After my Dad passed away I spent a lot of time focusing on how mad I was that my life didn’t follow the normal pattern. I was living in a family on the verge of collapse: my sister had a brain injury, my mom was struggling with serious mental illness and my brother was awesome, but still in high school. It seemed like a huge mess, and I played the “not fair” card, over and over again. Geez Go… how could you allow so much pain come to one family? Can’y your spread it around a bit? I spent a lot of time focusing on what I didn’t have, what would never be and it ate me up, a dark sticky poison in my soul.
By the time my Mom died I had grown a lot stronger and God granted some shares of wisdom to my heart. That loss came with a lot more peace and a lot less anger, but buckets of confusion. It’s really hard to know how to process suicide, and to tell you the truth, I am still learning and fumbling my way through it. It’s hard to mourn someone you could barely see underneath the thick shroud of depression and numbness.
These days I simply stand amazed at God’s provision in my life. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have in the traditional family sense, I stand in awe at the non-traitional ways that he provides for us. We are non-traditionally blessed. My children have no biological grandparents, but there are several adoptive Grandmas that bathe their little lives in love. I don’t have parents, but I have a strong circle of older and wiser family members that are honored to step in when I need support and advice. Even though on paper our small family of four looks orphaned, our reality is that we are strong, supported and surrounded. I think that all our lives have a corner or two that falls into the non-traditionally blessed category.
This week my husband has been out of town taking one of his last few masters courses to complete his degree. Around Tuesday I gave up the single parent lifestyle and came up to Oklahoma City to stay with our “family” here. They’re the parents of Kel’s best friend and they love us like we’ve been around forever. Last night as I watched these huge hearted people bathe my kids and even blow dry my 2 year old’s hair, my heart popped. The giggles and the bubbles overwhelmed all five senses. I am non traditionally blessed, and how.
I don’t know why God didn’t prevent mental illness and heart disease from taking my parents so young, so soon. I don’t know. But I do know that when the bible says he will always provide, that I am living proof of that. I don’t have parents, but our lives are bathed in family love. When I was in the darkest seasons of depression I was surrounded and supported with prayer, casseroles and friends across the country.
God always provides and if you choose contentment you will come to find that you always have what you need. There is something breathtakingly beautiful about reflecting on how you’re non-traditionally blessed, don’t you think?