Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast: Holiday Edition episode #89. Today we are reading chapter 32 of the book “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
When Grant made it to the hotel, he tried not to stare at Cassandra. She’s still beautiful after fourteen years, he thought. His love for her had never died out.
Cassandra stole a few glances at Grant. She could not believe the overwhelming feelings she was having for him.
“Why don’t we pray and thank God for a blessed day and for this blessed reunion,” Rev. Barnett said.
After a short prayer, Natalie cleared her throat and was the first to speak. “Grant,” she said, “I have a new respect for you. Let me be the first to apologize to you for trying to keep you and Cassandra apart. I already spoke with Cassandra and things have already been resolved between us. I had some unresolved issues in my past and allowed a root of bitterness to develop in me. I allowed that bitterness to eat away at me down through the years, and I kept letting that bitterness override my better judgment, but God gave me the grace to face those issues when we thought Grant Lee had run away. It’s a little late seeing the damage I allowed it to cause, but I hope you’ll forgive me.”
“I forgive you, Mrs. Nichols,” Grant said without hesitation. “And I need to apologize to you and Rev. Nichols for going against your wishes. If I had humbled myself and listened and respected your wishes from the beginning this probably could have helped prevent some of the things that took place, and shortened this long awaited reunion.”
“Grant, you acted as a man who truly loves a woman would,” Rev. Nichols said.
Grant glanced at Cassandra; she smiled at him. He noticed she was still wearing the commitment ring he had given to her. He wondered about the letter her mother had sent to him.
As if reading his mind, Natalie said, “By the way, Grant, all the letters you sent to Cassandra, I hid them from her. I know it’s evil what I did. Those letters that I did not hide, I had them returned to you. The letter I sent to you about Cassandra getting married; it was a hoax. I wrote it to put an end to you bothering us.”
“I never knew anything about any letter,” Rev. Nichols said.
“That’s because I didn’t tell you because I knew you would probably put a stop to it,” Natalie said. “Now that I think about it, that was a stupid thing to do.”
“It sure was,” her husband said trying to put forth a serious response.
“You know, Mrs. Nichols,” Grant began, “God used that letter to show me He did not need my help in the life lessons He wanted to teach me. God used that letter to humble me down because I was getting a little proud for a while. God used that letter to help me to realize that I was nothing without Him. It took me a while, but I got the message.”
“Can’t nobody break you like God can,” Rev. Barnett said. He sensed God doing a work as hearts were being cleansed and released from years of bondage.
“You know,” Athaliah said, “every time Cassandra stopped by the restaurant or the church, I would give her a report of how Grant was doing not caring what you both thought; I just felt what we were doing was wrong and I apologize to you Rev. and Mrs. Nichols for not respecting your wishes.”
“You may have been wrong, Mrs. Barnett, but that’s what kept me hopeful that I would hear from Grant again. Even though I was planning on marrying Paul, I still had that flicker of hope,” Cassandra said.
“Well, Cassandra, I wish you and Paul all the best,” Grant said. “And I thank you for allowing Grant Lee to come watch me play.”
An uncomfortable silence followed. Rev. Nichols turned to Grant Lee who had been quietly listening to them talk. “Grant Lee, I apologize for lying to you these many years and for not even at least letting you know that Grant Barnett was your dad. There was no excuse for that. We at least owed that to you. Please forgive me for not coming clean with you.”
“Forgive me too, Grant Lee,” Natalie said. “I am to be blamed more than anyone else for keeping it from you this long. I went against every attempt your mother made to keep in touch with your father. And I am ashamed to say this, I fed very negative words to her against Grant and black men in general. I am sorry Grant Lee for robbing you of fourteen years from knowing your dad.”
“I forgive you both,” Grant Lee said. Then turning back to his Dad, he said, “I’m glad I finally got to meet you.”
Before Grant could respond, Natalie spoke again. “Grant, I don’t know how to say this, but, I am the one who pushed Cassandra into accepting Paul’s offer to marry her. Cassandra was keeping herself for you, but I introduced her to just about every young man I could think of in an attempt to prevent her from marrying you. I kept telling her she was wasting her best years waiting for you to return and that you would never return. I know Paul loves Grant Lee; but in my heart, I do not really think Paul has as strong a love for her as you do, and I do not think Cassandra has as strong a love for him as she does for you.”
