Sometimes dealing with broken situations is really difficult for me because the messiness that comes with them is taxing, and the hope of the light at the end of the tunnel easily becomes faint.
While the Lord has healed much of the brokenness in my family, there is still a long road to go. During the season leading up to Benson’s and my wedding we were dealing heavily with the effects of the brokenness in each of our families. It was extremely hard and often filled me with anxiety and stress.
I’ve spent the last 10 years cleaning up the trail left by my dad’s sinful affair. If any of you have experienced the loss of a parent in some form or another (for me it was the loss of a parent in the nucleus of our family), you know how heavy the burden is when family member roles get shifted. I’ve lived with the weight of taking care of both my mom and my brother and have spent almost half of my life worrying about my mom being lonely. If you’ve been in a situation like this, you know the guilt that comes with moving away from home…and how much stronger is that guilt when you get married.
Benson’s family has a similar story, though the breaking is actually far from being done there. Nevertheless, we both feel strong obligations to our moms and acutely feel the weight of having to pick up the slack that our dads have left.
Maybe you can imagine how hard it was to think of having to “leave” my family and “cleave” to my new husband. I even wondered how God could be so cruel and ask me to leave my family. But my wondering shortly turned to bitterness by the thought that “leaving and cleaving” was only meant for healthy families, the kind of families God intended in a sinless world. What about families that are horribly broken? What about those? How the hell are you supposed to feel okay about leaving those?
Before our wedding some friends prayed over us something so beautiful that I need to write about it so I always remember it. First, someone prayed that Benson’s and my relationship would be the end of generational sin in our family lines. Generational sin is a sin that’s passed on from generation to generation. In my family it’s bitterness. Look closely at my family and you’ll find that through out our bloodline everyone struggles with bitterness. Kind of crazy. In Benson’s family, it’s unfortunately broken marriages. I guess it’s interesting to note…and maybe you could start paying attention to generational sins so that you can be aware of the sin that’s in your family line and let God put an end to it.
Anyway, I love the idea of our union being the end of generational sin.
What was even more beautiful to me, though, was that after the person prayed for the end of generational sin they declared that our relationship would be the beginning of generational spiritual blessings. When they prayed that I felt a renewal of hope and an excitement for leaving and cleaving. Leaving and cleaving now seemed like a redemptive opportunity to pass on a legacy of spiritual blessing and further redemption for all the crap and brokenness we’ve had to go through…and are still going through. I love the idea that our relationship will not only be the end of much generational sin but that it is the beginning of a legacy of blessing. It’s not just that all the crappy weeds get pulled out of the garden, but the garden can produce beautiful flowers and strong, healthy, fruitful trees as well. We have a chance to turn things around, not just momentarily for our own family’s current brokenness, but also for the generations after us. How great is the Lord.
I love that the Lord can redeem things even when they look like dead ends. He can end generations of sinful habits, and he also allows a time for renewal and experiencing the fullness of the abundant life he gives, just like he intended. The work of the Lord is so, so beautiful.