Family by Any Definition
For way too long I camped on the fact that my parents divorced when I was five. Truly it was a horrifying, and the fallout certainly contributed to many paths that I desperately needed redemption for, however those same paths made me the woman I am today and that divorce set the stage for a display of forgiveness and acceptance that I would never have known without that break in my family.
Now I’m a grown woman with a family of my own and when I go home to Texas to visit my parents, my boys and I have a huge blessing waiting for us. Instead of dividing up times to go between my mom’s and my dad’s homes, what we experience is this: One night my stepmother and my dad host dinner welcoming my mom and her husband, my step mother’s ex-husband and wife (as he is the father of her children), my step-siblings, including my stepbrother’s ex wife and her boyfriend (as she is the mother of their granddaughter), and anyone else who holds an intimate part in the hearts of our family. Another night will be at my mom’s home, where she and her husband welcome all who will come, including my father, stepmother and my stepsiblings from my father’s marriage.
There has been a fair amount of divorce, there has been addiction and infidelity but what I see most of all is forgiveness, love, acceptance and the ability to move on from hardships, accept circumstances and receive what life has given us despite what a family “should” look like. These days, many families look different, yet they are still families and they are still valuable, especially for children. I pray that if your family is as pieced together as mine, that you’ll find the love and forgiveness to accept circumstances, people’s weaknesses, past mistakes and embrace the patchwork quilt that exists and will be handed down for generations. My family, as quirky as it is, is truly more precious than gold and I am forever grateful for the heart’s of my mother and my stepmother (and their loving men) who have laid aside everything but love, respect and acceptance for the sake of the greater good.
Is there something you could do possibly forgive, accept, or set aside for the greater good of your family? Maybe something is raw and hurts right now, but maybe you can set your sights on a future that holds a gift like I’ve been given. It is one of the greatest gifts you could give your children. If it seems impossible start praying and asking God to help you be willing to forgive and accept, then ask Him to make you willing and eventually to forgive.
Please let me know, especially if I can pray for you.