Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's not always in the blood

Families come in all shapes and sizes. And most of them have a touch of dysfunction to them. I know ours does. After all, we are a blended family, and let me tell you … blending is never easy. But one thing I have learned is that it doesn’t take a blood connection to make a family. I am convinced that no one, and I mean no one, could love my girls the way my husband does. He only came into their lives when they were seven and five, yet you would almost swear he has memories of holding them the day they were born. You see that in his eyes.

And the grandbabies? Well, there is no way to describe his connection to them.

You see, it is not blood that makes a family. It is love.

Just look at the family Jesus started out with. I can say with certainty that Joseph looked upon Him the same way Bill looks at Bethany and Jessica. Blood doesn’t matter. Any of you who have adopted children know exactly what I am talking about.

Unfortunately, not everyone in a blended family sees it the same way. To them, blood matters most of all and loyalty issues are a constant challenge. Sometimes it is because they cannot let go of ‘what once was’ and embrace the ‘what is.’ And there is not a thing anyone can do to change their way of looking at it.

You know what else makes a family besides love? Grace and forgiveness. Without them, there is little hope for peace in a home. Love, grace and forgiveness. The model Jesus Himself gave to us. All we have to do is follow it and every one of us can let go of the past with all its pain, broken dreams and promises, and grab on to the family we have right here, right now.

Did someone in your family die? Was there a divorce? Were you abandoned? Did you have to divide your loyalties between two families instead of one? These things happen … way too often, unfortunately. But there is absolutely no reason why you have to stay stuck in the ‘what once was.’ No reason at all. Except, of course, your own desire to stay there.

Why forgive when you can choose unforgiveness?

Why offer grace when you can opt for bitterness?

Why love when you can hate?

Wow, all I can think about is a baby in a manger who did no wrong, yet was crucified three decades later. Unjustly, I might add. Yet he chose forgiveness, opted for grace and embodied love.

And you know what? He calls us to do the same.

Sharing my heart,


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