We look like the happiest faces you’ve ever seen.
Countless pictures script a story, spanning time and different adventures, of us happy – always pulling each other close and smiling, ever smiling. We are, mostly, until we’re not, and then smiles disappear, patience that holds our poses suddenly evades us and we are not okay anymore. Hear this – we are not okay.
We fight, choose selfishly, antagonize each other, say hurtful things, and then hang apart in broken moments. Pieces apart pulling together, that is who we are. There are as many as 1,300 new blended families everyday in the United States, however as many as 60-70% of blended families end in ruin due to stress and continual unresolved disagreements.
We’re a family from different paths come together, pushing against relational gravity to warm in our new day sun.
Family is not an easy aspiration on any level, for family means togetherness founded in love, not proximity. Being in the same space, in the same frame, does not teach us togetherness. Amazing vacations and unforgettable adventures does not knit our hearts tighter. Love does – not a love native to our own hearts, but a Love flooding our hearts in our weakest. It is the polarization of our selfishness and God’s ready love that teaches us what love truly is. What draws us back in close to each other again following a splintering argument, stabbing word or piercing disregard is the desire to belong to each other, which is a teaching love showing us a better way together. We’re not a family because we live under one roof; we’re a family because of what happens in little forgotten moments between countless happy pictures.
Even now, in the midst of our tree house cabin stay adventure, it will be those happy memories of cave exploring, hammocks, kayaks, late movies and cousin games that will tell a story good enough to outlive the tension our blended family struggled to move through early in this vacation day. These little abrasive moments, roughed in selfishness, hold all promise and opportunity to teach us. They may be forgotten, but they will continue to be forging. Deeper into life together, down the road where we learn to trust each other better in offense, all we will know is the strength in roots intertwined – a family indeed.
Yes, it’ll be the mosaic of these little forgotten moments displaying the truest of all pictures, of us together in thin and thick.