A common holiday theme: the dysfunctional family. It seems almost everyone has one or at has a family with way too much drama. It stands to reason – we are human after all. In my own, frail humanity I am learning to release my expectations of others especially my family. I am inclined to believe unfulfilled expectations are where dysfunction begins. Release is a catalyst for GOD’s ongoing reconciliation of my own sin and I’m letting go.
In my most vivid dysfunctional memory, I am a tiny pre-k girl. My sister Maudene, age 9 or 10 and I are clinging to our 30 something, ysingle mother as she drags us down the walkway outside the place where we lived. Me, wrapped around Mom’s right leg and Maudene attached to Mom’s left hand, both of us wailing “Momma please don’t go!” Momma is dressed to “go to town” in a housedress, a tan coat and crushed Sunday hat. She is carrying her purse with a suitcase and raging “I just can’t take this no more LORD! I just can’t take this!”
My older siblings (all young teens) Benny, Vivian and Cleveland are standing motionless, in the doorway of that small white L.A. granny flat. Each of them blank, sad, watching as if they’ve seen this all before. Cleveland, the middle child has tears on his face. It was a rerun but I do not recall how many times those tragic moments played out or how Momma’s traumatic rages ended. I am certain, Holy Spirit would cause Momma’s return to us and collectively we would breathe again. Countless times she would leave us, then return to us, provide for us and suffer us a little while longer.
Like fine shattered china, Momma and the five of us- so dependent upon her, so prone to be children- would splatter away from each other repeatedly throughout our formative years. Over time, we learned to live shattered, separated from each other with sharp, broken edges and tiny missing chips in our souls. Each of us self-soothing, self-medicating, and finding our way into greater then less dysfunction.
Only the merciful Father GOD could restore such broken lives. The Spirit of GOD restores even the most dysfunctional situations. Only He in His powerful Spirit could do, would do, and has promised He will do the miraculous with our dysfunctional remains turning all our brokenness into His masterpiece! In GOD my Savior, Jesus Christ I live in hope as I am changed. And so I release and I let go.
“Can a mother forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.” Isaiah 49: 15 & 16