I want to start by saying I love my family. I am a family oriented person. I would do anything for my family.
But the holidays… Yeah.
The planning, the cooking, the shopping…
When your prayer room becomes a guest bedroom. When YOUR kitchen becomes OUR kitchen. When YOUR bathroom becomes THE bathroom…
I think you get the idea. We love our family, but right around January 2nd we are ready to say goodbye. We are ready to get back to our schedules. We are ready to get back to the rhythm we had before family overtook our lives.
It’s a time of love, a time of joy, a time to reminisce and let loose. And if we’re being honest, it can also feel like a time of intrusion.
During this past month I have been tested by my family. Before December, I was developing a rhythm. I was growing rapidly in my faith and started to find a comfort in my day-to-day. I was learning how to balance work, ministry and relationships. Then it was December 1st, and my prayer room became a guest room for my brother. Talk about an adjustment. Instead of being able to pray anytime I wanted, however I wanted, I had to start scheduling time to pray and study. Let’s just say I didn’t stick to this new schedule as well as I would have hoped.
I started to get frustrated. I started to let anger build up in me, not because I don’t love my brother, but because I love my space. I love the freedom of living alone. I loved the freedom of not having to schedule and communicate my schedule.
Now that I am here, in January, overlooking my last month, I am disappointed in how I am handling this test. All the months of growing in prayer and studying and all it took was my brother moving in with me to disrupt my prayer life, my studying, and my peace.
The reality is, what is the point of growing in prayer and studying the word if you can’t apply it to every situation in life, including your brother moving in with you.
I’ve learned over this past month that family can be used to test you in a way no one else can. It’s because of how you love them, what you would do for them, and what you won’t do to them. I think it’s because of these reasons that they can also push you farther than anyone else. They push your limits, they push your comfort zones and they cause all those places still in you that have held on to who you were before to rise up once again.
If this past month and holidays were a test for you like they were for me because of those you love the most becoming those who you like the least, pass the test. Don’t give in to those feelings of anger, frustration, irritation and stress.
Use what you’ve learned in your times of rhythm to overcome your times of chaos.