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July 7, 2004 - "An Absent Grandmother's Prayers" by Melodie Tilander


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"Prayer is more powerful than habits, heredity, and natural tendencies. It can overcome all these. It is more powerful than the forces that hold the planets in place. Prayer, though it comes from the heart of an unlearned child of God, can suspend the laws of the universe, if such be God's will, just as the sun stood still when Joshua prayed. There is no other power on earth that the enemy of souls hates and fears as he does prayer. We are told that 'Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.' " -Matilda Andross



This story, so exquisitely written by one of the most loving people I know, is a "grab the Kleenex box" story. Please email Melodie thanks for sharing this part of her heart with us!

"An Absent Grandmother's Prayers"   by Melodie Lynn Tilander

I never knew or even met my paternal Grandmother. This sad reality was partly because my biological father never claimed me as his child.

It would be much later in my life when some incredible news of her would come to me. The remarkable revelation was delivered to me via a long distance phone call. I was living in Boulder, Colorado at the time and the 'special phone call' came from my hometown- Oregon City, Oregon.

The call that I received was from my biological aunt, my natural father's sister. To say I was completely shell-shocked would be an understatement. After waiting and wondering for so many years, my reaction was a combination of about a hundred different conflicting emotions.

When I heard her sweet soft voice I pressed the phone close to my ear. She sounded like an angel. The phone call was a very surreal experience. The entire conversation was overwhelming for me. During it, I received something 'unexpected'. It was information. I found out something I would cherish for the rest of my life.

My aunt lovingly shared that my paternal grandmother had known of my birth, and knew I was indeed her son's child. She had known of my existence all along. Yes, his mother had known about me.

She in fact had known my name, she had known where I lived, and she had even known where I went to school. My aunt said that my paternal grandmother had always kept tabs on me, asking and inquiring through mutual friends about me.

My biological aunt further stunned me by sharing, "Melodie my mother, your grandmother prayed for you every day. Your grandmother Melodie had a strong relationship with the Lord and she asked him to watch over you. Oh, Melodie she loved you so much!"

Her words just echoed into my ears. Her gentle voice penetrated my calloused hurt heart. All within the same moment... I felt both loved and felt love for my natural father's bloodline. The half of me genetically that belonged to him was now being acknowledged and validated.

At age thirty-seven I was no longer illegitimate. My paternal grandmother's prayers had acknowledged my existence and acknowledged my true identity! Her prayers had dramatically claimed me as 'flesh and blood'.

She had died without ever meeting me, but she knew of me and knew I was her kin...her blood. She lovingly proved this fact by acknowledging me daily in her prayers.

My absent grandmother's prayers are all I have of him. Her prayers are the only honest link to him. The divine knowledge of her daily prayers for me filled me with both comfort and peace.

Her prayers did not give me my biological father, but they gave me a family link.a link to her. I know I will see her in heaven. And I know I will run up to her and call her by name.'Grandma'!

Copyright 2004, Melodie Lynn Tilander

Melodie is a graduate of the 2TheHeart "Get Published!" writing workshop! She is now published in the 2TheHeart book and in the new Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul! She lives in beautiful Oregon and you can find more of her writing in the 2TheHeart archives.


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The Letter Box:

Dear Amy,
What a wonderful story you shared today! This lesson is so important for us to learn while we are going through life - I am saving your story, and with your permission, would like to use it in a future Sunday School lesson. Thank you! God bless you, Maria Tarkin

Dear 2TheHeart,
I loved Amy Toohill's story today. How perfectly timed it was for me in particular, as I have been going through something painful and have been saying "Why me?" a lot. I know that this story was meant for me and that it's God's little nudge to remind me that everything does indeed have a purpose and a time..... we are just not always aware of why. Thank you for this great story! Evelyn in FL

Dear 2TheHeart,
I have so enjoyed your beautiful site and have heard about your Angels2TheHeart group. I was brought to 2TheHeart by a link to your angels group and have just spend two hours reading inspiring stories and enjoying the many gifts your site has to offer. I will soon be joining your Angels2theHeart branch, but wanted to take a moment to thank you for something so peaceful and beautiful shining forth in an (internet) world of a lot of less beautiful things. I commend you! Sincerely, Dr. Hannah Abrahms

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