|This is a picture of the part of our family that was able to come to our wedding.|
Every family is different. Every family has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, the more that I talk to other people about their families, I've just began to realize how lucky I am.
My family would do anything for me. If I need help, and there is any way that they can be there, they are. My mom puts her own life on hold for her children, and she is always there is we need to talk or if we need assistance. My father has worked hard his whole life to provide for his ten children with a teacher's (now a principal's) salary. My parents gave us everything we needed. We didn't always get what we wanted, but I think that was very good for us. We took vacations together and spent a lot of time at home. I love my family.
They have even become a sort of foster-family for friends of mine, and have pseudo-adopted families in their town who needed extra support.
My extended family is just as fantastic. I am now living close to my maternal grandparents, a couple of aunts and uncles, and some cousins. Every Sunday, we are invited to my grandparent's house for dinner. If I need anything, my grandparents are there. They have even watched a screaming Kevin on occasion so Grig and I could have a much needed date-night.
My in-laws are equally wonderful. They are much further away, but we try to skype at least once a week. Grig enjoys playing Risk with his siblings across skype. We went back to the East coast and visited them this last summer, and we had a wonderful time. We wish they were closer, but they've already made some expensive trips to come visit us, and we are grateful.
My family is amazing, and I have watched their examples of self-less service. That has made me want to be a better person and be equally unselfish. I try to always be there when they need me to, and to extend that service to those around me who aren't my family.
I am so blessed. I know there are a lot of families who are struggling, and circumstances beyond control that have made it so other families aren't quite so happy. I didn't post this today to rub that in anyone's face, but rather to give others hope.
Families can be happy! Families can be cohesive! Every family member can get along! It does take work, but mostly it takes love. Even if your parents didn't have a happy ending, that doesn't mean that you can't.
Even if your family here on earth doesn't seem very supportive, you have another Father who loves you unconditionally and does everything for us.
Our Heavenly Father is always there watching, loving, and helping us. Sometimes we don't recognize the things that He's doing, and you might feel all alone, but I KNOW that He is there for everyone of his children. Like President Thomas S. Monson said in the General Relief Society meeting the other day in his talk We Never Walk Alone:
[Y]our Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there. As we seek our Heavenly Father through fervent, sincere prayer and earnest, dedicated scripture study, our testimonies will become strong and deeply rooted. We will know of God’s love for us. We will understand that we do not ever walk alone. I promise you that you will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times, and you will realize that He was always there beside you.
Take comfort, because like me, you've got the best Father in the world.