Cassandra interrupted, “Mother, please do not speak for me or Paul. Your mouth is partly what has caused this predicament for us now.”
Rev. Nichols cleared his throat. “I forgot I have a very important phone call to make. I’ll be right back.” He stepped out of the room.
When he returned he had a sober look on his face which turned into a smile after he asked Grant this question: “Grant Barnett, how would you like to marry my daughter? You said you wanted to marry her years ago. I hope nothing’s changed.”
“Are you serious?” Grant asked.
“Do I look like I am joking?” Rev. Nichols said.
“Yes, Rev. Nichols. I’d love to marry your daughter but what about Paul?”
“I just got off the phone with him. After explaining the unfortunate things that took place between you two the past few years, he’s graciously backed out of the wedding. He says to wish you both the best.”
Grant Lee smiled as Grant hugged Cassandra.
“Whose church?” Rev. Barnett asked trying to sound official.
“Why, my church of course,” Rev. Nichols said, “seeing that I will be giving the bride away.”
“And I’ll be officiating the wedding,” Rev. Barnett said, “Seeing she’ll be marrying my son.”
“And I guess we ladies will just sit and look pretty,” Athaliah said to Mrs. Nichols who nodded in agreement.
“I don’t know about you,” Rev. Nichols said, “But all this confessing and asking for forgiveness has made me hungry. I suggest we go and get something to eat.”
“Let me get my purse and change into something not so casual,” said Cassandra.
“I’ll walk with you,” Grant offered.
“You know,” Rev. Nichols said after they left, “it’s amazing how God reminds you of your past sins and failures until you fully confess and turn away from them.”
Rev. Barnett nodded.
“I don’t hate blacks, never have, but I did something so sinister and treacherous years ago that to this day it still haunts me. That’s why I reacted so violently to Cassandra and Grant’s situation.”
“That explains everything then,” Rev. Barnett said after Rev. Nichols finished sharing with them his past involvement with a young black girl.
“I made a promise to her so she would not tell on me. She kept her side of the promise; I never kept mine. Now I have another daughter out there whom I will never know. I’ve felt nothing but guilt for what I did and every now and then the whole incident flashes across my mind and I shudder. I just did not want the same thing to happen to Cassandra.”
Rev. Barnett and his wife nodded as they listened—shocked, but trying not to show it. Athaliah reached over to hug Natalie. “I thank God that He is a forgiving God and that once He forgives us, our sins are forgotten.”
“Amen,” Rev. Nichols and Rev. Barnett said.
Grant put his arm around Cassandra as they walked to her room.
“How do you feel?” he asked her
“I don’t have the words to describe how I feel,” Cassandra said. “It’s truly a dream come true.”
Once they entered the room, he gave her a full embrace. “I see you never lost hope; you’re still wearing the ring.”
“No. I just couldn’t. Something deep inside of me would not let me. I knew you’d return; I just did not know when. With Mother pressuring me and wanting a father for Grant Lee, I guess I buckled, but God worked it all out in His time.”
“You can say that again. Two more days and I would have lost you forever,” Grant said kissing her. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” Cassandra said. “Did you ever lose hope?”
“Yes, when I got the letter saying you were getting married I thought that would be the end of us until it dawned on me that you may not have authorized that letter since I did not hear from you directly. I did get impatient and tried to hurry things along. I have spent these past years learning to wait on God. I am kind of stubborn so it took me longer to fully depend on Him.” Grant reached down to kiss her again. “I am so glad I waited because today you look even more beautiful than you did fourteen years ago.”
“So do you,” Cassandra said. She removed the engagement ring Paul had given her. I’ll return this later, she thought as she returned her future husband’s kisses.
“Well, Grant Lee, since you’re responsible for bringing us all together, where would you like to spend Christmas?” Grant asked his son once they settled down in the restaurant.
“Oh, that’s easy, Dad,” Grant Lee said. “I’d like to spend it with you and Mom and both sets of my grandparents right here at the Hilton.”
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family stories. You may purchase a copy of this novel and any other Christian fiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.
Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:
- Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
- Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
- Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
- Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
- Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you until next time.