I have a confession: I have an admirable and affable addiction to alliteration.
But I didn’t just start “phamily” with a “ph” to make it fit into the week, I did it to make a point: “family” doesn’t always look the same. It’s not always our blood that defines it. The intensity of relationships ebb and flow. There are undesired hurts and unexpected healing. Outrageous highs and unbearable lows. Family often morphs to look like phamily, or maybe phamilee, or phamalee – but the essence of it remains the same.
Our family is who God has brought in to our lives to serve as a reflection of ourselves and to be a catalyst that causes us to grow. It’s not always pleasant, but it is planned and purposeful (I’m doing it again!).
In John 17, Christ prayed that his followers would be “one,” just as He and His Father are one. The unity that Christ desired for those who would come to belive in Him was accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit and created a spiritual family for all believers.
For me personally, family of either blood or spirit has both deep bonds and great hurts. For a few decades now I have let the hurts dominate my thoughts and attitude toward family. In the last year, I have been allowed to see it’s other side – the side that may not understand but accepts, that may not grasp the pain, but will bear it with me none-the-less.
Tuesday’s meditation still focuses on the need for peace in our hearts and minds, but specifically for family is all it’s forms. My parents and sister, my kids, my ex-wife, my nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc., and also my spiritual family – those with whom I share a bond that can only be held by the power of the Spirit of Christ. I express my gratitude for them, my concern for them, and my hope for them. I surrender any desire I have to control them or fear of being controlled by them. I step aside and let God have His proper place in the center of them.
I also lift up specific families in my circles that are hurting, growing, struggling, shifting, or in any other way morphing from a “family” to a “phamily”! Marriage, birth, death, divorce, disease, launching a child, adopting a child – the list could go on and on – are all things that may change a family and cause it to hurt more, love deeper and grow up with each other.
Finally, I seek God’s intervention and direction on how to best love and be loved by them – regardless of what letters they may start with.