Welcome, and thanks for joining us for another installment of our Thursday interview series. Today we are talking with Christina Carmichael (not her real name), who wrote the story “Won by Love” in our book’s section on The Challenge of Non-Traditional Families. In Christina’s story, her challenge is to win the heart of her twenty-year-old, soon-to-be step-granddaughter. This step-granddaugher, Shannon, was quite rebellious and often out of control. But Christina showed how, through godly patience and love, even the hardest of hearts can be won over.
Here’s Christina to share her story:
GTO: Christina, why did you choose to share the story that you did for Grandparenting Through Obstacles?
Christina: These days, between deaths and divorces, there are many people who remarry. The new wife often becomes a grandmother for the first time–or maybe second or third. She needs to know that she is not alone in the trials–as well as the joys–that this new family will bring.
GTO: And that really is the basis for all of the stories in our book: to encourage other grandparents that they are not alone; there are many people just like them going through the very things that they are experiencing.
Not only do grandparents face challenges, but the grandchildren do as well. What advice would you offer for how grandparents can help their grandkids overcome their own challenges?
Christina: I would say to always listen to what your grandchildren tell you. When they ask you to keep a secret, do so, and let them know that you can be trusted.
GTO: That’s a really good point, especially for step-grandchildren, because often they have been hurt and need to rebuild trust in others.
Christina, you were so patient and persistent in expressing love to Shannon. What can you tell our readers to encourage them not to give up on their kids or grandkids, no matter how bad their situation may appear.
Christina: My best advice is to pray for them every single day, and to just keep on loving them, no matter how difficult this may become.
GTO: Prayer can certainly soften hearts and knock down walls! What have you learned about how grandparents can become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values into their grandkids?
Christina: I think simply to look for ways to share how God has worked in your own life–not only as an adult, but also in your younger years.
GTO: God does tell us that we overcome through the word of our testimony. I agree that when others see what God has done for us, it can give us hope and encouragement that He will do the same for them. Christina, what do you hope your grandkids will most remember about you when you’re gone?
Christina: Most of all, I hope that they remember how I loved each one of them and prayed for them every day.
GTO: Those are definitely good things to remember!
Thank you, Christina, for joining us today. I’m sure you have helped quite a few people who may be going through their own challenges with grandkids right now. If any of you have struggled with blended family relationships, drop us a line and let us know how God has helped you through your tough times.