How To Define Family?
How do you define family? The members of my family that I was closest to as a child were the family members representing one of my parents' siblings. I say that I was close to them; that is not actually true. I learned to adapt to a reality that I had no control over. A reality that required me to be a respectful child that goes along to get along.
And so I went along. I went with my parent to almost every holiday function. For the few functions that I can remember the parent gave me an option not to go to the functions ; I went anyway. I did not want to start any arguments with the other family members about my seeming social distance from members of the family.
Even as a child I saw that alot of things were not right about my family. I saw that some of the members would make jokes about other people's weight and skin color. Alot of the jokes sounded racist, colorist or just plain wrong. I just knew to not accept offers to hang out with most of my cousins on that side of the family. Not my kind of people.
Fastforward to 2012. After one year applying to master's programs I was accepted into a university in October of 2011. I prayed for a long time to be accepted into a master’s program especially since my academic progress was waning after not being in college for one year. I was excited that Arkansas was the final answer. I got to move away. I got to learn about another area of the United States. Ashley could be herself.
My move to California consisted of a similar idea. More education. A chance to grow up and become more open-minded.
God revealed himself to me. He taught me how to be an adult. That my opinions mattered. That I was someone. That I did not have to go along just to get along. To be kind but to ALWAYS stand up for Christ and his teachings.
When I was away at school I learned of some things that my family members were doing that was particularly troubling. God allowed the same things they were trying to do to hurt family members to be done to them. The particular family members in question still continue still continue to attempt to try to take advantage of other family members despite God shutting doors on them.
The message has not registered yet. I pray that it registers before it's too late. These family members are over sixty years of age. I do not wish to go to anyone's funeral knowing that they died never tapping into their overall purpose for this life.
And so I say this. Who is your family? Who are those people in your life who want to do right by you no matter what? Part of my family consists of non-relatives that are in California. They give me advice. They've looked after my personal affairs without complaints. They know that if I could I would do the same for them. That's my real family.