A wonderful announcement

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2022

About two-thirds of the gathered family and well-wishers were grouped together at one end of the dining room table. We were the “It’s a girl” group.

Most of the rest were at the opposite end of the table, in the “It’s a boy” group.

We had grouped together based on what we thought my youngest daughter was going to have next spring. It was her baby’s gender reveal party, at her home in Louisiana.

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Her mother and two others — who already knew the answer and had helped prep for the party — were in the middle, video-ing and taking pictures.

Emma and her boyfriend Luis gripped the cake cutter together and sliced into it, to reveal the color of the cake itself and the answer to our riddle.

The expecting couple both thought it was a boy, but both were wearing pink. I was wearing a blue shirt, but was firmly in the girl camp.

When they saw their answer, they laughed and cheered.

“What is it? What is it?” we asked.

They held aloft a piece of pink cake.

“It’s a girl!”

Though we would have been just as happy if it were blue, we were all excited.

I’m really looking forward to being a grandfather. I’ve been working on the white in my beard since I was 21. I’m much older than that now.

Some of you are reading this and celebrating with me at the promise of a new life. But maybe some of you are kind of hung up on one word I used earlier — “boyfriend.”

Yes, it’s true. Emma is not married. Though she and Luis plan to do that — and had plans before she became pregnant — things came about in a different order. Maybe you didn’t make that same kind of choice, but you have undoubtedly made other choices that weren’t in the right order or for the right reasons. So have I.

We can’t deny it.

While it’s really just between Emma and God (and Luis and God), we have had our conversations. I refuse to reframe how I treat or love my daughter based on a choice she made in her past. I refuse to treat a child as a “mistake” or “unintended consequence.”

This is my daughter and my granddaughter about whom I’m talking. And my love for them will not change.

I’m glad I know a God whose love for me does not change when I do things that are not in His perfect plan for me. I’m glad that not once has He refused to call me His because of it. Not once has He turned His back on me, refused to love me, or loved me any less.

It doesn’t mean He was always happy with me or my choices, but He didn’t abandon me because of them. He forgave me and reassured me of His love for me.

When I have dragged my sin back in front of Him and asked Him, “How could You love me? Don’t You remember what I’ve done?” His answer is always, “No.”

Because He has kept His promise to forget my sins because they have been forgiven. He doesn’t remind me of it in the face of blessings He has given me since.

We had our conversations with our daughter  — I said that. We worked through the hard moments and the tears and the disappointment and the forgiveness. Every moment of it was covered in our love. Then we pushed all that behind us and dove headfirst into the excitement of a coming child.

And I can’t wait until I get to hold my grandbaby in one arm and my own baby girl in the other.

Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.