I've gained an understanding that God is in control. He chooses our family, not just the family we are born into, but those He elects to connect each of to during the course of our journey. My experience with both types of family have taught me to be incredibly grateful for those He has chosen to elect as my family in Christ. Although there are times when you long to be close to the family you were born into, sometimes it's just not possible.
Not everyone gets a "normal" loving family. Some of us get the self-centered and sometimes down right hateful type of family. I don't mean every single person in my family, but sometimes the venom of those who are vicious smother and crowd out those who are gentle and loving.
If you've ever experienced rejection from family members, you know that it is a terrible feeling. The wound can be so deep that it takes the hand of God to reach down that deep and restore the hurt of rejection. Over the years and even recently, I've had to accept that some family members will say terrible things to you and behind your back. They will sometimes stop at nothing to make you look bad, especially when they sense that someone admires you. I've been hurt deeply by things said and things shared about me. I've been laughed at and at times made the joke amongst their homes. I wonder if I should have tried to communicate more how much those things have hurt? Perhaps the effort I made was all that I was required to do whether it made an impact or not. Perhaps at the time I was just in shock and utterly speechless hearing how causally they mocked and shared personal details about my private life. People can be cruel, but as you may have experienced, it somehow feels worse when it is cruelty from family.
I'm asking the Lord to continue to change my heart and keep me strong under trials and persecution. I'm asking Him to help me to serve my purpose, finish this race strong, and help me to focus more on Him instead of allowing others' hatred and bitterness toward me to be a distraction. I know that it isn't really me that they hate; it's really themselves. Rejection breeds rejection and misery breeds misery.
I will continue to strive to find joy in simple things such as being able to enjoy the company of those the Lord brings across my path, embracing those whose only agenda is to enjoy the experience or experience the joy of meeting new people as I do, and sharing in laughter. I pray that the Lord will continue to connect me to wonderful people who I can pour into and vise verse. I also pray that the Lord would restore and heal the hearts of my entire family and my heart as well. I will never understand why some family members are so against one another, hating, competing, and wanting one another to fail rather than succeed, but I trust that God had a purpose in mind when He allowed each of us to be connected as family members and that His plans for each of us will continue to go forth! He uses the good and the bad. He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt 5:45), so going forward I will try to be a good example and do my best to reflect the heart of Christ, and even as they hug me and tell me they love me, and all the while my heart knowing that out of the same mouth and same heart they mock, laugh, and cast insults, I will apply wisdom and guard my heart (Prov 4:23), so that everything that flows from in and out of it is fruitful, and I will strive to be obedient and do as Jesus says -- "Pray for those who persecute you" (Matt 5:44) -- Yes Lord, I will pray.