Family. That’s what this post is about.
I have to start it that way because I think this is a post that has been a long time coming. I’ve tried starting it time and time again this year, but today is the day, as I’m up in the air listening to an old interview I did with my grandpa.
There was a time when I was as much of a journalist as I’ll ever be and my dreams started and stopped somewhere on the West Coast. There was a time when I was looking for love, acceptance and validation in all of the wrong places. And there also came a time when all of what I thought my life was came crashing down in a uniformly cruel way.
My post-secondary education path, my relationships, my friendships, my family, my lifestyle… All of that stabbed me in the back and left me alone to pick up the pieces. They say that in the end, all you have is yourself. In a sense, that was the end for me. It was certainly the end of a chapter in my life, and God wanted me to make sure I started the next one with him as my refuge and strength.
I think, in the back of my mind, I always knew the inevitable end was coming to make room for right now.
So family. When I think of family, a mixture of moments, feelings and people come to mind. I’m blessed to be a Root with “roots” that twist and turn deeply into my beautifully broken family that continues to grow.
The brokenness of my family has always intrigued me. As a perfectionist, I like everything clean and simple. And on the contrary, as an analyst, I like everything messy and complex. I’ve always wished for the “perfect” family, but at the same time, I’ve loved pondering the ways my family falls short from perfection.
The perfectionist and the analyst inside of me together make me the writer I am. I love to perfectly put words together to make even the messiest idea something beautiful. I think the families we each build for ourselves are like that too.
Somehow, my family, like my writing, has become something beautifully broken in my eyes, rather than something that needs fixing. Two years ago around Thanksgiving time, I decided to get to know even the most removed, broken pieces of my family. Two years later, I appreciate everything about every part of my family, and I’m not so afraid of the brokenness anymore.
Colossians 2:7 says this, “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
To me, this verse means family. Faith is something you build in yourself, but we all know it takes a village to raise a child. I think, more than we’re willing to admit, our families build our faith in something bigger than us, in God’s beautifully broken kingdom in heaven. In God’s eyes, beautifully broken is perfect.
Families, whether they are of birth or circumstance, are concrete representations of God’s love for us. We build our families like God builds our lives, with love.
Like I said, this post has been a long time coming. Through my travels and trials since I left the safety of my high school career and began to shape a life for myself, I’ve torn myself away from everything I used to know and in the strangest way, I’ve come back to who I’ve always been.
I had to go away to come home.
This holiday season don’t miss the chance to go away or to come home because both trips are so important to our appreciation of family and who we are. And in that way, you will build your life with roots that grow deep into the love God has for his creation. After all, it is the time of year that we celebrate God’s greatest gift to us: His Son.