A Common Thread

Some things you choose. And things some you don’t.

You can’t choose the family you’re born into. And of course you can’t choose the physical traits that make people notice who you “take after.” The color of your eyes, the shape of your nose, and even the sound of your voice are traits that are passed down from one generation to the next.

Generations woven together by common threads.

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

Last July I learned that I had inherited a gene mutation that heightened my risk of developing the ovarian cancer I was recently diagnosed with. We have since learned that my grandmother, my father, my sister, and at least two of my children share this genetic anomaly with me.

Four generations woven together by a common thread.

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

Two weeks ago, we traveled to Pennsylvania to spend some time with my parents. During a get-together with my mom’s brothers and some cousins, my cousin opened a big box full of photos. Lots of pictures of us kids. And our parents. And their parents. And even a few of their parents.

Four generations woven together by a common thread.

But this thread is different. And it is far greater than the genetic code that also connects the generations of my family.

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

I left that gathering with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Through no choice of my own I inherited the blessings of a godly heritage. My parents, and their parents, and their parents before them all loved and served Jesus. And each generation raised their children to love the Lord. I am an heir of the blessings of that heritage.

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

But though the heritage was passed on, the faith was not.

Faith can’t be inherited. My parents taught me about Jesus and exemplified lives of faith and obedience. But I wasn’t saved by their faith. I had to make their faith my own.

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

I had to choose to believe.

And now, by faith, I have the promise of the greatest inheritance of all.

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you…” 1 Peter 1:3-4

I have been thinking (and writing) a lot lately about hope. Eternal hope. Real hope. It is the promise of the inheritance that is kept in heaven for me that offers me hope when everything else around me seems uncertain.

The hope is mine. It’s part of the spiritual inheritance that is mine by faith. But I’ve had to learn day by day that I have to choose to take refuge in the knowledge of that hope.

A Common Thread - The Joyful Journey

I am so grateful. I am grateful for the heritage that the Lord blessed me with. I am grateful that that my parents and grandparents lived lives that exemplified obedience and faith before their children and grandchildren. I am grateful for a heavenly inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

And I am thankful for the opportunity to pass on the blessings of a godly heritage to my children. To whom much is given, much is required.

You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.” Psalm 61:5

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8 responses

  1. This was so beautiful, Linda! I have been planning for a family gathering in a couple of weeks, and I too have been going through boxes of old family photos… have had some moments of gratitude for roots and wings, both gifts of an extended family. Their gifts of belief and love enable each coming generation to know the blessings of family and faith.
    Thank you for this!

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