Grandchildren really are grand

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 16, 2017

For the past nine months, our family has been awaiting the birth of a precious gift from God. Lots of friends told us our lives would change forever with the birth of a grandchild. I believed them. I knew they must be grand because they’re called grandchildren.

After the exciting news that our daughter and son-in-law were expecting their first child came the announcement, “We’re having a girl!” We counted down the months, then the weeks, and then the days until our daughter’s due date. With every ultrasound, we caught a glimpse of this new life.

The message of Psalm 139:13-16 reminded me that God was watching over our granddaughter. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

The day Emily Ruth was born seemed like two days. Watching our daughter in labor brought long-forgotten memories of what I experienced giving birth to her more than 30 years ago. Another scripture came to mind during this time. John 16:21 reads, “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”

An audience of family and friends was in the nearby waiting room anxiously looking forward to seeing our Emily in person. Her smiling dad, wearing green hospital scrubs, walked into the hall holding our bundle of joy bundled up in a blanket. The first thing we noticed was her head full of dark hair.

A few minutes later, Emily let the whole world know she was here, crying loudly while laying in her bassinet in the hospital nursery. A nurse pricked the bottom of her foot for a blood test. I could hardly take my eyes off that little girl. There were no words to describe the joy, even though I call myself a writer. My heart overflowed with gratitude to God for a safe delivery for our daughter and a healthy baby.

Emily was not even one hour old when we entered our daughter’s hospital room and saw the new mother holding her baby. After awhile came the moment I held her in my arms, a moment I will always remember and cherish. I had forgotten how soft a baby’s skin feels and how their fingers and toes are so tiny. I looked down at her face in wonder that God gave man and woman the privilege to create life.

Knowing God has a plan and purpose for every life, it will be a joy to watch her grow up. I want to be like Timothy’s grandmother and share with Emily my faith in Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). I’d like her to call me Grandma Jan, but I’ll gladly answer to whatever she chooses for me.


– Jan White was an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at