How a Mistaken Click on Facebook Brought a Family Together

An accidental click was actually an answer to prayer.

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- Posted on Nov 20, 2017

A middle aged man on Facebook at a desktop computer.

I’m the keeper of family history in my clan. So it drove me crazy that I couldn’t track down information on my late father’s side of the family. The few relatives I knew well had died without leaving many records. The rest of us had drifted apart. I remembered my dad’s younger brother having a son when I was eight, but I wasn’t even sure of the baby’s name. Chuck? Chet?

My uncle’s name came up on an ancestry website, along with a son, Chip. It had to be him. I looked Chip up on Facebook. His profile picture gave me goosebumps. He looked just like my dad. “Are your parents Calvin and Van?” I messaged him. “If so, you’re my cousin!” I asked that he message me back.

Weeks went by with no response. Maybe he just doesn’t want to meet me, I thought. One afternoon maybe two months after I sent the message, I sat in front of my computer looking at Chip’s picture again. I moved my cursor to the friend-request button, then hesitated. I don’t want to pressure him, I thought, my right finger hovering over the button. Just then my finger twitched. It was only a tiny muscle spasm, but it was enough to click the button. Whoops! I thought. Well, he’s got a friend request now!

I went outside to feed my horses. When I got back in, Chip had accepted my request. “I have a feeling we’re related,” he wrote.

Turns out Chip hadn’t received my first message due to his privacy settings. Soon we were talking on the phone and making plans to meet. That Thanksgiving, Chip, his wife and his kids traveled from Florida to Missouri for a visit with the whole family.

“And to think it was all because of that twitchy finger,” I said to him one evening. “A total accident!”

“Maybe not,” Chip said. “I prayed for this. I had a great family, great job. The one hole in my life was not knowing anyone on my dad’s side of the family. I asked God to fill that hole. A week later I got your friend request.”

Maybe it wasn’t me who pushed that button at all.

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