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Family Matters...
by Melody Laila
08/05/04
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A couple of years ago I got a 'call' from the Lord to serve Him full time at a retreat center. It was not a lifetime calling; maybe a year or two tops. Though not far away from my home, it meant staying away from my family and not getting to see or speak to them regularly (there was almost always a huge line for the solitary pay phone & more often than not the phone did not work). This went on sometimes for as long as two or three weeks in a row.

Initially enjoyed my new found freedom, but I learnt fast the immense value of my family. Though I made amazing friends at the center, I knew that no one could ever replace the intimate friendships that are born out of staying with people over a period of many years. I missed my mum's cooking. I missed my dad's jokes. Heck, I even missed my sister - probably the one person who I've fought with all my life. I missed talking to them all. I missed finding out what was happening, knowing the 'boring', 'mundane' and 'silly' things that took place in their daily lives.

My family would usually bring me up to speed whenever I got home or when anything important or big happened, I still felt disconnected. I was blessed that they went out of their way to show me their love - my dad would drop me by car to the center (a 1 hr journey each way!) at every given opportunity, my mum would especially cook all my favorite meals when I got home (sometimes I'd just be eating meat, morning to night as our center diet was mostly vegetarian!).

Best of all, my sister and I learnt to have normal conversations. Suddenly it wasn't important anymore about who was wearing whose clothes. I didn't even remember any of the other fights we had in the past - they all just seem so trivial.

After my two year stay at the center, I got back home & back into daily life. The fights with my sister re-appeared, though mercifully, infrequently (now it was mainly about who got to use the computer).

In less than a month as I write this, my sister; my sole sibling will migrate down under. Recently after an argument I told her I felt quite schizophrenic - a part of me wants her to go quickly though the other doesn't want her to go at all.

One thing is sure; the part of me that wants her to go will quickly learn the immense value of my sister once she's gone. In fact, sometimes I don't think it has any say anymore. There are so many times I wish I could just command my sister not to leave and go anywhere.

But I can't. Time must go on. Change is a constant.

What also is a constant, what will never change with the passage of time, is the sibling bond, the parental bond. You can never get 'new' parents. Or break away from your siblings.

How are things in your family? Maybe things haven't been rosy in the past. Maybe things are still tough. But just imagine for a minute that you will lose your family, that you will never ever see them again. In light of that, you probably would appreciate them a lot more!

I encourage you all to pick up a phone and call home (yes, right now!!). Call your siblings, your parents (surely you don't have to stand in a long line!). Write an email (what a blessing the internet is!). Send a gift, something perhaps inexpensive but personal.

As I bid farewell to my sister (with a hope that she'll not like Oz & come home soon!), I invite you all to reconnect with your siblings.

God bless you and your family,

Melody

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{Please do not send me any Private Messages as I do not have a Messenger Account here - you can email melody@glorify-god.com to reach me. Thx & God bless!}

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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