Today as we all know it is mother's day. For some people, today will be a joyous occasion to be celebrated. For others, it is an occasion to be dreaded as you are made to watch others revel in wonderful relationships they have with their families. If the latter describes you, then I understand how you feel and I hope and pray this blog will give you some hope and inspiration. Understand that we are more and more seeing a break down of the nuclear family (two parents with kids). Because of that, I don't want to use this blogpost to celebrate family as in people who are related to you by flesh, blood and DNA. But rather, I want to celebrate family as being defined as people who belong together.
Yes, we've all been to Sunday school and heard about how God created the world in 7 days. And yes, in traditional circles we refer to God as being a creator. But God still loves to create. And you know what he loves to create? He loves to create relationships where two people love each other and belong in each others lives. And flesh and blood have nothing to do with that........trust me!
In the past, I've poured the very best of whom I am into the lives of people who were related to me through DNA. And what happen to all those years of loving and honoring and sacrificially giving my best? It got thrown back in my face in the worst way possible. It felt as if they thought I am obliged to give them my very best and they should always be a priority simply because we share the same flesh and blood. But when it came to how they treat me in return, they can do anything that they like. I got treated like I was some kind of possession that they acquired to be trashed whenever they feel like it.
After going through several occasions where basically I had shown 110% loyalty and ended up being left broken with no apology, I finally had it! I decided that I was going to take all the goodness that I had to offer a human being in a relationship and find someone else to pour everything I had into. You see, when people insult me or criticize me negatively, it used to get me down. Now if people do that and they keep finding negative things to say about me, I'm like "If this is what you think of me, then we don't need to be friends. Why would you want a friend that is all these things that you say that I am. Go make friends that fit your own specifications!"
I was strong enough to walk out of that cycle and go on a journey to find people who saw me for what I really was. I was truly convinced that there were people out there and it would be worth searching. In the meantime, instead of sitting alone at nite wishing that I had the loving, nurturing family that I saw other people have, I decided to work on my character and become the most amazing, beautiful, irresistible person. A person who knew the art of loving people and pouring their best into them.
And one day, in a church cell group in Argentina, I did catch someone's attention. A bible group leader named Marisa who's family life has not worked out ideally as she had hoped. As our friendship grew, it became apparent that we went together like peaches and cream. Here you have two people, two different languages, cultures, countries and from totally different situations that are both difficult. Two people longing for the meaning of family. And God decided to create beauty from ashes and bring us together and blend us together to create family. This is what I wrote to her in an email towards the end of my trip and she really dug it!
Whatever background you are from, this mothers day I want to encourage you not to be a product of your circumstances. But instead like me, work on your character and become well versed in the art of loving. Because one day when those people who are meant to be in your life come into your world, you'll have so much to give them. And in learning to love others, you'll eventually create the very thing with these people that your heart is longing for.
How do you know what love looks like? That is a really big question and I'm still discovering the answer everyday. But I will share with you a moment that I had with her when we were text messaging each other back and forth my last day in BsAs. I was telling her how it is hard for me to have a life in two different countries and it's hard for me to have to leave her here. Remember that I have someone who is extremely fond of me, to the point that my leaving might be difficult for her.
She gave me a response that I will never forget. At first I didn't really know it's significance because I didn't quite understand the SMS message. But with a little help from my spanish-english dictionary, I then understood just what an incredible heart this woman has and how unselfish she truly is. What she told me was this:
"We all have to share this one person that everybody wants to have"
The one person she was referring to was me! Basically she was saying that the people over there have got to enjoy my company and now they have to let the people in Canada have a turn. This is coming from a woman who thrives on my presence in church every week. If I have ever wondered what love looks like, I don't need to look any further! It is moments like these that keep making me want to give her my very best. I am touched because of this woman's heart in wanting me to be happy and wanting my friends in Canada to be happy. You can be sure than when it is her turn again to have me around, I'll make sure that she gets served on a silver platter 10 oz of the very finest cut of filet of family :)
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