Growing up in a dysfunctional family does not have to ruin your life. Did you know that you have to decide to have a great life? It does not just happen. Many of us rely on happenstance or chance to live a peaceful, productive and happy life. Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it does not work that way. Some of us are fortunate enough to be taught this at an early age. Although, if you are like me, that is not the case. I came from a dysfunctional family environment and did not have such a great start. I love my family, but the adults in my life as a child had their own issues, that made it impossible for healthy parenting and role models. I had to one day decide that the life I was living was not what I wanted and I tenaciously sought after the life I did want. A dysfunctional family dynamic is like an ugly rash that just does not go away by ignoring it and hoping. A dysfunctional mentality must be recognized as that, confronted, rejected and replaced with education, healthy thoughts, actions and accountability.
Have you ever been around a family that yells at one another, uses profanity, steals from each other, but they do not recognize it as dysfunction because that’s the way it’s always been? The members of the family see nothing wrong with calling each other names and if you try to bring any kind of proper behavior to the dynamic, you become the bad guy? Maybe at family get togethers they all know uncle Tom is going to get drunk and start verbally abusing aunt Mary and everyone just accepts it as another crazy holiday. I’m telling you, it’s unreal. It is unbelievable what human beings can adapt to as “normal.” Now my family did not have all of those unhealthy dynamics, but it had a few. Alcohol and drug use was very prevalent amongst the adults in my family when I was a child. I experienced and saw many things that a child just ought not to experience. I couldn’t explain it then, but something in me very strong knew at an early age, something was not right. There was something inside of me that could not accept this as a normal life and I did not! I was determined to have a different life. Even in the face of ridicule and scoffing at times by my own family. Now of course I cannot take the credit because I know now that God was watching over me and placed a yearning in me for a wholesome and happy life. That does not mean I grew up being perfect, I made plenty of mistakes and bad choices on my own as a teenager and young adult, but the longing for a better life was always with me. Today my family is blessed because God came in and healed many of the ills and dysfunction. We are still learning and growing in Christ, He is forever changing us for His good.
I’m telling you all this to ask you a very important question. What do you want from your life? What kind of life do you really want? It is never too late to decide enough is enough. God truly does meet us where we are, gives us hope and picks up all the pieces of our broken lives and then wonderfully creates beauty from ashes. He is the master at making the impossible possible, but how bad do you want it? True deliverance comes to the desperate. How desperate are you? Are you willing to be uncomfortable to change your life? Are you willing to do it God’s way and lay down your will? I will be honest and warn you that the transition period is not easy. When Christ moves in and starts shaking things up, sometimes you will feel like all hell has broken loose. But if you hang in there, trust Him, and do as He says, you WILL have a brand new life, because you will be a new creation, the old will pass away and all things will become new. You will one day be able to smile and truly mean it, it’s never too late to begin again…
Proverbs 3:5-6English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
If you are the victim of abuse, here are some links to get help. ****Please call 911 in case of emergency****