I heard from my cousin earlier this week. Our grandmother had passed away. It was an out of the blue thing. I am not sure how to feel. And so I spend days searching my memories, questioning and praying….
To say I have been estranged from my family for many years seems like the wrong thing to say. Family was not a big thing growing up, not in my home. My mother raised me, a single mom, on her own. Literally. And she had a theme song. Do you remember Helen Reddy?
Needless to say this was more real than you may imagine. We had very little to do with any family so of course, I guess I grew up knowing it was just us. And when things finally broke between my mother and I, I was easily long gone. No looking back. I was raised strong. I never looked back. I never thought once about those family members that were related yet so unknown.
Looking at images of my grandmother, sent to me by my cousin (who located me amazingly after so many years – Its a God thing I believe) I compared her and I, with our grandmother. They were so close. She was raised by her. She and I were strangers. You can see that clearly in our stance, our serious faces. Strangers. What little memory I have is of people yelling, fights, booze and soap operas….bowling and bingo … noisy yet loving in a very different way.
Whatever it was I remember my mother being firmly against us partaking in that side of the family. And my father being on the opposing side. But they were divorced and my dad had very little to do with me except occasional weekends so … It was me and my mother “against the world.” As a mother I can appreciate the desire to separate your children from influences that may be less than savory. I too am very cautious about who my children spend their time with. Bad company corrupts good character; whether family or friend. It is all the same.
We need to be wise. We need to raise our children to be wise as well. I admit as I look back I wish there had been a time I would have sought them out. Perhaps at some point I could have learned, understood. Yet God makes a way. I will not be attending the funeral. But it has opened up a desire for building a new relationship with my cousin and perhaps others in the family as well.
I am sad I did not know and love my grandmother as dearly as my cousin did. I am so blessed though that I can hear her memories and although they are so very different than mine. She and I both had different needs when we were kids. I am blessed in that perhaps this is a chance, God moving, through and in our lives, to show Him. How I want to see them know the Lord, choose Him and live for Him. I wish I could attend the funeral and at the same time – I know it is not possible. Not now. With three little ones too.
As I ponder and pray over some things I am reminded too by a wise friend: “You can never win anyone to church unless you win them to you and you cannot win them to you unless they think you care about them more than just getting them to church”.~
It is a process, as much as I want to hurry up and get ’em saved, that is not how it works. Jesus did not rush in and demand anything of us. He took time and cultivated this amazing love relationship, He showed us things; spent time with us in prayer and as we spent more time with Him it made perfect sense to give ourselves to HIm fully. Time and love alone gives us the desire to do more. To obey His words. To give of ourselves; to take that drive or tat call at 3am because I/you need a friend. We need to feel that love, one for another, for Jesus too, to make it all come together.
I am socially so inept. A total loner; introvert through and through so making any connection with anyone at all … Its not easy. I know the Lord has been working on me though. I have made so many sweet friends online, who I enjoy offline as well as the days have gone by. Yet I feel there is more that I must do. To walk as He did, to reach those I desperately want to see saved – there has to be more. A hand reaching out – in love – reaching out. No matter how uncomfortable it may be.