My second daughter gave me the best Christmas present that I have received in years!
Back in June, I told you about her dramatic encounter with God. I then told you of her decision to move in with some dear our friends in Nashville to rebuild her life. Most recently, I told you of her visit over Thanksgiving.
Our family is VERY close. People tend to idealize or romanticize that. While the positives are fairly obvious, there are some costs.
What are the negatives? If you ask my youngest daughter when she is in one of her moods, it can feel pretty intrusive when people REALLY know you. There is no place to hide. You can’t get away with anything. EVERYONE knows when something isn’t right.
Another negative is that when there is a major conflict, everyone involved feels the disruption much more. If the relationship is already dead, the pain is barely felt.
Well, everyone really felt pain when Kimba rebelled. When she moved out of our home shortly after her 18th birthday, she essentially left our family. There isn’t really much sense in pretending. The relationships didn’t end, but they lost quite a bit of their meaning and depth.
During her Thanksgiving visit, it became obvious that, while her relationship with God was truly restored, there was still much more that needed to occur before she was fully restored with our family.
As Providence would have it, I read a book last Tuesday that quite unexpectedly helped to clarify my thoughts on the subject.
On Thursday night, I asked Mom to call and introduce the idea of restoration with the family to her. She was open to it!
On Sunday, I wrote her a detailed e-mail (it took me 4 hours to write it) telling her what I thought needed to happen. I was so apprehensive that it might scare her off that I called her TWICE before sending it to prepare her for it.
To my amazement, she e-mailed me back and said that she agreed with pretty much everything I said. That was when I knew that this Christmas could really be special!
On Christmas Eve night, she specifically apologized and asked for forgiveness in front of the whole family. That is a God thing. Human pride won’t let that happen! Mom and Dad had to admit to a few painful things and ask for forgiveness too!
In the end, we warmly welcomed her back. It was like watching a gaping wound in the heart of our family miraculously mend right before our eyes.
That doesn’t mean that everything is now perfect but our family is whole again after five years of turmoil! My heart will be much lighter in 2009 than it has been in quite some time!