We are so very different.
We disagree in politics. Our views of global issues don’t always coincide. We look at the world from different perspectives.
When the five of us are together none of that matters.
Family isn’t always easy. Siblings disagree. As kids, we had unique ways of fighting with one another. Dad always reminded us that blood was thicker than water.
Getting together for a couple of days, the five of us had enough laughter and conversation to fill our familial tanks for a bit. We met up in California and rediscovered the truth to the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
We get into each other’s business, having the freedom to tell one another what we’re thinking, what we see, how we might worry. I hear their concerns that others don’t often voice to me. There’s safety in having a lot of history together, in understanding that what is said is done so in love.
It’s the way families should be. Enjoying each other’s company, recognizing that our differences add to the depth and richness of the relationships, and seeing each other as important and needed in my life. Honesty matters, so being able to be real and still tender is significant.
We three sisters had more time together. We’ve developed a deep bond, where they’re not only blood-related sisters but sisters of my heart. Women who know me and love me enough to tell me the truth. What’s often hard to hear from others, I will hear from them. They’re invested in me as a person. We’ve been through a lot together, and we’ve found each other to be loyal and persevering no matter what the circumstances.
It’s what we all want. A family that knows us, cherishes us, who will tell us the truth even when it’s hard because they care that we live out our best self.
It’s what God does for each of us. As our Father, He knows us perfectly, with all our warts and wounds; none of that deters Him from loving us. He’s honest with what He requires of us. He disciplines us in love, allowing us to experience the consequences of poor decisions, but He’s faithful to be with us in the midst of those self-created messes. He stays the course with us when no one else seems to care or be present.
As in any family, discipline is often seen as punitive and not loving. Hard times are often bemoaned rather than seeing what it is we can learn from them. Family members–those people around us who may or may not be related but who pass judgment on our actions or words that hurt deeply–are too often seen as the enemy instead of someone whose remarks should be considered, may be helpful.
How different it would be if we knew and never doubted that we are loved unconditionally. If we could embrace the hard times in life as opportunities for growth through being loved instead of taking everything personally and dismissing what we don’t agree with.
God is present and available, a Father who cares for us better than anyone else ever could.
Just talk to Him.