ROOTED IN LOVE ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
On Valentine’s Day, I enjoyed a candlelight dinner with my family…because our power was out…and it stayed out for over 72 hours. We were one of many families affected by the crazy weather in Texas, and it was an extremely long week. Especially for my husband, who had a ranch full of cattle to take care of in freezing temperatures. But we made it through the trial, thank the Lord. And like the Bible tells us in the book of James, it was certainly an opportunity to glorify the Lord. I could see God working, especially through His children.
People from other states, many of whom I don’t even know except on social media, checked on us and prayed for us during those crazy days. My aunt and uncle in Colorado tried to figure out a way to help us from thousands of miles away. I was so humbled and touched by everyone’s care and concern. In times of hardship, you really get to see people’s hearts shine, and I witnessed the love of so many beautiful people.
The first two nights without electricity, my husband and I took shifts during the night.
One of us would sleep while the other stayed awake to tend the fire and keep us warm. It was 50 degrees in the house with the fire blazing! I’m not a fan of being cold, so it was pretty miserable. My kids didn’t understand why they had to stay in the covers all day instead of playing and having fun. Their hands and feet were nearly frozen, and their faces were the palest I’ve ever seen.
Thankfully, our good friends in town still had electricity and water at their home. They invited me and the kids to stay at their house, no questions asked. They opened their home to us and shared their food for three days and nights while my husband worked relentlessly at the ranch. I felt a little like we overstayed our welcome, but our hosts were so kind and gracious the entire time. I really felt cared for and loved. And our kids had fun together too. An awful situation turned into a chance to pause life and enjoy time with friends.
Those friends treated us like family, reminding me that sometimes your friends are your family. They’re the family you get to choose. Sometimes God places people in your life on purpose because He knows you need them. He brings you together with special people, the ones you mesh with almost perfectly, because He knows you can share each other’s joys and burdens.
Jesus welcomed us all into His family in Matthew 12, saying, “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” He was showing us that family isn’t always flesh and blood. It’s more than that. It’s the people who choose to do life with you – not because they have to, but because they love you.
Whether you have a close family or not, a few friends or many, remember to be grateful for your people. It doesn’t matter if you’re related. It doesn’t matter if your group is small. It doesn’t even matter if you agree on everything. It only matters that you love each other at all times. Do everything in love. Put others before yourself. Family is so much bigger than a name or an address. Family is the people around you. The people you love.
“You don’t need everyone to love you, just a few good people.” Charity Barnum, The Greatest Showman