Today I'm sharing block two of our 'Words of Life' table runner project - FAMILY.
You know, I think long and hard about some of the words I share in my patterns, and 'family' is one of those words that can bring me undone and lift me up all at the same time.
Not everyone has a close family unit; not all of us maintain close family ties for one reason or another; and some dear souls do not even live in a family environment.
So that beautiful word - family - can trigger both joy and sorrow, hope and regret, hurt and healing, security and abandonment, loss and life to varying degrees in most lives, for somewhere along the way most people have experienced many of those emotions.
Even as I have personally experienced sorrow, regret, loss, hurt and abandonment, I've also known the depths of joy, hope, healing, life and security. For life within a family is not the same year by year, but a series of seasons which take us along varied paths with occasional unexpected turns.
The flip side to many of those emotions I mentioned is not being the receiver of them, but being the one who hurts another, whether that be intentional or not. I have been the person who hurts, as well as the one who receives hurt. In a day and age where people text, comment or message 'instantly' we're quickly becoming people who speak before we think and too often read the wrong intent in responses from others.
Even within families.
Not every rift will be healed, not every hurt will be forgiven, but when we humble ourselves to admit our fault and to ask forgiveness, then a burden is lifted from our own hearts - even when the other person will not accept it.
Now, there's another kind of family you may not have considered...
As the years roll by, and here I am in my sixtieth year, I've become more aware than ever that family doesn't have to mean blood-related. The Lord has blessed me with a handful of friends whom I love dearly and who love me - and there's no bloodline in our friendship, just mutual respect, encouragement, honesty (the kind of honesty where you share your failings, warts and all, as well as your joys) and steadfastness between us. They have become part of my family and I am blessed by that.
And just as friends can be as family, family can be as friends.
My husband and our daughter Blossom are my very best friends, they are also my brother and sister in Christ, my confidantes, my prayer partners, and my cheering squad through the ups and downs of life - and they will assure you that I am all that to them as well. We are family and we hold each other up; we also hold each other accountable, forgive, and assist one another whenever there is a need.
FAMILY can come into our lives as strangers or blood relations, but there's one family I belong to that exceeds all others.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
1 John 3:1-2
The family of God.
May you find a great blessing as you stitch this block, letting go of hurts and misunderstandings of the past, and looking to Jesus as the perfect example of family, friendship, forgiveness and humility.
I'll be back on Friday with block three. If you missed block one it's here in Monday's post.
bless you heaps,