Last month, I mentioned the fact that a conversation had sparked my interest in renewing my lapsed subscription to Ancestry.com after a hiatus of a couple of years. I also mentiomed that I discovered I had received a message from a cousin I knew nothing about. After many phone calls and text messages, my sister & I spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon and evening last week with FOUR of our new-found cousins who live in New Jersey.
The story of how this all came about is quite interesting. When I was a child, my grandfather and his brothers would occasionally make mention of their brother John who had "disappeared." No other explanation was ever given. So that's where the mystery started. And, despite the fact that John had even changed his name, I was able, with a little work, to discover that he eventually settled down in Minnesota.
Well, there is a whole lot more to the story, but let's just say that there is now a large group of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews, some from New Jersey, some from Minnesota, along with my sister Carol and I, who are planning a large-scale family gathering in the Spring. Some of these relatives had no idea until last week that the rest of the family even existed, and everyone is incredibly excited.
Sometimes life takes strange turns. You never know what to expect. One day you think you have it all figured out. The next day, you have a whole new family. Seems that God has a great sense of humor!
I think there are a couple of lessons here. One of them, I suppose, is to realize and be thankful for the fact that life always has a brand new adventure in store for us - something we never expected. The other one is that God often brings people into our lives for a reason - because, after all, we are here to be blessings to one another. And so I'm looking forward to being blessed (and hopefully being a blessing) to some new folks God has sent my way.