Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: RELATIVES (02/15/18)
- TITLE: The Ties That Bind
By Lisa Hudson
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We all have them, don’t we? Relatives are something we can’t choose. For whatever reason, God placed us in the same family, for better or for worse. We all have that crazy uncle or boisterous aunt that squishes your face in her bosom as she gives you a hug that won’t allow you to breathe. And of course there are the members of the family, perhaps first or second cousins, who always seem to be standoffish during the family reunions. Somewhere along the line, they decided they were better than the rest of us, and really only show up to make sure we get to see their new Cadillac, or want to brag about having just returned from a month long trip in Europe. Growing up, I was certain I was doomed to embarrassment because of some of these people who shared my last name.
Somehow those relatives that are awesome get lost in the shuffle when we’re younger. Face it, we are drawn to the sensational in most things, and the real treasures are overlooked. Once we grow up and gain some life experiences, we start to see those beautiful people for the gems they are, and wish we had known them better. Sometimes we’re able to reconnect and form new relationships, and sometimes we realize it all too late, but console ourselves with fond memories of their kindness and sense of humor. I have many of both types of relatives, as I’m sure all of us do.
But what do we do about those nearest to us, right here and now? I used to think that I had to endure my brothers and sister, no matter what, forever. Our parents both passed away at young ages, so it was the four of us who were left to keep the family name moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, I love my siblings. But I don’t love what they do. About twenty-seven years ago, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and everything changed. Over time, I could no longer laugh at the same jokes or watch the same movies. I felt uncomfortable visiting with them, simply because their language seemed offensive, and their values were polar opposites to mine. To put it in perspective, I asked myself if I would be friends with my brothers and sister if we weren’t related, and without delay, I knew the answer was a resounding ‘No’!
I have spent these many years praying for my siblings, that they too could find the peace that I have. In my heart, I believe my sister had a relationship with God, but she never did overcome her bouts with depression. I believe clinical depression runs in our family, as I also deal with it, but also take medication to help me. I have to believe she knew Christ, since she passed away this past September at the same young age as our mother, only fifty-seven years old. She was way too young, but her life was in such a state that I was relieved, and I confess, I was jealous of her being able to be in the presence of Jesus before me.
My brothers, on the other hand, have become strangers to me, more so since my sister’s passing. We haven’t spoken since my sister passed away, and honestly, I’m okay with that. We have absolutely nothing in common, and their life choices have made me very disappointed in them. They do remain in my prayers, however.
Today, I am content to be with my husband, his mother and father, our children and grandchildren. It is my sincere hope we will have raised a new generation of adults who will love each other, who will have fond memories of those of us who came before them. No, we can’t choose our relatives, but as with all things in life, we can choose how we relate to one another. Those are the ties that bind us.
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