They’re My Family Too

I’ve been depriving myself all these years. I have an entire family line that I’ve never recognized as my family.

My mom’s dad left when she was two and her brother was a baby. She never forgave him. All I ever knew growing up was that we didn’t speak about him, as if he didn’t exist.

As I got into my late teenage years and wanted to know more of my roots, I’d hint around to her that I was interested in a few details. She offered me one or two thoughts, and that was it. I didn’t realize at the time how painful it was for her to go there, and how she had blocked that part of her memory.

When my uncle, her brother, began to do family research, she made it clear to him that she was not interested in hearing the results. A cousin sent a batch of old photos, many of which included my mom’s childhood visits, once a year, to see her dad. I stared at them for hours, amazed to put a face to this man we didn’t talk about, to see this whole side of my mom’s childhood that I knew nothing about, and wanting to ask and know more. She asked if I would please send the pictures to my uncle, for his research, and not let her see them again. I regret now that I didn’t keep one or two photos for myself, but I honored her wish and got them out of our house.

I think from that point on, and especially as I grew older and discovered what it was like to have a husband walk out on a marriage (my own), I fell into line with my mom’s thinking of just letting the past be the past.

But today, as I go through Christian inner healing, I’m beginning to recognize how much I’ve blocked out a whole side of my family line. I need to forgive … my mom, for closing him out; my granddad for leaving his family; and myself (to repent and forgive) for buying into the family lie of “we don’t talk about him.” I have a granddad I never knew. And he has a whole family of siblings, parents, grandparents, and so many others from whom I’m descended, that I know nothing about.

I’m doing some research to learn what I can. I’ve missed out on a lot. I understand why, but it’s okay for that to change now. I want to know the generational blessings God has poured into this unknown side of my family. I want to know who these folks were, and to bless them in turn, to thank God for them.

It wasn’t until I began my ancestral research that I realiized the true extent of this blockage. Ancestry.com produced a report from my family input that identified this man as “Your grandfather.” I had never thought of him as my grandfather; merely as “the man we don’t talk about.” That really hit home, seeing him connected with me in such a close way. Then I realized that through him, I also have a great grandfather and great grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles. I’m as much desended from them as from the folks on the others sides of my family.

Healing and restoration means accepting that, and not only accepting, but also embracing. I choose to embrace the family God has given me. And I will be blessed by anything God desires to reveal so that I can come to know these folks more.

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