The Granny Flat

I stare out the kitchen window, chewing my toast lazily and listening to the rain beat down on the Northern Irish countryside. Maybe it’s the rain, or that my sweet mother-in-law brought me a tea tray while I worked this morning, or the laughter and hearts shared each night around this kitchen table… but I feel I belong. It’s a belonging so deeply rooted it startles me. 

But as I gaze across the wet and bleary driveway I know why I belong.

I never met her, my husband’s Granny, but she lived with my in-laws in a small apartment across the driveway next to the garage. A fierce Irish woman, a spiritual giant, a prayer warrior. Even though we never got the chance to meet, my life has been shaped by her faithfulness.

Before we were married or even engaged, I heard Granny stories. How she was born into a gaggle of Kellys from the south of Ireland. How she was a shopgirl in Belfast. How she fell in love and married George, who would be the love of her life until her dying day. How my husband would hear her praying when he’d walk past her open window. How he and his friends would pray in her living room because God’s presence was always welcome there. How passionately she believed in and invested in God’s work through her children’s and grandchildren’s lives and ministries. And eventually I would discover that she was praying for me, long before I would ever become a part of her family. 

The rain doesn’t stop. You can almost hear the grass outside growing and getting greener. My butter-drenched toast is long gone, but my mind is still on Granny. 

It’s humbling. To be an heir to that kind of legacy; to be brought into a home drenched in prayer; to be the wife she prayed for her grandson; to know she has already prayed for our children; to inherit her love-spoken, whispered prayers. 

I long to be like her. I want to have faith in the power of prayer to change generations. To pray because I believe in the God I pray to. To pray in the quiet, in seclusion, to have faith in the seeds being sown. To not chase after fame, recognition or the praise of man. 

The rain hasn’t stopped yet and in Northern Ireland chances are it won’t ever stop. Constant and life-giving. Pouring into the generation of life to come. 

I belong here in this legacy.