveness. It has woven a beautiful masterpiece.

Your love for the written letter has been used mightily once again, Teresa!

Your Jack is a doll!!
love, lisa
xoxo

MrsJenB said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for visiting me and for directing me to this post. I am so happy that things turned out the way they did.

Sabrina said...

Teresa, thanks so much for visiting my blog and leading me to yours. I'm so thankful that you did!

I'm sitting at work holding back the tears (and failing miserably). What a beautiful and eloquently written post. I'm sure that Micah is proud of the way you shared his story with us.
Barry is a lucky man to have such a wonderful lady as an in-law. What you've done for him, Micah, and little Jack probably cannot be put into words. Think of the wounds that were healed and the scars that are slowly being erased. You set that in motion girl!!!

I have an estranged relationship with my father and like you said, I'm in my own prison right now. What you wrote really touched me and made me realize that as long as we're both on this earth, my dad and I have a chance to salvage our relationship. God is good and can work miracles in EVERY situation. It may seem hopeless to us but He knows!

Thank you.

beckyjomama said...

Wow ... that is an amazing, beautiful, touching story ... thank you for sharing!

Terra said...

Teresa, you are a sweetheart both to share this story with us here, and to share Jack with his grandfather and to prepare the way for Micah to move forward too. It seems like this meeting is a blessing and a beginning for healing. You are such a great grandma and also a MIL to Micah.

Amberlynn said...

Wow...this story has left me speechless.

Thank you for following Wild Rose, I'm following you too :)

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Oh Teresa,

I'm so glad that you found my blog and linked me to this story. What a blessing it is to read. Our God of grace and forgiveness was certainly smiling. Like you said, not only was this reunion a gift for Micah's dad, it was a gift for Micah.

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog (especially so late at night). I joined as a follower so I won't miss future stories about your precious family.

Much Love,
Kathie

Kathy said...

Amazing...
Micah, You are my hero...
A huge step you took in the healing process.
Bravo Teresa for laying it all out, also part of the healing process.
Little Jack of course gets the starring role as the Balm that heals...
A priceless, precious story.
May all your hearts find each other as family.
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Molly said...

Teresa,

Thank you for sharing this touching story. Such a journey Micah has been on with his father. Hopefully he and Jack and Barry can build a lasting relationship in the future.

God definitely played a part in this. He is faithful, always!

twinkle said...

That is the best blog post I've ever read.

It encapsulates the very message of Jesus Christ.

I thank you for being so Christ-like through your letters to Micah's father.

Blessed are the peacemakers.
Lord knows we need more of them in our world today.

Hugging you for inspiring me.

Lynnette Kraft said...

THAT IS INSPIRING! AND BEAUTIFUL! One person can make such a difference - and you were the one God used to begin to restore this relationship. Hallelujah!

Thank you so much for sharing.
Love,
Lynnette

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh My Goodness! I have tears streaming down my face! What a wonderful story, and so well-told. I am so proud to "know" you. Someone who would take the time and effort to correspond with this man she had never met - to give him, through photos and letters, his grandson, whom he had never met - and to share with him that his son is someone he can be proud of! I feel sure God spoke to you, and through you, He spoke to your s-i-l. This journey you started over a year ago was meant to be, and you were open to allowing God to work through you. I have never read a more moving blog post! God bless you. laurie

Messy Mommy said...

What a touching story. This makes me want to share my hubby's story, but the outcome isn't quite as good. Hubby was adopted by his maternal grandparents and he has never met his real dad. I've always wondered about him myself but Hubby has no desire to meet him. Then again, it would be very easy for his dad to find him, but he's chosen not to as well. Maybe someday, but I doubt it.

My mom also didn't want me to marry Hubby. I remember her telling me at one point that she didn't care if it was minutes before the wedding, if I wanted to back out I could. They get along great now. It's hard to believe my parents didn't like him at one point!

Cynthia K. said...

Incredible! Beautiful!! Our God is so awesome!! And so are you for being the instrument of peace. So is Micah for being an extension of God's Grace - that undeserved and unmerited favor. Reconciliation is exactly why Jesus had to come to earth - to reconcile us to God. So, you know it is of paramount importance to Him and is what the Lord wanted in this situation. In fact, I think it is our purpose. Your family is an example of Love lived out.

I'm going to follow your blog and I hope you'll visit me and I'd be honored if you'd follow me also...

Cynthia K. (Beauty and Blessings)

HOPE said...

A wonderful story of the heart..and how kind of yours to do as you did to bring about such a Happy moment and future.

Thanks for touching my heart today...

HOPE

A Skin Bag for Jesus! said...

Wow Teresa, your post made me cry!!! I do voluntary work in prisons, so I know (only as well as I can) the wonder of what Micah's visit meant to his father! And too, the meaning of the letters and pictures that you have been sending!!!! I used to write a guy in prison when I was in college. I didn't know him, I was introduced to him from a friend and started writing. And yes, he lived for those letters!!! I recently got in touch with him again, he's been out for years now, and he told me. But woe, at how you are helping to mend the hurt of the heart. Woe, at what you've started... and been persistent in! Woe, at the gift you've given three generations of men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you realize how huge that is!!! And how affective it will be in the healing for all of them. I love what you've done. I love what Micah has!!! I love that Papa Barry was blessed as greatly with the gift he was given! YES, of course, he cried when they left! He's probably crying still. And, no doubt, I'm with you.. I KNOW God smiled! And yes, even Him, probably still smiling still! Beautiful! Thank you so much, so much for sharing! I will keep you all in my prayers! I don't know you personally.... but tonight I am so very proud of you that I myself can hardly stand it! I am proud of you all!

A Skin Bag for Jesus! said...

Wow Teresa, your post made me cry!!! I do voluntary work in prisons, so I know (only as well as I can) the wonder of what Micah's visit meant to his father! And too, the meaning of the letters and pictures that you have been sending!!!! I used to write a guy in prison when I was in college. I didn't know him, I was introduced to him from a friend and started writing. And yes, he lived for those letters!!! I recently got in touch with him again, he's been out for years now, and he told me. But woe, at how you are helping to mend the hurt of the heart. Woe, at what you've started... and been persistent in! Woe, at the gift you've given three generations of men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you realize how huge that is!!! And how affective it will be in the healing for all of them. I love what you've done. I love what Micah has!!! I love that Papa Barry was blessed as greatly with the gift he was given! YES, of course, he cried when they left! He's probably crying still. And, no doubt, I'm with you.. I KNOW God smiled! And yes, even Him, probably still smiling still! Beautiful! Thank you so much, so much for sharing! I will keep you all in my prayers! I don't know you personally.... but tonight I am so very proud of you that I myself can hardly stand it! I am proud of you all!

Melinda said...

Oh how I loved reading this story! I have a good friend in prison right now...she's do to be released the very day that Lilli is due, so I'm hoping to see her while I'm in Florida.

Those that are behind bars for whatever crimes have been committed (and no matter how heinous) are the objects of their Father's affection, too. And INDEED, HE SMILED!

Love you friend,
Melinda

Mrs. Claus said...

Thanks so much for joining my contest. I can see why you chose this post. It is a wonderful story. Good luck, and I hope you have a super-fabulous-can't-believe-God-loves-me-THIS-much-it's-a-miracle kind of day!

http://likeChristmaseverysingleday.blogspot.com

Erica said...

This is such a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing, and thank you to Micah for letting you share it.

Linda said...

God used you as an instrument of His grace!

Beautiful story...and picture...even if it is blurry it is priceless!

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits