Updated: May 7, 2020
It was senior year of high school and time to announce that year’s homecoming court. Everyone in the school, including myself, had one anticipated outcome. I would be queen, of course. My involvement and social connections made it obvious.
I could envision what it would feel like. My high school sweetheart standing beside me, escorting me. The crowd watching as I was crowned. It would be the perfect senior year.
As it came time to announce the court, I waited for my name to be called. “Heather Moix” came over the intercom. I looked around at my friends. Shock filled their expressions.
My plan to be homecoming queen was crushed. I had won a position, but not the one I had expected.
We all encounter unexpected circumstances. Right now, you probably never expected your semester would end early and to be living with your parents again. And though we don't know why plans change, God has the perfect plan.
What is your view of God right now?
Do you believe He is in control?
Do you believe He can satisfy you even while your plans have completely changed?
Or are you frustrated with God?
We’re all feeling different things. For some, it changes day to day. If you find yourself struggling to love your family through this time, you’re not alone. Here are two tips that can help you love your family in these unforeseen circumstances.
DO WHATEVER IT TAKES
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
Whether it is a dream come true or a nightmare for you, being home for an unknown amount of time is complicated. You are used to being independent, doing whatever you want to do, and making your own schedule in college.
Being under your parents’ roof again can be a struggle, especially if it seems like a step backward. You might already be tempted to lash out in anger or disregard your parents, but God calls us to live at peace with everyone, including our parents.
Whether it is easy for you and your family to get along or you normally fight like cats and dogs, living in peace with everyone around you is glorifying to God.
When you are emotionally drained, step away and spend some time asking God to help you be patient. When you feel restricted by what you are asked to do or asked not to do, have a promise from the Bible you can quote, helping you to be respectful. When a family member seems stressed, love them by listening and empathizing with them. When it seems impossible to live at peace with your family, ask God for strength.
You would be amazed at the impact every small decision to live at peace with your family will make on your experience at home and your relationship with God.
UTILIZE YOUR FELLOWSHIP
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
Our friends play a big part in helping us live at peace with our families.
Being intentional to reach out to our friends that push us toward God is vital, not only for our spiritual growth, but also for our sanity. These friends are who can challenge us to have a good perspective on our circumstances and pursue healthy relationships with our family.
They give us a safe place to confess our sin and to be heard for our struggles. They can hold us accountable to “do whatever it takes” to live at peace with our families and give advice from God’s word.
How would your experience at home be different if you were to turn to God and trusted people to help you know how to interact with your family? Would you enjoy this time more? Maybe today is a good time to ask a friend to help you with struggles you’ve had at home. Ask them to help you find a verse in the Bible that you could memorize and quote to yourself when all you want to do is explode or isolate. Ask them to pray with you. Ask them to help you process interactions or hurts.
Who is that friend? Text them now.
Getting along with your family during this time may be a task that doesn’t seem possible, but by running to God and fellowship, we can be empowered to love who we are around, regardless of the circumstances.
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
What is the hardest part about being at home for an unknown amount of time?
What is one way you can practically "do whatever it takes" to live at peace with your family this week?
Who is someone that can help you do that?
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