There’s just something magically painful about a family. There’s endless sacrifice for a group of people whom you chose, loved, created, that is strong enough to make you want to kill them and anybody who tries to harm them. It’s like a beautiful nightmare. You naively yet optimistically sign up for almost a lifetime of minimal sleep, countless prayers, and the transformation into selflessness, forgiveness and sacrifice. Oh, and did I mention sacrifice? We fight through days of chaotic schedules, growing pains, overwhelmingly highs and lows, health, rebellion, frustration, fear, doubt, the past, growth, spiritual warfare and so much more. All to indulge in the glimmers of majestic light that we get to experience during moments like the one pictured above.
For a moment, we forget about all the blood, sweat and tears we had to shed to get to this moment. During the tough times, we look back at these moments to remind us why we are in this fight to begin with. Let’s face it, life is no fun alone. Not having someone to run home to and share the highs and lows of our days with, despite how minute or grand they may be, is our worst fear–Not having someone to love us at our absolute worst and encourage us to be our absolute best. We all long for someone to love and be loved by.
Family is so important because it is a direct experience into the intimacy of God’s relationship with mankind. The ups and downs, the changes, and time, yet the constant need for loyalty and unconditional love. The disappointments and encouragements of children, from their innocence, resilience and pure love, to their defiance and curiosity as they grow older. The extremities of their love is nothing short of a supernatural experience for spiritual growth–if embraced.
Excluding our birth family, because we didn’t get to choose them, our immediate families are our living, breathing, continuously changing masterpieces. Those whom we get to grow, nurture, mold, and shape, into our heart’s desires and whatever God designated their purposes to be. We choose a mate whom we can establish roots with, who encourages and reveals to us our best, and challenges us to oppose our worst. Someone whom we share a spiritual compass with whom will war for and with us during the toughest of times. We learn the true depth of love and sacrifice.
With this invitation, life-advancement and elevated opportunity, comes rigorous training and purging, beating and breaking, and should never be taken lightly. This elevation forces us to face our deepest fears, disappointments, pasts, hurts, angers, joys, pains, uncertainties and so much more. Through daily looking into the mirror, that is our spouse, we are forced to face who we are and what we’re truly made of. Someone who you may have built an entire life with, from below ground zero, can look you into your eyes and betray you–the same eyes they looked into on the altar where they took a vow in front of God and the ones that loved you and carried you up to that point. Marriage ain’t for the faint. There is a continuous kneading that takes place that if embraced, will elevate you mentally, spiritually, physically. The endless cycle of love, selflessness, forgiveness and sacrifice required to be successful at marriage, had to be created by a being much deeper, bigger and wiser than we can even begin to comprehend.
Through the raising of our children, we are forced to quickly and continuously learn, grow, and be flexible. We have to take the time to understand whatever it is in them that we see and don’t agree with or understand. Their innocent souls are simply sponges, soaking up whatever has been spilled around them. Once our children grow older, they begin to question everything around them. Searching inside themselves, trying to find what’s instilled in them. Wondering if the life we provided for them was good enough. As they find themselves, we’ll be forced to be their peace and their anchor. They may question everything we’ve ever done for them or to them, and we have to remember that these are the sane children whose eyes we gazed into, prayed and made promises, to love and protect forever. We also have to remember that this child in almost every way, is us.
So what’s the answers and the road-map? Whichever one’s you create. Your journey is uniquely and incomprehensibly yours. That’s the beauty and the mystery of it all. All we can do is enjoy every single moment of it, every single chance that we are offered or faced with it. Give it all the very best of what we have while searching for ways to give more. Continuously learning, growing and evolving into the beings that God created us to be. We basically spend this entire life shedding the outer layer of understanding just to find that inner spirit that was there before we came out of our mothers and into the world.
We are essentially taught to love in spite and despite. In and out, up and down. Around and around and around the sun until our time here is done. Just a sample of the way God loves us.