5. “Family”

“Family.”  What does this word conjure up for you?  Laughter?  Pain?  Joy?  Feelings of being known, or feeling forgotten?  We all know families aren’t perfect, they all have a skeleton in their closet somewhere (some more obvious than others).  This past year, I have been incredibly blessed to have a group of friends come into my life here in Seattle and have become “family” to me.  In the summer of 2007, I moved across country by myself, only knowing one person in this city.  It was one of the hardest things I had ever done, and I was incredibly lonely.  I joined a community group through my church and it has changed my life.  This group of people, who come from all walks of life, have become my “family”.  They have supported me, loved me, been there through shit in my life, and have taught me what it means to be part of a “family“.  They have come to know me so well, I can’t hide anything from them.  I’ve experienced some definite healing from scars of past relationships within this community.  And having formed these roots has helped me to grow.
Your blood relatives “have” (or are obligated) to love you because of a common background.  However, when a group of people choose to love and support you regardless of your background, it can be incredibly healing and full of amazing encouragement.  The biggest key is “choice”.  Having someone choose to love you is humbling.  It is a reflection of how God chooses to love us, no matter what.  I am so thankful for these people in my life, they have been such a blessing from God.