Nearly two years ago, I felt the Father inviting me into a new adventure. An adventure on the other side of the world. While I was excited about the opportunity, I was not looking forward to leaving my family. It felt like too big a sacrifice to say goodbye to the people I had been so close to my whole life. I didn’t feel I had the strength to make such a huge sacrifice, but then I read Mattthew 19:29:
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
Sometimes, God invites us to do crazy things. Sometimes, He invites us to do difficult things. But know that His invitations always come with promises. As I got on the plane to fly across two oceans and establish myself in a new location, I held on to His promise that as I said goodbye to my earthly family (even if just for a season) He would return to me a hundredfold the very thing I was giving up: family.
Family has always been. From the beginning of time, it has been God’s intention for us to live in family with eachother and with Him. Father, Son and Spirit model it for us, and every day they are inviting us into it. One of the things I find beautiful about being a Christian is that wherever I go, there is opportunity for family. I can seek out those people who share the same Father and speak the same language of love. Or I can invite people into the family. Everyone I meet has the potential to become a sister/brother or mother/father.
A few weeks ago, our Frequentsee team gathered with some people from around the world who have a similar heartbeat to our own. One of creativity, mercy, justice, cultural transformation, joy and laughter. Most of these people I had never met before. But in all my years in “church,” I have never experienced family in a way that made me feel more loved or more like myself in such a short amount of time. The more I encounter it, the more I realise that God’s desire was for us to live in and create family from the very beginning.
There are three things I noticed that helped us establish family together:
Eating & Drinking
Feasting is a central theme in Scripture and oftentimes we forget it. Sharing food (and some good wine) with the people you love is important, and biblical. It’s one of the things Jesus loves to do most (Mark 2:16, Luke 5:33-35, Luke 7:34, Revelation 19:9). Some of my favourite moments with the people I love have happened at the dinner table.
The Highs & Lows
My family gets to see my very worst just as much as my best. I take off my mask and stay true to who I am and what I’m feeling. When I’m with them, I have nothing to prove because I know I am loved no matter what. “Doing life” together means you get to see my highs and my lows. I won’t settle for connecting with people only on a Sunday morning. I instead choose to intentionally invite others into all my moments, from the most ordinary to the most exciting.
Prophetic encouragement is one of the most beautiful things we get to enjoy as people of the Kingdom. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to see each other through His eyes–past, present and future. Prophecy has the power to cut right to the heart of everyone in the room, strengthening their love for each other. During our week together, I felt my heart grow big as God revealed the great destiny He has prepared for each of my new friends.
For those who have been looking for family, hold on to His promise to set the lonely into family (Psalm 68:6), and begin to take the steps to create family right where you are. It’s His desire for you!