Ok, so I mentioned on my Facebook page the other day, that I had an epiphany, but didn’t elaborate at the time. I guess people really do read all those blurbs, because I’ve had several people mention it since, both in person and through e-communication. So, I’ve decided to go ahead and divulge this great “Ah-ha” moment that I had.
Many of you know from reading this blog over the last year that I didn’t come from a close or healthy family. I’ve divulged much of my testimony in various posts throughout the year. But for those of you who may not know, I grew up in poverty and a single-mom household that was dysfunctional. My mother has a lot of . . . issues. Depression, hopelessness and a victim-mentality rule her life. I experienced hunger and humiliation, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect. My growing up years were based on survival and as such, I was fiercely independent and headstrong. In many ways, I was more like the parent of the household, for myself, my little brother and my mother.
Obviously we are not a close-knit family. Even to this day we are not close. I try to honor my mother as best as I can, but her choice has been to remain distant from my life. I love her, and I pray for her, but I have strong and healthy boundaries, and will not allow myself to get sucked into the drama and dysfunction that I once knew. And I feel good about my life and know that God is ok with it too. What remains is in His hands. My mother gives what she can, which is very little, but now I can accept that, and further I'm happy for that.
The summer before my senior year, I signed up for the Air Force in delayed enlistment. Within two weeks of my graduation, I was off to basic training. I was thrilled and excited and full of fear too! When I left, I said a quick goodbye, with a quicker hug, to my mother and turned to face my new life. Then I noticed something. Others, guys and gals, who were making the same journey, were holding onto their families tightly and crying. I was shocked and confused by this. I just didn’t get it. It never occurred to me to cry, that this might be a sad or lonely thing. As far as I was concerned, it was an exciting new adventure and I was free!
Through the years since, I’ve seen this type of thing many times. I’ve seen tears at saying goodbye to and missing family, a longing to be together, through the good and the bad, talking to parents and siblings often on the phone, and getting together for holidays and even just because. I came to realize that that was “normal,” and I was not. I still didn’t get it, and I didn’t understand it, but I accepted it. My normal was independence, distance and friends – not family. In fact, I held tight to my belief in family by choice, not by chance, meaning my friends and pets were my family, not those I was blood related to.
Fast forward to now and my recent epiphany. We were watching The Biggest Loser the other night and the remaining contestants all got to go home for the week. It was touching and emotional and just… nice. When it was time for them to go back to the ranch though, it was so clear how hard this was for many people – especially the moms who had to say goodbye to their children. I was incredibly moved by these scenes.
I began thinking about how would I handle a separation like that from my beloved husband and precious daughter? Just thinking about it made me cry. Literally. And that was it! That was my great epiphany! I realized then that I had made it to “normal.” All of a sudden, I got it. And I realized once again, the amazing faithfulness of God. He took my deepest longing to have a family that I loved fiercely and enjoyed too, and He gave it to me! I realized that He gave me an Eph. 3:20 family, that He gave me beauty for ashes, and He restored all that the locust had stolen. And I was, and am, so very grateful! Thank you, Jesus!
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” ~ Ephesians 3:20
14 hours ago