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Many Different Families
by Julia Ross
“Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!” Matthew 12:50
As I get older, I am struck by how “family” can be so many different groups, often formed in unexpected ways, but all of which are a gift from God. I am thankful for the one I was born into. Then when I recently married and changed from Julia Munzert to Julia Ross, I gained a whole new family. After spending the last few years at my job with many of the same co-workers, they certainly feel like family too.
College at UMW several years ago was wonderful, mostly because I joined a community of women that supported and loved one another. Our gracious God also brought me yet another incredible group of women after graduation that has definitely raised and loved me. Additionally, at New Life in Christ Church there are even more people who care for and nurture me. All three of these are more kinds of “family.”
There is no need to stop here though. The short amounts of time I have spent in Peru visiting and on mission trips have proven that God’s family is large and loving. Many people there have welcomed and loved me purely in His name, and this gets to the root of why family is beautiful and precious.
True families (blood is irrelevant) love each other by choice. We feel loyal to our birth families because we are from there, but the sticking by each other is a constant choice. The difference between “friends” and “family-friends” is that there is a love and care even when it is not convenient and even when the tough love is not wanted or appreciated. This reflects the honest love God has for us. This is not shallow “acquaintance/friend” love, but this is “family” love. He does not want us to stay stuck in the same place, and by His own incredible choice, He continually cares about the deepest parts of our person.
My love is selfish, but His is not. All generous, gracious “family” love impresses this on my heart. I am thankful that family in any form can show me small ideas of the complexity of God’s thriving love.
Pray for the “Daughters of the King” retreat this weekend and for the husbands and children left behind. Pray also for the coverage of children’s Sunday School classes.
Summer Women’s and Preteen/teen Bible Studies
Books will be available from Heather at the retreat this weekend and then from Christine in the office.
Request to pass information:
Lisa Kanak has asked that we share that she is a troop leader for American Heritage Girls for grades 7-12 that meets at Fairview River Club Monday nights. The American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered character development program dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. If you are interested in American Heritage Girls you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have ministry needs or opportunities you’d like shared, please contact us at email@example.com and we’ll get the word out.
In His grace,
for the NLICC Women’s Ministry Committee