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  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho


One of the very best parts of the holidays is celebrating and being with family. Some families have to travel miles to be together, and then there are those like me who have family that lives within a 30 minute car ride. The celebratory memories start with the planning and who will be hosting, the type of cuisine we will enjoy, what games we will play, the prizes we will compete for, etc. I fondly remember the New Year's Eve gathering we had in 2020. After eating mounds of yummy goodness, 15 family members dressed in similar or matching pajama sets sat in my family room right before the clock struck 12. Everyone mentioned what we were most grateful for, from the oldest to the youngest. And the popular response and the only response was the gift of family. We shared our reasons why and some of us shed tears as we reminisced and agreed. Afterward, my dad sealed the time with prayer, and we rang in the year 2021 together.

I love to walk, skip and run through memory lane and recall those specific flashbacks. Mainly because 2021 was especially difficult. Without disclosing the specifics, I remember discussing the trials with the Holy Spirit and how ironic the enemy was going after the very thing my family was most grateful for. My family is my superpower, and that is why he tries so hard to divide and conquer. When we pursue and have unity, we can do anything. There is strength in numbers. But when there is division, there is only weakness.

Not too long ago, a sweet friend shared how she has been experiencing so much pain because her children are upset with one another and that they do not meet and do not plan to if the other sibling is around. Sadly, gatherings only happen when nieces and nephews are involved. She added how she was aware of other families experiencing similar issues. I also have heard of several heartbreaking stories of families falling apart because of deep, sensitive grievances. Sometimes, we embrace those scars more than our healing.

I have cried out to the Lord for the keys of resolution. What can we do? What has to be done to unify the family again? And like He does, He pointed me to several verses. And the same verses He directed me, He highlighted in someone's Instagram post. Whenever He does that, I know He's trying to grab my attention to learn promptly.

"for the Lord had accepted Job. And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. ~Job 42:9b-10 (NKJV)

They commented on their post, "It was when Job blessed those who cursed him that Job was restored. It is the upside-down kingdom. Bless those who curse you. Repay evil with good. Love your enemies. Be silent before accusation. Let God defend you."

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" ~Matthew 5:44-46 (NKJV)

The family unit is under significant attack, and we must defend it by staying unified. If that means allowing "water under the bridge" and moving on, so there is normalcy, we do it. We don't have to defend ourselves, nor do we turn it around and attack our accusers. We actually pray for them as Job did. We must trust that God will take care of it and bring opportunities to heal the heartache. When Nehemiah was rebuilding the city walls of Jerusalem, he stationed families so they could stand guard together, not individually nor against each other (Nehemiah 4:13). Remember, we're not fighting against flesh and blood.

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." ~Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

I implore you to remember who we are fighting and who we are fighting for. Use your superpower and defend your family as a family.

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