GOOD day!!

Its my nature to be grouchy, but I have to make a choice
to have a
great attitude no matter what comes my way!
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindess, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
Galations 5:22

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family, Forgiveness, Goodness, and Gratefulness

OK SO, I think I am just gonna come out 100% here and be vulnerable with my heart and honest with my thoughts on a topic that is very sensitive in my life.

My older brother, the man in my life I had admired greatly, walked out on me and our family a few years ago. He has completely distanced himself from us. He no longer partakes in family activities, holidays, or funerals. These are his choices, his actions, and he will be accountable to them. I do have to mention that he has initiated a relationship with just my little brother- and has chosen to see him a few times. He also has his wife do all the communicating with us and allows her to bring their kids by so we can see them a few times a year. I am very thankful that I have this opportunity with my nieces and nephew.

I'm sure he has his own reasons to withdraw, and I know he has his own perspectives. There are always two sides to a story. But this is my perspective and my side of the story. :)  I'm not gonna lie--my family was dysfunctional. I realized that when I was put in the Methodist Home when I was 15. Thank God I was able to experience another way to live out life. (It changed me forever and I will always be grateful for that.) I do think though, that these new differences in lifestyles might have been what created the personal division between my brother and I.

"Other things may change us, but we start and end as family." I love this quote because I think we can have different lifestyles, different values, and yet still respect each others differences and be a family. I still want that for my family-- with my brother included. Despite the hole he has left, it has been great to see how my family has blossomed. How we have evolved individually and yet grown together. We have accepted eachother and our differences, we have forgiven and have worked through all the dysfunction.

My goodness, all the dysfunction. I know I have many wounds that have healed up over time from my family. And I know and acknowledge that I hurt and caused wounds to my family as well. There have been times of personal repentance as well as forgiveness. Because at the end of the day, a loving family should find everything forgivable right? Today my family is still not perfect, we have conflict and differences, but we still love each other unconditionally. There are no limits, conditions, or judgments we have on eachother.

I can say I honestly hold nothing against my brother anymore. I have chosen to fully forgive him. I have come to grips with the death of our brother/sister relationship. I have released him. But, it still hurts. It still stings. The hole is still there. It hurts the most when I think of my kids. They have a minimum relationship with their cousins. It's hard to explain to my daughters why their uncle they once knew walked out on their lives. And my sons don't even know they have an uncle Shawn. So sad, it truly grieves my heart.

I am so thankful for my family- for my dad, mom, and both brothers, for their wives, and for their children- my sweet nieces and nephews. I am thankful for the trials and the tribulations my family has endured- for they have strengthened and grown us. I would not trade any of this for anything.  

But I need to add- I am so blessed, because of God's hand in my life. His Word promised to me was that His goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for my heavenly Father:
I know I am secure and accepted by God. I know that He will never leave or forsake me and my family. He gives me the perfect love I need. He is the perfect doctor and has fully healed up my wounds. He has also given me the power of forgiveness and the strength to do so fully and completely. 

I cannot begin to share how appreciative I am for my own family:
I have such beautiful family of my own. I have an admirable husband who reflects the true character of God. I have been given the honor to be "mom". We have a chance to raise up world changers. We can foster love into our children's' sibling relationship which will reflect into any other relationship they have. 1 Peter 3:8-11 is a Word God has spoken for our family.

I cannot begin to share my sincere gratitude for our Spiritual family:
God has brought honorable men and women into our lives. They have enriched us in so many ways spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. He has given me spiritual fathers to guide me, and brothers to care for me, and fun loving men to "uncle" my children. He has given us spiritual grandparents to love and be loved by. We would be so lost and lonely without this community of people.

Whenever I feel low, or hurt from the sting of loss with my earthly brother, I have to reflect and look on the joy of all the good God has worked into my life. Romans 8:28 says

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."

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