What is family?
My first family began when my parents adopted me. I had an instant 15-year-old brother who I adored. My family changed when he died when I was nine. We were now a trio.
Family changed again when I married Mike, my first husband. Three years later we added the joy of a daughter, and then another three years later we had bouncing baby Bubba. Our family felt “complete.”
Five years later, change again flooded our family – Mike died and somehow we were supposed to figure out how to survive as a family when it felt like we had had a limb amputated.
In 2004, I met and married Dan and our family changed drastically. Step-kids, step-grandkids, an ex-wife, new extended family members on Dan’s side, and a big dog! I remember hiding in the bathroom wondering how we could ever become a “real” family.
Years have gone by and each child has left the shelter of our home. Of course, change happened with every departure. We have new sons-in-laws. We have more grandkids
Two years ago, we had another change when my dad came to live with us. He is almost 90 years old and has Alzheimer’s Disease. He requires almost constant monitoring, and that comes with its own set of challenges.
At some point in the future, dad will pass and the family dynamic will change yet again; we will have to find a way to be a family without him.
What has your family looked like in the past? Maybe your parents divorced and your family dynamic was in constant change. Maybe you have been through some devastating relationships yourself and you have found yourself in and out of family situations. Maybe there are kids, step-kids, and even step-pets.
With every season, every change in family dynamic, you can decide to become bitter about it or better. You can roll with the changes or be run over by them.
I had seasons of bitterness after the deaths in my life. I had a big season of bitterness after I married Dan and was trying to figure out how to be a step mom. But after a period of time, I gathered myself up and changed my focus and sought counseling. I wanted better!
You can let bitterness take over your heart, mind and soul or you can choose to look to God for His guiding hand through your difficult journey. God is not going to give you an easy life. Why would we ever need Him if He allowed that?
Remember this: when you are in the midst of change or difficulty in your family, God is there. You are going to grow through the difficulty. You are going to learn through each task. Take each change and challenge yourself to hang on to God through the journey.
So … what IS family? I think I have this figured out finally. It is the collection of people God has placed in my life – so they may be loved and served by me.
Sometimes our family is chosen for us. Sometimes we get to choose who we add to our family. Whatever yours looks like, it is for a season, so look to God to see how you can go through this season and be better – not bitter.
Paul shared in Second Corinthians 12: 8-10, about asking God to remove a difficulty in his life. He asked God repeatedly. God spoke to Paul saying, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Yes – God’s grace is sufficient for us as we navigate family. In our weaknesses God shows up. He does a mighty work in our lives when we cling to Him and hang on for the ride. We are family!
Blessings in Your Blending!