Sunday, February 26, 2006

family is what you make it

Last night we were out with some of our friends at In-and-Out burger for dinner, and we sat and marveled at our friends' little boys as they did what toddlers do best...laughed, ran around, repeated words over and over looking for a response, spit out too-big bites. On the way home, Ben and I discussed how blessed we feel at this point in life. Blessed to have such amazing families, and blessed with the family we've made here in Danville.

For years we've wanted real community and authentic relationships, where people feel mutually supported and challenged to become more loving, more caring, more aware of their own belovedness. And this is exactly what's happening to us. In our midst we have found people who love us and care for us and help us to become more of who we want to be, more of the individuals we were created to be. We would not be here, at this point of self-discovery and growth, without the support and encouragement and challenge of our friendships. And the amazing thing is, it's happening to each of us, to every single person within our small group. The commitments we made to each other, of devotion and prayer and support and love and sacrifice, they're really coming into the light.

Kelly said the other night that she thinks of us as Tyler's aunt and uncle, and that is precisely how we feel. I am fiercely devoted to these friends and their children, as if they are my own flesh and blood. My heart leaps when Tyler says my name and Jack gives Ben a hand-painted birthday card. My eyes well up when I hold little Wyatt and see how he's growing so fast. And I've lost count of the belly laughs brought on by comedic Tyler E. Even as I write this entry, my heart wells up and my eyes tear up. I thank God that he has given us such amazing friendships, the kind that feel more like family. I love that I can send out an email in the middle of the day asking for prayer or letting friends in on my struggles. I love that we are starting to "get" each other, and see past the facade to ask the harder, deeper questions.

And I know this is how we're meant to live...we are not solitary beings, we are not meant to be in isolation or to handle our sorrows alone or celebrate joys by ourselves. We are to share in each other's lives in a real, emotional, physical, life-changing way. My light shines a little brighter for the support of my friends, and for this I am humbly grateful.

1 comment:

Susan said...

You are our family too. We are so blessed to have you and Ben in our lives. Thank you for loving us and loving our children, for holding them, smiling when they smile, for loving them as family would love them. We are so blessed to have you as our family and I pray that one day we will be as wonderful and loving to your children as you are to ours. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they mean so much.