Pain slowly started taking the vibrancy out of my daughter. Little by little her head started making it hard for her to think and interact. Slowly she started having to stay in a dark, quiet place while withdrawing from the family. The pain in her head was too difficult to bear in a group setting. Though she craved community, the noise of it was too much.
It’s been eight long days since we’ve gathered around the table together because of this. This has rocked our world. I’ve let my worries about her get in the way of connecting with the others in the family. You don’t miss this connection time until it’s gone. The absence of it is heart-breaking.
Breaking bread together as family is the highlight of our day. It’s a time for safety, fellowship, and connecting. But eight days ago, when my daughter took a turn for the worst everything changed. When illness hits unexpectedly, it changes the family dynamic. The mysterious unknown presses on the hearts of everyone involved.
When hearts are pressed by painful events, it exposes what is truly in them. Some of that is ugly. We are tempted towards fear, worry, and ungodly anger in this time of grief. During these times, it is especially important for a family to come together. So tonight, we will gather. Not as our normal five but as four. Instead of avoiding the family connecting we will share openly and honestly our concerns about this difficult time of unknown illness. Then, we will get back to serving the one who is weak and needs us one on one.
This is our new normal for however long God allows. We must come together and talk about it. It will take adjusting and it will not be easy. However, for now, it is our new normal. Connection is important for a family to stick closely together. For us, that may look a little different in this time of the unknown.
Connection can look different for each family. Some get to eat together every night. Some have weekly scheduled meetings. Some have morning devotions. Every family is different. The important part is making intentional times of connection a priority. This new normal has reminded me that there will be seasons of change in all families. Each season will look different. The family will have to adjust to these changes. Change is not a bad thing. We must be open to it and work toward connection in each new stage of life.
When hard things happen unexpectedly, like in our family, it’s important to talk. We must fight for that connection in the midst of grief. It’s more important than ever, otherwise, we will continue to slowly drift apart. Whatever this connection time looks like for your family. Don’t forsake it. The time flies by way too fast and soon enough your children will leave. Hold them close as long as you can. Listen to them. Love them. Give them a safe place to be themselves and connect.
Home is to be a safe place where our kids can be themselves. They need to have access to us so they can discuss anything on their mind. If we are not there the world will fill our place but don’t we want to be the one speaking truth into their lives? They want answers and if we don’t give it to them, they will find them somewhere else. So whatever season you are in, make it a priority to connect. You will not regret it. And time is short. Take advantage of every moment given. It’s worth it. For we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:2
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;3
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;4
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;5
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;6
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;7
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;8
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.