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Keeping in Touch with Cousins: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
9/24/2019 3:20:00 PM by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

A dark-haired woman is seated in front of a laptop computer, typing eagerly. She wears a watch on her left wrist and a white blouse with black stripes and cap sleeves. Only the lower part of her face is showing – nose, smiling mouth, earlobe with a translucent green triangle earring.  Attribution: Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels Growing up in Illinois as an only child, I looked forward to holidays when my cousins from Iowa came to visit. Nancy and Mary were fun. We loved to play hide-and-go-seek in my grandparents’ creaky old house and scare ourselves with ridiculous spook stories. One memorable, snowy day we foolishly lay under a sun lamp for a winter tan and ended up with our faces burned and our eyes swollen shut. We got in trouble for that, but other adventures turned out better.

Then sadly, my cousins’ parents divorced, and our good times together ended.

Promise Broken

Grandma Kortkamp was distressed by the separation within the family. "Honey," she often said to me, "Promise you will always keep in touch with Nancy and Mary." Solemnly I promised.

My cousins and I corresponded well into early adulthood, but then, as time went by, addresses and last names changed. Other priorities claimed our attention, and we lost contact. I often wondered about my cousins. I always felt a pang of remorse that I’d not kept my promise to Grandma. If only I had answered my cousins’ last letters back in the 1970’s, we wouldn’t have lost touch. But now I didn’t know how to find them.

Then in January 1997 my mother received a note postmarked from a town we’d never heard of. It was from Nancy. She and Mary had found Mother’s address on the Internet and wanted to hear from us.

Promise Kept

Thrilled, I immediately I sat down and wrote. How grateful I was that God was giving me a new opportunity to keep my childhood promise to Grandma. My cousins and I began communicating several times a week through email, sometimes several times a day.

The last time we saw each other we were just children. Now we are mothers and grandmothers ourselves. It has been a great joy for us as adults to build a new relationship. And yes, we have even met together for several reunions in Iowa. We treasure our moments together with a deeper realization of just how precious family relationships are.

Our grandmother was a woman of prayer who invested countless hours praying for us, her grandchildren. Although she died 45 years ago, her prayers are still bearing fruit in our lives. She always prayed that Nancy, Mary, and I would have a close relationship so that we might encourage one another spiritually. After many decades that prayer has now been answered. Prayer is the most worthwhile investment we can make in our family’s future.


Worth repeating: "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results" (James 5:16 NLT).

Today’s prayer: "Dear Lord, thank You for the power of prayer. Help me to invest in my family’s future by faithfully praying for each member. Thank You for answering our prayers in Your perfect way and in Your perfect timing. Amen."

 


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