This morning was the first of a new sermon series at my church focusing on the life of Joseph (the one with the colorful coat, not the carpenter). Today’s title: “Joseph: Staying Faithful in a Flawed Family.”
My pastor spoke about the truth that all families are flawed, all suffering from dysfunction of some sort. He spoke of Joseph’s pretty intense family struggles and gave anecdotes of others he knew with major turmoil in their family life. He went on to speak of their faithfulness in the midst of family strife and how God works for good in all situations, but by that point I had gotten a bit distracted (sorry, Dr. B).
As he spoke of these difficult family situations, my mind began to swarm with every blessing poured into my life by my family. How God put me into a family that never gave me cause for significant struggle. An imperfect family, yes, but one that has always, always, always been a rock for me.
I give thanks for my dad, who leads our family and Grace Fellowship with humility and courage. For him always putting family first. For passing on the ridiculous sense of humor we both share. For teaching my brother and me to be unapologetically passionate about what we love. I am thankful for his honesty and how he acknowledges his short-comings and struggles. For the way he shares his gifts with our family, our church, our school, and our community. For instilling a love of history inside of me. For his consistent example of servant-leadership.
I give thanks for my mom, who has poured her life into our family. For the sacrifices she makes in order to be there for the ones she loves. For calling me out when I let fear and complacency take hold in my life. For making time when Jay or I need to talk. For memories captured in her photographs. I am thankful for the way she confronts her weaknesses and helps me face the ones we share. For the way she loves ferociously. For her preparation. For joining alongside my brother and me in pursuing our futures. For embodying Christ-like womanhood.
I give thanks for my parents as a team, who together instilled in me a great love of reading and a thirst for knowledge. For they way they continue to support my dreams and passions. For forever placing Christ as the cornerstone of our family. For praying blessings over Jay and me every day of our lives. I am thankful for them taking the time to know us. For their example of a godly marriage. For the many ways they show they love us and for telling us often.
I give thanks for my brother, who has grown into the most incredible person. For his sharp wit. For his unwavering loyalty. For his uncanny ability to text me at just the right time. For his intelligence and insight. For loving me even after our obnoxious middle years. I am thankful for his heart, how he shares himself with the ones who matter. For his ambition and imagination. For the way he stays true to himself. For his encouragement.
I give thanks to the Lord, who placed me in just the right family. I will be forever grateful for their stability and unwavering love, for the blessings I have received through them. We will never claim perfection, but we will claim each other, and for that I am intensely grateful.