Having had the chance to spend time with my two sisters a short time ago, I was reminded of how much I love and miss my family.
I have two brothers in San Francisco that I also rarely see, which is difficult because I care deeply for them.
I’ve gotten too busy with life. With the doing of life, responsibilities, and my lists of “musts”. The musts dog my every step with an insistence that I can’t ignore.
Even though I should.
Time with my sisters, who are delightful and very different from me, was an opportunity to see the bigger picture of my story. To reminisce and be reminded about where I’ve come from and who has journeyed with me the longest. Who knew me through the awkward years when none of us really appreciated who we were or what we could be. We pushed, loved, taunted, and teased each other. \
We were always there for one another.
Good or bad, helpful or hurting, families define us in many ways. We learn how to connect with others as a result of being in a family.
My sisters reminded me of the good times and the hard. We laughed together and shed some tears. but we all recognized the advantages we had, the things we enjoyed together, the ways we grew into who we are. The positive opportunities pushed us toward hope; the challenges shaped us in character.
There’s a parable in the Bible about a farmer who was planting his crops. As he scattered the seeds, some fell on places where it would be trampled, some in places where the birds ate it, and some fell among weeds that choked out their growth. Some did fall on good ground and flourished.
“The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” Luke 18:14-15
We’re all like seeds planted in this life, and sometimes the ground we’ve been planted in isn’t the most nurturing. Wherever our stories have taken us, God alone is the One who can grow us to be all He knows us to be capable of being. He is the Gardener who knows how to nourish the ground where we are. He is greater than our circumstances, more powerful than our worst situations, more loving than our deepest feelings of rejection or the lies that we’re not enough.
He nurtures us in love.
“I am the true grapevine, and My Father is the Gardener…Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:1,5
No matter our family of origin, God can make us thrive in His love. He knows what we need to grow and what we require to succeed.
I love my sisters and brothers. I love how they’ve added to my life, how I’m a better person for having them be part of my story.
Having God in my story?
That’s where the narrative becomes wonderful.