Drawing My Bloodline
Sifting And Breaking
When S and I moved houses, I found a stack of colorful binders hiding in one of my boxes that forced me to stop packing. Sifting through, I found years of collages, letters, doodles and mindless entries of a teenage child.
Letters of complaints against my mum yelling at me or my dad not being fair. Days of wishing I was in a different family, because I didn't get to do what I wanted to do.
Looking back, I'm more than certain I'd watched too much Arthur and expected my life to be like his.
So, I tore it all up. All those diaries filled with young Marily's beliefs of what a family was. Trashed them.
Why? Because in the process of reading those diaries, I began remembering all of the goodness in my childhood including Sunday afternoon naps and our cross-country road trips! I remembered the laughs I shared with my family and the many words of wisdom and encouragement they tucked into my life.
My family is amazing and they have blessed me with an amazing heritage of love.
They gave me love that was fully sacrificial. Whether it was their time, money, words or deeds, they loved me unconditionally. That is what I should have filled my diaries with.
Reeducating My Brain
When S and I finally moved to this new city, we had zero friends or "family." My entire perspective of the world as I knew it flipped upside down. We came from close-knit communities (mostly Indian) and never worried about connections or family. There was always someone's cousin waiting around the bend ready to greet us in!
So, imagine me in my 30s pushing myself to walk into environments, with all my guards up and no idea what to expect. Hello, awkward jokes! It was really hard. In fact, there were times where we both just wanted to pack up and go back "home." We wanted community and family, but in our heads family was blood.
Ever since, I have been pursuing the definition of a family. Is it blood or is it more?
Have you ever perused Ancestry.com? I have, many times. And if you're anything like me, the idea of having a drop of royalty is exciting! I wanted that strength, wisdom and Jon Snow-esque courage. But all that blood could give me was access to a name. No relationships or unconditional love.
These past couple years have become a re-education of the meaning of "family."
Remember Jesus? He came into this world with no family, no friends but somehow created the largest family in the history of creation.
"For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." —The Bible
As a lifelong Christian, I've certainly heard the words "family of Christ" thrown around many times but never really practiced it. Young Marily met non-related, non-Indian Christians with the same Bible but immediately considered them "outsiders." Horrible? Yes. Truth? Also, yes.
Grow up, Marily
But that was over a decade of immaturity ago. Present (matured) Marily wonders which version of the Bible she was reading because that is not what Jesus did. In fact, wasn't He the one who broke through cultural, racial and religious divides?
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." —The Bible
Yes. He chose to love and accept everyone into His family. He saw we all needed a place to belong, because at the root we are all relational. We need that connector proving we are part of an unconditional family.
His love is our bloodline.
He loved sacrificially with no reservations. A love of full pursuit, respect and understanding. A love that extends past the barriers of this world.
I am so glad I threw those diaries out. Within those pages, I housed fantastical thoughts of what I wished a family was. I wished for a different house, siblings, parents and even a different race. I convicted myself to a limited, ugly life. I considered my family a group of blood relatives that I was stuck with for life.
But that was not what God had intended for me. He had placed me within a family that mirrored His own. He had given me a family connected not just by blood but by the unbreakable love of Christ.
That's where I choose to draw my bloodline.