Let’s Talk About Family

Let’s Talk About Family

November marks the beginning of the holidays (Thanksgiving!) and kicks off a galore of family gatherings. Most of us will be taking time this month to list the things we are thankful for, but it’s also a perfect time to think about F A M I L Y.

Recently, while I was in downtown Redmond, thinking about these close-knit bonds, I saw a family member I’ve lost contact with. It’s been eight years since I saw her last, and instead of being excited, I was reluctant to say hello. Our relationship has always been extremely complicated and awkward, hinged on messy family dynamics that started before I was born.

Eventually I did have a conversation with her (but only after a lot of encouragement from a friend who is arguably also a saint). Just before I walked towards my estranged family member, I thought, Here I am thinking about family—isn’t this what it means?

Giving thanks and celebrating are all important and lovely things to look forward to it at this time of year. Friends, the ones who understand us better than our blood relatives, will throw lively parties. The kids come home from college. Grandma’s coffee cake is served on Christmas morning. And yet, the drawn out dinner table conversations and extended visits also bring up the most tense, stress-inducing family matters.

But no matter the ugly moments, this concept of family (or community) carries a strong implication of endless warmth and acceptance that you won’t find elsewhere. I love that thought. This month, explore what this means as a Christian and within one of your chosen families—your church. In the comments below or an email to communications@volunteerparksda.org, tell us about the people God has placed in your life that make you feel at home. How can we encourage each other to keep reaching out in love? Is there a Bible verse or book you love on this topic? How do we continue to make meaningful bonds with strangers (or family members who seem like strangers)? 

Jenae Williams

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