I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional and secretive home. It’s taken a lot of years to overcome the damage to my well-being. Damage to me mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually had to be repaired and healed. There are some who feel my sharing with others does no good and just keeps things stirred. I understand. “What happens in the family stays within the family; it’s nobody’s business what happens behind those doors.” That philosophy was ingrained into the core of who I am. Healing begins when we find our voice and break the silence.
My siblings and I don’t have a close relationship. It’s part of the collateral damage of growing up in our home; at least for me. There was always tension and an underlying fear. My 2 oldest siblings escaped our home environment as quickly as they were able. My youngest sibling and I should be closer as we lived together the longest. Yet, our relationship, the one I suspect we both long for, seems elusive. I’m saddened when I look back and realize that tension was created on purpose. How do you keep such evil from being discovered within your family or revealed to the outside world? You develop friction between siblings; you limit socialization, you keep an underlying layer of fear or tension in the home and you use emotional tactics too complicated to try and explain in a simple blog.
Honestly I’m not sure why I’m sharing this today other than I feel a strong pull to share. Perhaps someone out there needs to hear my story and how I overcame. I don’t know. What I do know, is that as a result of my very dysfunctional childhood, that sense of wanting to belong has clouded my relationships. It’s that constant tug of war, I want you to know me, but I’m afraid if you do you won’t love me. It’s the trying too hard in a needy sort of way. My hubby loves me as unconditionally as any human being could. His sister and her family welcome me with open arms, warts and all. I have a few friends who think I’m special. Why is that not enough; it should be, shouldn’t it?
I’ve come to understand the need, the desire. Our desire for relationship is woven into every strand of our DNA. Hence the phrase blood is thicker than water. It’s why adopted children hunger to know their biological parents. It’s not for lack of love for their adopted parents. It’s because that sense of belonging to our families is molded into every fiber of what makes me… me, and you… you.
I believe the need to belong is what originally drove my passion for genealogy. I wanted to know more. I wanted to discover my family roots. I wanted to know from whom I received my brown eyes, my crooked finger and so much more. I wanted to know how I came to be me.
I find great joy in helping others discover their biological roots. I find even greater joy in helping others find their spiritual heritage. The drive to search, to belong, the need to feel fulfilled and experience love is there to draw us to God. We’re created and designed to have a relationship first-and-foremost with our Creator. He’s etched into the core of our DNA. He wants us to discover our branch on His family tree.
Life’s circumstances most certainly can impede our relationships with each other. Dysfunction in a family often makes social skills inept and relationships a challenge. But, and this is a huge BUT, our relationship with God is never impeded by circumstances, be they in our control or not. Our inept relationship skills will not hinder our relationship with God either. Our relationship with God is only impeded by our refusal to accept his love. Whatever wrongs or unkind words we might utter he graciously forgives. He understands the what, whys and wherefores of our behaviors better than we ever could. He never says,” I’ve forgiven you time and time again, no more!”
The dysfunction in my home made it extremely difficult for me to trust in relationships. My relationship with God was no different. It took me years to realize God loves me and only wants the best for me. The Lord has been patient, waiting, wooing me to him. He’s never failed me, even though at times I wondered, questioned, where or what he was doing. Were it not for the Lord I’d be a completely different person today. Were it not for the healing I’ve found through Jesus, I would keep you at a safe distance. I would never consider writing such a blog. I would never risk letting you know the real me. Instead of hate I can show love. When injured by someone’s words or actions I’m able to respond rather than react. Because of the love of Jesus I’m able to see others without bias or judgment; I can show compassion and forgiveness. Instead of fear and doubt, faith overcomes.
I’m not perfect. There are many days where the old me slips in and takes control. The wounds of rejection from my youth, can swipe away my confidence in who I am in a heartbeat. I’m not proud or fond of those days. I’m learning forgiveness for me too. I’m learning to live life loved.
If you think the Lord could never accept you because of your past, I’m here to tell you he will. He will not only accept you, he surrounds you with his love and brings healing to your wounds.
Jesus does make a difference. My life is living proof!
Until next time,