We are home; settling in from a long trip and the days away from home. The excitement of travel and family visits wore off (for those little ones anyway) and I am reflecting on a trip that was about nothing but “survival” for me.
My husbands family is different. My mother in law and father in law attend a spirit filled church. You may never know that though if you met them. Great grandma and great grandpa are not willing to hear truth spoken. There is a lot of anger; lots of bitterness present in any place where all are gathered. This time was no different.
It pains me bringing our family into this but with it only being a few times each year and my husband being so very close to his family….What is there to do? I struggle each time I know we will be with them. Knowing that there will be no place for prayer or worship (except quietly under my breath – shame on me but some days I prefer to loudly proclaim as I sit reading my Bible or listening to my worship music … or praying to Him …) There are few places I go where I just feel I can not get by … this is one of them.
I contrast his family with my own who we spent Thanksgiving with recently. It was a pleasant time; all the kids were having fun and playing and being attended to. They were not expected to go and play away from the adults; it was a fun time for everyone. It was time together. So different – no one hollering at anyone else – a peace and joy there that is not found in the gatherings of the past.
I consider my small family; the gentleness, the gratitude they show for such small things and how eager they are to spend time with one another. Its beautiful. It brings me joy. And it brings me sorrow. Because I am unsure my in-laws will ever gather in the same way with us. The heart is a fragile thing; our days are not promised us. Not one. And we can never truly love another when they do not want to be loved. Can we? When someone makes themselves so unlovable?
I just do not know. There is so little love in some; so much love in another. If only the one could learn and grow from the other. Jesus make a way. Show us how to love them; show us how you see them. Give us the words and the ways to share your love with those who need it so even though they do not see their own need. I do not know how. But I have faith that He will bring us to that place, be it closer or further, from them with so little love.
I always imagined our children having grandparents and extended family that they brought joy to, Sharing letters and phone calls; playing games and coloring together. Having a deep and loving and true relationship. But that is not what it is. And so I seek ways to build that relationship for them with others – how to show and share His love. Not just with those in our family but with those outside of it. Those in need. Create your family; build up and surround yourself with those who will build you up. Who do you seek to be? Choose your companions wisely, choose those who are an example – who you look to. And always look up.
I think of a number of individuals who are encouraging, strong figures for our children, and I pray that they will be a greater influence in my children’s lives. No matter how it pains me to consider that a complete separation could be neccessary (or maybe a heartfelt letter advising my in-laws of God’s word in comparison with their actions?) I know that no matter what may come the Lord shall bring those to our life as the need arises. And I pray that perhaps one day the families may merge and see one another. Maybe one shall learn from the example of another and better times shall come that bring more glory to our Lord and show the joy and love of the Lord in the family.
All I seek is to make Him known, have Him felt – His presence – welcome Lord Jesus in it all.
Jesus at the center of it all