Part of the Family

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

While our Pastors have been over in India, we have had a chance to listen to our newer Pastor speak. He has had a message for the past couple weeks about being a part of God’s family and what all that means. One of the parts that he has touched on, is that we are adopted into the family. This particularly has spoken to me because I am part of an adoptive family myself. Let me share what this has meant to me.

Growing up, I knew that I had a brother and sister. They are quite a bit older than I am, and they had pretty much already grown up and moved out by the time I really started living life and remembering things. So, for the most part I grew up as an only child, but I knew they were out there, living life. My sister would call and visit sometimes, and my brother would write letters, but I also understood that they were adults and they had their own lives. But, I was actually a bit older before I ever figured out that they were adopted.

I remember being really surprised. I had no idea, they were just my brother and sister to me. My parents explained that they had these whole other lives and families before they came to be a part of ours, but that it didn’t change anything between us, they were our family. So, as I was growing up there were several times where people would ask if I had siblings, and I would say yes, a brother and sister. And I would leave it at that, I didn’t tell people they were adopted. Because it didn’t matter, they were our family now. And, that particular thought has really struck home while listening to the Pastor’s messages these past couple weeks. That’s how God feels about us being a part of His family. Doesn’t matter that we had before lives, or other stuff, we’re a part of the family now. I actually had a moment not too long ago, where my son found out that my siblings were adopted and as he was trying to sort through that concept, he kept referring to them as my “adopted brother” or “adopted sister”, and one time he said it, and I cut him off and said, “Please stop referring to them like that, they’re just brother and sister. The adopted part doesn’t matter, they’re my family just like if my parents had them themselves. I don’t like you saying it like that, they’re not different just because they’re adopted, they’re my family.” Now, I don’t think my son was trying to mean it any kind of way, he was just trying to understand the concept, but it did really hurt my feelings. They are my family, I understand that they came into my family differently – but it doesn’t mean they are any less my family.

I’m really appreciative of being able to grow up like this and understand this concept of family different than most, I feel, because it has really affected how I treat people and what I understand a family to be. I have welcomed the concept of being a family to a lot of people over the years, it’s not hard to be a part of my family. And, I believe, a lot of people need that. I wish more people were more accepting of the concept, because it really shouldn’t be that difficult to feel a connection like that. And, if you think about it, it’s not hard to be a part of God’s family either. He doesn’t lay down a lot of rules, you don’t have to jump through a million hoops. You want to be a part of the family? Sure! Come on in! There’s plenty of room and love here.

The other part of all of this, is that my brother and sister have all the same benefits I do, when they’re hurt or struggling, they have parents to call on. They come to family holidays (well, the one doesn’t but only because they live so far away – not because they’re not welcome.) They get gifts and phone calls and cards. Their children aren’t treated any differently. They are family. Just like us being a part of God’s family. We get all the blessings and benefits of being a part of His family. He is our good, good Father, and together we are all a part of the family of God.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to be a part of Your family. Thank you, that you love us so much. Thank you for your blessings and your love. Thank you that we can all come into your family and feel loved and connected to one another and to you. I am just so appreciative of my experience, of the earthly family you have given me that I can better understand your love and what it means to be a part of Your family. Thank you for all that you do Father, that everyone may feel the love and connection that I feel, being one of your children. That you may bless me and bless those reading this all the days of our lives. Bless the works of our hands and the words from our mouths that they may bring glory and honor to you Father. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us, and all you will continue to do. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Surprise, surprise. This week I’m choosing an adoption mission. This group has the mission statement: “A Family for Every Child is dedicated to finding loving, permanent families for every waiting foster child.” Did you know, there are 430,000 children in foster care in the United States? That’s a lot of children waiting to experience the love of a family… If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what would. Take some time to read about this mission here. Pray for these children, they need and deserve love and a forever home.

And, you can always Donate

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