Family, as we all know, can ring blessings and havoc simultaneously. Family can be wild while loving, beautiful while dreadful — this is a known truth. Yet, family is one of the dearest gifts God gave us; to be able to share in each other’s lives. The blessings and joys families bring are very well countless.
Which is why, when we attempt to count our blessings — our family’s faces flash before our eyes.
And as a daughter, I look back upon my own family and our story together — how we have shaped who we are today by God’s Word, by our family circles and traditional dinners — most abundantly, by our love. I’ll never forget our round tables and our laughter through our tears.
I’ll never forget my father flipping through the pages and reading from Matthew, his fingers gently tracing the straight edges of his Bible.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” —Matthew 26:41
I’ll never forget my mother’s tears in her dark brown eyes as she would tell each of us how much she loves and is proud of us. I’ll never forget how we laid bare before each other our burdens and pains. More so, I can’t forget holding the hands of my beloved sisters as we’d pray under God together.
When a family member slips away
These are the memories I cherish. These are the memories that have contributed into contouring the woman I am today.
However, what happens when a treasured member of our own family slips away? And so far way, it seems only God knows where they’re at? Where pain, hurt, anger and deep sorrow seep into the cracks of our family?
“He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.” —Proverbs 11:29
So, I sat and I pondered. Winds are fleeting and rushed, and they often bring more turmoil than not. I don’t desire for my family member whom I love dearly, to inherit that which is only fleeting and rushed. I don’t want my beloved family member to suffer under their own peril.
So, confusion seeped in. Hopelessness settled in. Tears ached and I began to question how in the world we ever got here and how they will ever find their way back to the truth?
“A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.” —Proverbs 15:27
How can a family who loves God and seeks to honor Him in all that we do, be faced with such sorrow and havoc from one of our own?
At first, it didn’t make any sense. In many ways, it still doesn’t. But I do know this — that God’s Word still lives. Christ still reins. His love isn’t going anywhere.
One of our dear relatives mentioned how the kind of havoc we are undergoing will not be for a waste. God’s purpose will sustain in the end. Right now, this is the hope that we believe in.
Family is forever
We believe our beloved family member will find their way back to us. We believe this because our love has never allowed us not to. We are too strong for the enemy to take our beloved fully. This, we will always hold fast to.
And this is what true family is all about. It’s about praying — praying hard — even when others think you’re cursing under your breath. It’s loving even when it’s difficult. It’s trying to gather all the strength you can, to be the best that you can. My father has always said, we hate the sin, not the person and I’ll never forget how he titled this season of our lives a work in progress.
I’ve never believed him more until now.
God didn’t call us to be perfect little saints; He called us to be willing. This is one thing the prophets such as Noah, Joseph and Moses shared. Willingness to obey the voice of God. To lean unto Him.
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” —Psalm 27:14
It’s through immense hardships as these — through the ragged traces of Hell itself — that we find where our greatest strength stands. The waiting may seem long, but the purpose will be worth it. Family is worth it. Our beloved is worth it. In the finality of this season and of all seasons in this lifetime, God always wins.