This past week I have thought and heard the phrase... "It wasn't like this 15 or 20 years ago." There is a lot that has changed in the last 15 years. I can think of a few things. I think often about my family since my grandfather passed away. I have strolled down memory lane quite often. The thing that stands out to me is the older generation ( Grandparents, ants, uncles etc.. ) knew how to keep a family going. It seems like that know how has skipped a generation or there is a huge gap.
I have thought for a while that when my mother passed away that she was the glue that held my family together. When mom went to her heavenly home a lot changed in the family dynamic. The glue just dissipated. Feelings about certain family members came out, things were said, and fights ensued. My family fell a part. A hard grieving process on my fathers account and seems like many times that my mothers death was just five minutes ago. It has been almost nine years since my mom died. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose the person you loved since you were five. I don't want to imagine or even think what it would feel like to lose my wife. The grieving process is a very selfish process. Some get through it quickly, some slowly, and some just can't let go of the past and never get beyond it. Those people who never get beyond it still live, but may never experience the true happiness of healing the Lord can provide. In my Dad's case it is just right around the corner, but he has never turned it completely. I believe he has taken many quick glances, but my prayer has always been that he would turn the corner. My hope is some day my dad will.
In the last couple of weeks that whole scenario has played out in my mind. My sister and I barely talk. We have apologized as we had a part in things said and actions taken. But that relationship has never truly been restored. More recently for reasons that I don't know that relationship has taken a down turn. I find myself shaking my head wondering what has gone wrong. I have a father who I would like to rely on to bring this family back together as unit, but so far has not wanted to help.
What have I learned from this? My wife, my two sons, and my daughter are most important to me. Keeping this family unit together even beyond my life is what matters most. I do not want them to experience what I have experienced in the recent past. Yes I have made my mistakes and for a time I was a deadbeat father and husband. But the changes in our myself, my wife, and our marriage is showing positive gains in our kids. This is something that I am determined to keep going. I am a person who learns from the past and uses what I have learned to benefit the future. That is the only reason I will look to the past. Living in it will do nothing but harm what I have worked so hard to build the last nine months.
So it starts here and now. I choose to build and continue to build and finish what I have started. The glue that holds this family together is Christ. Christ changed my life, family, and marriage. I will continue to follow the example that Christ set for me. I will hand down that example to my kids and my wife. I can do nothing about my sister or my father. I choose to no longer seek their approval and beg them to love me unconditionally. I have done all I can do and now I hand to God to do the rest. All I can do is pray and ask him to heal this family of mine. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and all that it entails. My family, my hope, and my life is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.