Once upon a time there was a small family. A mom, a man, and two kids, a brother and his younger sister. The man was not a nice person and he did things that a man is not supposed to do when he is part of a family. The mom one day realized that she and her kids deserved better. She went back to school to become a nurse and the man was no longer there. She took good care of her kids and loved them very much and they loved her. This could be the end of their story. Let’s leave them right here and look at another story.
Once upon a time in a kingdom not far away is another small family. A man, his wife and their two kids, brothers. They were happy, but one day the wife got sick and one day was no longer there with them. The man mourned with his two young boys. He loved his kids and they loved him. This could be the end of their story…..
However, as most stories go there is more to these two than first meets the eye. You see, these two sets of siblings went to the same small country school. These families knew each other. Not like have each other over for dinner, know each other, but like nod your head “hi” when picking the kids up at school because they are in the same classes and share the same teachers. If you have read enough happy stories you will have guessed that these two parents slowly got to know each other better and realized that making two small families one big family was an excellent idea. So that is what they did. And they all lived happily ever after. The end……
Ya, ummm, so maybe that’s stretching it a bit. Perfect stories don’t really happen here on earth. Let me correct that last bit. These two families joined and struggled to find ways to mesh. They meshed and they clashed and they mended and they clashed again and loved each other and fought and added another brother to the fray and laughed and cried. They had really, really hard times, and they had beautiful moments that showed God’s hand in the midst of their imperfect selves. And while many around them thought that this blended family would surely fall apart, while many actually encouraged these two parents to just give up, they stuck it out. They knew what they were fighting for.
They were fighting for us. They were fighting for the chance at a loving, blended family. They were fighting against the odds so that us kids could grow up knowing that if you want something really good, it’s not just going to happen. You have to pursue it. You have to keep pursuing it. You have to keep going back for more, even when it’s really ugly. Even when it would be so much easier to just give up. You fight because of love.
In the first story I told, I didn’t have a dad. There was a man, but that is all. In the second story I told there was a woman, but sometimes people don’t get to stay on earth, and those boys were left without a mother. In the third story I was introduced to the man who would become my Daddy in so many more ways than just his last name. I was given the best father of all. Those boys were given a mom. They were given someone who would challenge them to grow and become better. Someone who would love them, even when they annoyed each other. We as children were given a very special gift. The gift of second chances.
It wasn’t easy then, and sometimes to this day it’s still not easy. But it’s worth it. Every day with them is another reminder of what a gracious God we serve. A God who cares about broken families. A God who cares about hurting families. A God who cares about us as individuals and wants us to be loved. I know that not everybody always gets those things, and because of that I count my blessings, and my parents and siblings are at the top of that list. (along with Cowman and the kiddos of course)
Please don’t let little things hold you back from your family. Mend the bridges if you can. Tell them you love them today, because tomorrow is never promised. Love on them with all of your might, right now.
Love from here,