This past November, my youngest son Tyler and I traveled to North Carolina to visit my middle son and his family for Thanksgiving. I had not seen my grandson Hank since he was a couple of months old, and he was turning one on Thanksgiving Day. I could not wait to hold him, squeeze him, and layer on some Meme kisses.

When we arrived, Tyler and I made our way through the front door and then, finally, we were face-to-face with precious little Hank. Grandmother Gini was holding him. She came close to pass him to me, but Hank held on tight to her. I totally understood. Hank had not seen me in so long—he had only heard my voice over the computer and phone. He knew me only from a distance.

I realized that I had to allow Hank to warm up to me, at his pace. He had to get to know and trust his Meme Cubbedge from Florida.

The next morning, we got on the floor with Hank and played with his toys. Tyler and I had so much fun watching him crawl around and pick out certain toys that made noise or played music. Little by little, Hank began to relax and enjoy Meme and Uncle Tyler. Before long, I was feeding him, changing his diapers, reading books to him, and even rocking him when he was ready for a nap.

Before he went off to sleep, I laid Hank down in his crib, closed his bedroom door, and went downstairs. My middle son, Clint, and his wife, Lindsey, have one of those baby monitors with night vision so they can watch Hank while he sleeps. Watching him from the kitchen, I could see every move he made. He jibber-jabbered and tossed and turned until he found his comfortable spot and fell into a deep sleep. It was precious.

I’ve realized recently that the Lord used my little grandson to teach me something about my relationship with my heavenly Father.

He reminded me of how I’d had to be so very easy around Hank. I couldn’t force him to let me hold him. Even though Hank is my grandson, part of my bloodline, this didn’t make him trust me.

Hank had seen pictures of me and heard my voice on the phone. He’d even heard my name mentioned over and over. But we hadn’t spent time together. It wasn’t until we did that our relationship began to flourish. In fact, the only way any of us can come to know and trust someone is by spending time—real time, focused time—with that person.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that, just like Hank, I needed to go through a process of getting to know and trust Him too. God patiently waited for me to cry out to Him. He never pushed Himself on me, but He was always watching, ready to draw me close. Just like I watched baby Hank, God watches me closely too, waiting for me to cry out to Him. And when I do, He comes to my rescue. He picks me up, loves on me, and helps me grow.

I invited Jesus into my heart at a Billy Graham Crusade when I was ten years old. I knew something happened inside of me as I responded to the invitation to accept Christ. That day in January of 1961, I became what the Bible refers to as “born again” (See John 3:3–8). But, like Hank, I was an infant…a baby in my faith.