Beautiful Feet Tidbit: Love for the family.
Today in my personal prayer time, I had a single thought: How well am I showing love to my family? Let me explain, I live with my father, step-mother and younger brother. While we live together, there are little to no opportunities to spend a lot of time together. With crazy work schedules and other activities getting in the way it’s like we are three separate people living in three separate houses, living three separate lives.
Here is the honest truth, the majority of my summer has been filled with me sitting at my laptop computer creating story after story while I binge watch movies and my favorite TV shows. On a good day I would write some 5 or so pages of content, which at the end of the day leaves me tired. One of the downfalls of this as a daily activity I am often locked in my own head for most of the day. Now, one would think that because of the isolation during the day that I’d want some kind of companionship at the end of the day, which would lead me to meaningful conversations with my family. Yet, the truth is, after being trapped in my head all day, I typically find myself with the desire to stay in my silence, ignoring my parents and brother.
The only thing that seems to save me from this level of isolation is the three or so nights a week that I would go over to my girlfriend’s at the end of the day. When she would get off of work and after a long day of from writing, I would face the heat of Arizona summers and drive to her place for Bible studies and dinner. Sometimes even the idea of socializing with her and her mother seems daunting to me. I would often have to take a deep breath and remind myself that it is important to socialize after the long hours of isolation.
Now, back to my family; I would love to say that I am particularly close to my father, step-mother and brother, but our behaviors may argue otherwise. Now, don’t get me wrong it’s not like we disagree or fight and argue constantly, but sometimes it takes a lot for me to want to talk with them or to share with them about any aspect of my life that may seem personal to me.
During my prayer time this idea of loving my family entered into my mind and I began thinking of things that I could do to simply show them that I cared:
After this time period where I prayed over this situation, I realized that it was up to me to help improve our way of life while sharing the same house. I believe that this is a simple mission field for someone like me, who currently spends the majority of my days locked in my room writing.
This will also be helpful for me to break the daily isolation by filling parts of my day with meaningful interactions. This will allow me to reach out of my comfort zone and get to know my own family a bit better.
I pray that God is with me during this time as I continue to venture out into new journeys of faith. I am asking for a better understanding. I am writing an sharing this because this is something that I truly deal with daily and I believe that there is somebody else that deals with this as well; but for that person/persons who relate to this the people that they need to reconnect with maybe be friends, family, extended family or anybody who is important to them.
This is my way of proclaiming the hope that Jesus gives us in these moments. When we feel the need to build or rebuild relationships, there is a way. There is hope and that hope is found in Jesus! Also, as people who deal with this desire to rebuild relationships with those we are close with, we, as the church, need to extent a hand of support and accountability in these situations.
I know that for many these situations may be difficult or they may seem impossible, but they are not. That is the best part about a new life in Jesus, we are given a new opportunity to build or rebuild strong relationship through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, I will be praying for you all who are dealing with broken relationship and I ask that you would be praying for me as I rebuild and strengthen the relationships that I have with my family.
Beautiful Feet Tidbit: Love for the family part two
Recently I posted at tidbit about my flesh-filled desire to isolate myself many people, including my family. I felt the Holy Spirit encourage me in the understanding that my family is a group of that love me and care for me. My family should be the place where I could be myself and share who I really am, but the truth is for me that was not always the case. Yet, I am currently taking steps to fix this behavior, but I recently had to face another truth: I am called to be a light to my family members who need hope.
Here’s the honest truth: I have many members of my family who deal with a multitude of difficulties; whether those difficulties are homelessness, drug addiction, raising children, dealing with relationship issues, or dealing with their need for hope.
Now, because I am in a different state of many of my family members, I find it difficult at times to keep in contact with my family, especially if they are facing difficulties such as addiction, homelessness or brokenness. Unfortunately for me this news comes more often than not.
Now, some of the questions that often enter my mind when a family member is struggling or suffering: What is my response? What should my responses be? What are the motives of my response or action?
What is my Response?
This is first question that usually enters my mind and this question usually indicates my love and caring for my family members. I often find myself wondering what I should do or what I want to do. Now, because of the fact that I live in another state, I am not involved in their day-to-day lives. Therefore I seem to ignore the issue with a simple phrase of “I can’t do anything about it.” Or “It’s not my problem to fix.”
It seems that too often I ignore the issue, hoping that it will clear itself up with effort or trials. Yet, I forget that this is my family member that I am willingly ignoring. I am ignoring their suffering for my own comfort.
In my prayer time I realized that I have been really only focused on me and needs. When The Holy Spirit began to speak to me about my family, I realized that I wasn’t willing to help them, not because I couldn’t, but because I didn’t want to become uncomfortable in their situation.
What should my response be?
This is the second question that usually runs through my mind. This question follows the first question after the Holy Spirit confronted me on my behavior. I realized that while I was growing into this level of comfort, my family members were growing in their suffering.
Now, the question still remains: What should my response be? While it is true that I can’t just throw money at the situation to fix their suffering, I realized that I could do something: Pray! I realized that I may not be involved in their day-to-day struggles; I could easily take part in their healing and transformation through the power of prayer. The truth is, I do love my family and if that is true than I have to be active in showing them and extending my hand in prayer. I’m not saying just whispering a half-hearted prayer that means very little, I talking about true prayer of love.
What are the motives of my response or actions?
The third question filled my heart simply because I needed to understand why I chose the route that I did. While thinking through my motives, I realized that I was being very selfish and caught in a bubble. By the grace of God and the hard work of my father and stepmother I am and always have been fully provided for. At the same time I am looking for a job, hoping to find a place that I can grow as a person. So, it’s easy to understand why I would be predominately focused on myself, but I think that is a misunderstanding of our role in the Kingdom of God.
As I said, I am basically caught in a bubble of comfort. For the longest time I only needed to focus on me and my path, therefore I forgot that I came from an entirely different background where some of my family still lives, and many of them may need help or hope.
Therefore, if I am going to aware of the bubble that I have currently been living, the questions are: How do I burst the bubble and actually help? How will my life change if I burst my bubble? Before I can effectively pray for my family and help them or reach out to them, I need to adjust my motives.
I can no longer solely focused on my own problems, but I need to remind myself that my family is part of me and if I ignore them and their need for hope, than I am ignoring some of my own issues. I need to remind myself that me saying “I love my family” is an empty statement if I don’t see their struggle as part of my struggle. In truth, I need to see my family members as people as who are in need to have hope and I need to remember that I can help them connect to that hope. Before I can help them, before I can pray for them, I need to adjust my motives away from my own needs and truly pray for their needs.
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Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.