While driving through a quaint village north of Chicago, my husband commented on all the brick homes in the area. He told me how his father had a new house built for his bride and in this home, they raised their seven children, of which my husband was one of the youngest. My thoughts instantly went to how blessed he had been; one family, one home, one neighborhood. He was blessed because he had grown up with two parents, knowing (but perhaps not acknowledging) he was loved. I had not been so fortunate. My mother had been married three times. My biological father was her second husband, and it was her third who raised myself and my siblings. Although the failed marriages were not entirely her doing, as a young child I only knew it was a time of turmoil in our lives.
Between her second and third marriages it seemed we moved countless times, with each move bringing loss and a feeling of being uprooted. During this period, the only place I recall feeling truly safe and loved was at my maternal grandparent’s house. My grandparents had always lived in the same house for as long as I could remember. As a child, I couldn’t choose the family circumstances I was born into, I just had to adapt.
After my mom married the last time, and we settled into a more normal family structure, the most glorious thing happened to me. I had been going to church with a classmate and it was there I was introduced to a new family. This family had one Father, where some had none or multiple; this family had one Home, which I would not be uprooted from; and a most humble, kind and beloved Older Brother. This family I met, is the family of Christ.
One can’t choose the earthly family we’re born into – I believe that is divine design. We can, however, choose our eternal family by choosing a second birth. Just as we all come into the world with blood from our mothers’ womb, we also we come into the second birth through the blood of the Lamb. We are washed clean by the blood of Jesus and given a new heart. Our new life, just like our old life, is not without struggles, for that is how we grow and mature – by enduring hardships.
As I reflect now, the brick houses are just shells, for I have a home not built with human hands, that awaits a time; for my Savior said “He goes to prepare a place for me that where He is, there I will also be.” One Father – one home – one family – for all time.
If you struggle with your family situation and you wish to know and believe you have a home waiting for you where you are loved for all time, pray this prayer, or one similar to it: Jesus, I’ve heard of You; please reveal Yourself to me and show me the family that will love me and let me know I belong. I want to know I have a home for all times, that is filled with love. Please, show Yourself to me.