Family … a subject familiar to most. Some love their families, some hate their families, some could care less about their families. There are those who take their family members for granted and think they will always be there to call upon when something is needed that no one else would do for them except . . . FAMILY.
I used to think my family had it all together. We have 3 sons and their growing up years were pretty normal; the normal amount of disobedience, sports, trouble in school, success in school, girlfriends, and the list could go on. They all married young and all three are in the military. All three have children so we have seven grandchildren. I truly thought everything was right, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We raised our sons to love God, to go to church (we took them, we did not send them). We were actively involved in their school events and extracurricular activities. In their younger years we coached Little League, taught Sunday School and loved watching them in whatever sport they were playing.
Now divorce has entered our family. Two of our sons have chosen this path and it is a heartbreaking time in the life of a family because in a divorce the family is fractured. It is not only the splitting couple who suffer from this disease, but their children suffer emotional setbacks that may take years to heal. Relationships are divided…our daughters-in-law were like daughters to us. When the boys were on deployment it was the girls who kept us informed, visited, or we visited them. They sent cards and gifts and called to keep us attached to their family and to our sons. The divorces removed this relationship – eight people no longer play a part in our daily lives; 2 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 4 of our 7 grandchildren. Our two sons quickly remarried and made it clear that they want nothing to do with us. I miss my sons, the ex-daughters-in-law and my grandchildren.
The only thing that keeps me grounded is God’s Word. I am continually reminded that these things happen in life and I am not to be discouraged – John 16:33 in the words of Christ says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And so my focus must be on God’s Word, on His peace and not on my family’s failures or successes whatever they may be. I will rejoice when they rejoice and I will weep when they weep. I love my family and God’s Word has something to say about that too…”Love one another.”
We pray for our sons – all 3 of them – oh did I mention that while all of this family division ensued our third son, wife and 3 children deployed to another country taking them out of the family circle for a time. Interesting, I thought, that all of this happened at the same time AND my husband began a 2nd shift job. After 42 years of marriage we no longer have dinner together, not connected like we were, and I find myself at home, quiet, blogging, or working on a Bible study, watching a movie or playing a search-n-find game on my iPad. BUT life goes on. I’m adjusting to my quiet time, knitting more, actively involved in a women’s prison ministry and finding joy in life and my full-time job. The 3rd son is about to move back into the country – HURRAH! We get to visit over Christmas – DOUBLE HURRAH! FAMILY, up close and personal, not just FaceTime is what I am looking forward to.
The moral of the story? Don’t take your family for granted – LOVE ONE ANOTHER EVERY DAY!
UPDATE: WOW does God answer prayer! Those two sons have remarried the most lovely women and we are thankful. We communicate with one another and enjoy the company of one another. The son who had moved to Japan, then CA, now lives just 4 hours away from us and we visit often. Our middle son’s new wife has 3 children so we now have 3 new grandchildren and are blessed to be able to visit them too. Our oldest son, though he lives Waaaayyyy up north, we have a sweet relationship with his wife and him. God is good!
We pray for and still communicate with our ex-daughers-in-law. My prayer is for all of our family to forgive past hurts. In the Bible Jesus’ words are clear to us… “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14.