Understanding must be difficult for me, as my lessons have been hard. Come to think of it, my heart has always been what got me in trouble.
But, one lesson stands out in particular, today.

My granddaughter, at 5 lbs. and 2 weeks of age, was quietly
deposited into my arms.

I thought it was for the evening. Only, it lasted for 3 years. I will tell you that I tried desperately to remember that I was her
mother-once-removed. I was her grandmother.
Over and over, I said, "Remember, she is not your child."

But, what do you do when a baby is there 24/7, when you do
the midnight bottle and change the diapers,
sing the go-to sleep lullaby, and kiss the tiny tears?
Unless you are heartless, you fall in love, platonic love
(the best kind), for such a helpless little soul. And, I did.

Then, came divorce. Since she was my sonís daughter, and
I was convinced we would both die, the long battle began ...
a battle I never wanted, but was forced to, after watching
for these 3 years.

I just want to relate this one incident that taught me a deep truth.
I have always revered Godís love and, also, wondered at it.

One particular trip for visitation, I had to go alone,
and God gave me such a lesson!
Having arrived at the home of her maternal grandparents, my granddaughter began to cry and beg, and hold on to me.
(She always fought going back so hard. We had to run after her,
catch her, and hold her to get her into the car.)
This time her mother was present, and it infuriated her.

My granddaughter had locked her legs around my waist and
fastened her arms around my neck. Her mother grabbed her
and pulled her viciously from my body. (I hadnít known a
child that small could hold on so tight.)
Then, her mother spanked her, in front of us,
and carried her into the house.

There was a large picture window, inside the house, and this
 little 3 yr. old ran straight to it. With tears streaming down her
face and tiny arms stretched as far open as they would go, she was reaching to the window, with eyes fixed on me, imploring me...
"Don't go, don't leave!" I could read her little lips.
I canít even begin to tell you of the pain of those moments.

Getting into the car, I started home. I couldnít see to drive, as the tears rolled down my face and I didnít even wipe them away. My heart was completely broken, all because of love. We both hurt because we loved each other. I pulled over several times and, then, back onto the road.

The bend of the road where I began to tell the Lord I just couldnít
stand it any more, stands out like a beacon to me yet today.
I told Him it was as if every cell in my body was in
contractions like unto birth. I just couldnít bear it.
I loved her so much!

God responded, "I know. That is the way I love every person
in the whole world, everyone that has lived and everyone that will live ... which is the only reason I could let My Son die the death He did."

All of a sudden, I truly understood Godís love! He had to be God
to hold all that love and all that hurt. Only God could do it.
I always knew God loved us. But, never before had I
understood the depth and greatness -
the agony of that tremendous love.

I do not understand why people donít seek the most
pleasant way, when there are divorces and disagreements.
For, children are the victims of such terrible pain.
Why anyone wants to add one moment of suffering is more
than I will ever be able to understand. But, I do know that, right in the midst of a great heartbreak, God can bring a message home
that canít be misunderstood.

Joan Clifton Costner
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