I’ve been building a family at our church over the last several years. It’s such a great feeling, too! Until I started getting involved in our church, I really did feel like an orphan. Why, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell ya!
Why Building a Family in Your Church is Important
Does your church family replace your biological family? Of course not; unless your “real” family is sparse or lives a good distance away from you.
Me, personally, I have a huge family! And I am forever thankful to God for all of them. However, we don’t all live close to each other and sometimes only get to see each other at funerals. Yes, we text, chat online and all that. I even built a private Facebook group just for my family.
But what do you do when your closest family members move on to their permanent homes in Heaven?
My Family Story
I’m the oldest of three kids. My mother passed away in 1997 at the young age of 63. My sister, a story in itself, estranged herself from me, my brother, and the rest of our family right after our mom’s death. At the time, we hadn’t had a good relationship with our father since he and our mom divorced around 1981.
In 2016 my father passed away. My brother and I did re-establish our relationship with our father and got to see him often in the nursing home for about two years before the Lord took him Home.
Six months later, God took my little brother Home after a fatal motorcycle accident. I was devastated, to put it mildly. I seriously felt like an orphan, and mentioned that to one of my cousins at a family Christmas party that year. It was the first Christmas without my brother, and I really felt lost.
Okay, yes, I’m married, I have two grown children, two grown stepchildren and together we have seven grandchildren. And as important as they all are to me, I just couldn’t shake the emptiness I felt without my brother. We’d grown very close over the years since our mother’s death. We did so much together!
Getting Involved and Building a New Family in Church
The same year my brother passed away, 2017, my husband and I decided to start going to a new church. Our first visit was amazing! We both felt right at home. A few months later, we were sitting with a nice man and he and I got chatting after the service. I gave him a hug as I got up to leave, and he said, ‘Thank you, sister. I needed that.’
It turned out that he came to church alone as his wife wasn’t interested. So I said to him, ‘I believe I’m going to designate you as my church Brother, since my brother is no longer among the living.’ And the process of me building a new family in church started.
Later, while we were at an event with a bunch of people from church, a woman, about my daughter’s age, was talking with me about how she missed her mother who’d passed away a couple of years earlier. I mentioned that she was my daughter’s age, so she asked if she could call me “Mom.” I said sure!
Over the years, I’ve gained a church granddaughter, another church daughter, a couple of church sisters and a couple more brothers.
My own son and two of his kids come to church on Easter Sundays. One Easter he and the boys were sitting at a table when we got there. One by one my church granddaughter and sisters came up. I introduced them to my son: “This is my church granddaughter; my church sister, another church sister…”
My son says, ‘Oh, that’s how it is. You come to church and build a whole new family!’ The one woman laughed and said, ‘And if you start coming here regularly, you’ll be building a family, too!’
Christians Need God’s Family
The Lord wants all his children to feel safe and loved and if your biological family is a bit dysfunctional or they don’t attend church with you or they live miles and miles away, your church family is there for you.
They’ll be there for you in good times and bad; through thick and thin, and may even put you on the path to discovering God’s purpose in your life.