As a child I loved to watch shows like The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show, and as I watched I longed to have a family like those. Sure they had their share of troubles but by the end of the show they had figured it all out and managed to still love each other. Still love each other, that is the part that strikes me. I have shared before about the struggles in my family, especially in the last few years, but the problems go so much deeper.
I can honestly remember the first time an adult in my life said a kind word to me. I was in 5th grade and my teacher, Mr. Bubnick, complimented me for being, "The most polite student he has ever had." That was thirty years ago but I can still hear his words in my head. Up to that point I was a struggling student, barely passing from year to year. I was a known "cry baby" by my peers and school and church were the safest environments I had. I ended 5th grade with A's and B's and ended up graduating high school in the top 10% of my class. All because Mr. Bubnick took the time to say something nice to me. The power of positive words can be life changing, but I guess that is a topic for a different day! Today's blog is about perfect families!
If I had to chose one word that describes my childhood, I think it would be, "Unlovable." It is a struggle I have carried into my adult life. It has shaped me into a recovering people pleaser who struggles to say no to anyone for fear of rejection. Every time someone is disappointed in me, it comes to the forefront and screams, "No one will ever be able to love you."
I have to admit that when I see families out and about, Grandpas loving on their grand babies, adult daughter and mother sharing a coffee, aunts and uncles at the local school program, jealous rears its ugly head. Thoughts like, "I wish I had a mom like that," or "I wish my kids could have that kind of relationship with my dad," fill my head and heart. But you know what happens when I allow my brain to go that direction? I miss out on the blessings right in front of me.
My family has been so blessed with friends who love on us, love my kids, and share life with us. It is the family God has given me for the here and now. I need to learn to embrace that! Another thing I need to remember is that those television shows were just that....a show, not reality! Also, those families I see out in public have their own set of troubles. I am comparing my insides, a broken messy family, to their outsides. In reality, I have no idea what trials they are facing or have faced. I do not know the journey they have been on that has brought them to this place. I only know what I can see.
One last thought, I am so glad that God will never disappoint us, aren't you? Though our earthly families may not be all that we would like, God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He also promises that ALL things, good and bad, work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). That means that He takes all the broken pieces of our everyday life's and makes them glorious! Even better than that, He loves us just as we are. I love the JJ Heller song entitled, "What Love Really Means," because it echos my heart cry, "Who will love me for me, not for what I have done or what I will become" and God's answers these questions loud and clear by saying, "I will love you for you, not for what you have done or what you will become...I will give you the love that you never knew." In fact He loved us so much that he sent His son to pay the debt for our sins, a payment we could never have made (John 3:16).
Not sure if anyone out there can relate, but just in case, I hope you were encouraged! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!