Thursday, June 3, 2010


My niece, Kelly and her husband, Mark came to visit us this weekend. What a joy it was to have them! Kelly and I developed a close bond when she was a little girl. I was 14 when she was born. This was my first experience of being an aunt and I thought she was the most precious thing that ever lived! Many years have passed since then and whenever we are together, we find ourselves reminiscing of the many fond memories we’ve shared. A lot of times, we laugh more than we talk! I enjoy her so much!

Some times I wonder if we aren’t hiding unresolved pain behind all our laughter. As an adult, I was aware of some of the childhood pain that Kelly was experiencing. I hurt for her. As a young girl, Kelly observed much of my pain as I tried to find my way in the adult world. I’m sure this affected Kelly’s heart, as well.

As Kelly moved into her teen and college years, she often spent the weekend with us. She and my son, Jake have a special relationship as a result of those times together. We loved having her! Yet, I helplessly observed as she began to make some of the same mistakes as my own. Again, I wanted to do something to protect her! But, what?

I distinctly remember the day when she called and said, “Aunt B, I’m getting married and I would like for you to sing at my wedding!” What an honor! Yet, when we hung up the phone from that conversation, I cried. I should have been happy for her and I was, but… I also feared that she would experience even more hurt and disappointment. I didn’t want that for her!

As I look back over those years, I realize now that I was so caught-up in trying to keep my own head above water, that I didn’t have the time or energy that Kelly or my other nieces deserved. I was barely making it through my own life, how in the world could I have ever helped them!

Have you ever made decisions that you know set a bad example for those whom you love?
Does your heart break when you consider that following in your footsteps has brought pain into their lives?
Do you ever wish that you could go back and do things all over again?

When we desire to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, He can transform our poor decisions into blessings which we can pass along to others. Through the guidance of His Spirit we can be strong enough in the Lord to be available for those we love. Having experienced some healing of our own, we can set a godly example for them.

The Lord seems to be providing opportunities for me to connect with several of my nieces in deeper ways than I had ever imagined. I am so thankful! Yet, my heart aches as I learn how much their lives have been affected by this world of sin. I want to be humble enough to share with them how the Lord has used the trials and poor choices in my life to draw me closer to Him. I want to be “Jesus with skin on” and love my nieces right where they are. Maybe… just maybe, I can help them find the healing and wholeness in their lives for which Jesus died.

We may not be able to go back and do things over again. However, we have been blessed with a God who forgives and rebuilds!


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