My husband comes from a blended family. Much like the Brady Bunch, my husband's family was split down the middle consisting of four step children on either side, equaling eight children total. (My husband is also a twin.) Yesterday he told me how his biological dad wants to be friends with him on Facebook. Now, my husband hasn't seen or spoken to his bio-dad in many, many years and only had those encounters a total of four times since his dad left them when he was four. That comes out to about one visit every eleven years. It's no wonder the dad I know, is his step dad, though he is never referred to with that title and sometimes I swear they look alike.
My family on the other hand is a very tightly woven family. And with the exception of my grandfather not ever knowing his father, my family ties have always been close and "original" so to speak. Until my divorce, my family never really experienced such a divide in family circles. Needless to say, it was and still is something foreign to me, and many of my family members.
So when my husband chuckled as he told me his bio-dad wanted his "friendship"on Facebook, I asked him, "Does it feel weird not knowing your dad? Or any of your half siblings?"
His answers were private and I choose not to share them but I will share the mentality of his family that I know brings peace to him and a testimony to me.
When I first met my husband's family, I was not prepared for the full embrace and unconditional loving arms that so quickly wrapped around me. Coming from an all Mormon, white family, I was taken back by the mass diversity his family has. From divorce, drug use, homosexuality, race, nationality, who was related to who, smoking, language, and down to the glass of red wine sitting on the counter, I had never seen so much difference in one room. As someone who loves theatre, and has the need to understand the reasons why peopled do things the way they do so I can create that on stage, my naive mind started spinning.
Soon after that, I married my husband and became part of that diverse family. And not only me, but my children too. My in-laws made it so easy to love them, and care for them, and call them Mom and Dad. They also immediately insisted on having my kids know them as Grandma and Grandpa, which was very comforting rather than try and explain to my five year old who they are and what to call them. They loved us without question and simply opened the family circle to add us in. (Now this is not me saying my family does not do the same thing, I'm only focusing on the dynamics of my husband's family.)
So them calling me their daughter, my kids their grandkids, and even cousins didn't hit so deeply as when my husband's sister in-law called my daughter her niece. Her niece! She didn't have to call her that. But her calling her, her niece instead of something along the lines of, "my husband's, brother's, wife's kid" touched my heart beyond anything I can ever explain. It was the straw that opened my eyes to what a family really was.
Many things in life will break a family circle. I have encountered them first hand. On this earth, there is nothing that can not be broken. But just as my husband's family looks past everyone's differences to make a complete family, tying everyone together, so does our Lord.
I have a testimony that the Lord will heal all. That the Lord will always connect families together regardless of what is missing. The Lord will take the broken, frayed, loose ends of a family and connect them together with new strings and make them whole as if they never were broken in the first place.
I know that no one will be forgotten, that no one will have missing pieces, broken ties or incomplete circles, because the Lord's plan is made so that one day we will be complete, we will be and have all that is needed to make us whole, and our families will be connected in such a way that they will stretch from one end of eternity to the other with each person woven into the perfect place for them in our eternal family.
I pray that if any one is feeling like a piece of their life is missing, or that they are broken in some way, to look towards the Lord for peace. Through him, we will all become whole. And because of his example, we can live on this earth in a way that will give everyone a home and a family who loves them.