I’m Thankful For…My Family.
I remember my Mom stepping into the middle of an argument my sister, Katie, and I were having as little girls, and her saying something that has not only stuck like glue, but altered my perspective on my family since that day. She said, “Girls, life happens. We’ll move, friends move, people change, come and go, but one thing will always stay the same: you’ll always have your sister, you’ll always have your family.” She was so, so right. We always have our people.
Whether your go-to crew is a handful of friends, your college roomies, your significant other, your co-workers, or your family, we all have a “6 a.m. tribe” we could call at crazy early (or late!) times and talk to them about anything…and I mean anything.
As I think about what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, #TeamCummins is at the top of my list. My 6 a.m. crew has been with me since Day 1, constantly encouraging me, challenging me, cheering me on, and partnering with me as I’m becoming who God made me to be. We have fun together, we laugh (a lot!) together, we cry together, we talk daily.
Several years ago when I lived on the West Coast, I was home visiting in Florida, riding bikes with #TeamCummins, when my Dad began a conversation asking and sharing, “Emily, I don’t want to sound dark and depressing, but when I come to the end of my life, and you’re at my funeral one day, do you want to know you had a great relationship with me? Or do you want to just go through the motions? I don’t want to go through the motions with you…I want to know you, I want to do life with you. At the end of my life, I want to know I did everything to have a relationship with you.” From that day forward, we committed as a family to talking every day…whether it be through text messages, phone calls, FaceTimes…you name it…but we committed to talking. Every day.
This week, think about who your people are. Whether they’re your family by blood or not, this tribe is your family…your 6 a.m. crew. Thank God for them. And then let these people know just how much they mean to you. Sometimes we take for granted those we love most, assuming they just know we love them. That’s essentially what my Dad shared with me on our bike ride that sunny Florida day…he didn’t want to assume I knew he wanted to have a deep relationship with me…he wanted to make sure I knew and then that we actually did have a great relationship. Send that text, make that phone call, write that letter. You and I will never regret loving those we hold dear.
I realize you may not have a great relationship with your family. Hurt happens, life happens…I don’t know what your family story entails, but I do know this: you’re not in your family by accident. What if…what if…you were placed in your family strategically and intentionally, to share the gift of you and who you’re becoming, to share the grace and truth of Jesus? Your story, the culmination of your every day life, matters and can be the game changing factor for the very people you’re related to. As we step into this holiday season and you find yourself around dinner tables and family functions, know this: you are loved, you are designed with purpose, you are already enough, and your story matters. Lean into it today. Lace up your warrior boots and walk confidently in who God created you to be. And as you interact with your family, give them to God. Pray for them and ask God how He has placed you where you are for such a time as this. I’m cheering you on big time friend.
To #TeamCummins, thanks for being my tribe, my crew, my best friends. I couldn’t imagine running this race, becoming who God made me to be, without you. Becoming who God made us to be together sure is sweet. Let the journey continue…
Author: Emily B. Cummins
Emily Cummins is a University of Florida & College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with people to become who they were made to be. Emily is the Online Campus Pastor at Church of Hope in Ocala, Florida. She’s passionate about storytelling, good cups of coffee, and jamming to country music. And most importantly, she’s passionately pursuing becoming the woman God made her to be.