Growing up I lived in 6 different houses & so moved schools all around the country and had to get good at making friends!
Then since moving to Manchester at 18yrs I have lived in another 4 houses and now am very happily settled in my house with my husband and baby boy! I am sure that this is not the final move though & I now worry about the stability and surroundings my boy will grow into.
Moving houses and schools wasn’t easy but I don’t feel it has ‘damaged’ me at all. I put this down to the faithfulness of my parents to an ever faithful God. Each move was a calling and ordained because of the creators plans for us. For each individual one of us, God doesn’t call a man/leader..He calls a family.
Talking to a friend tonight I was reminded that the thing that pulled me through those years as a little girl, then as a hormonal teenager with the pulls of everything- was our kitchen table!
That was my safe place. Whatever the day had brought. The harsh words of a bully, embarrassing things, learning new rude words, feeling lonely, friendship hurts, boyfriend struggles.
I knew I’d be safe when we were round that table. We each had our place at that table. Especially when we were in Surrey. My place was at Dads left hand next to Joel! We would talk together and ask Qs and be able to be honest and pray-and eat of course! We would say how our day had been and get to know each other.
I remember it was at that table when I one day realised that my Dad was also a human- not just a ‘dad’ but a man who felt, & could also be hurt by other people words or feel insecure or feel worry. It was at that table we would ask silly questions & give funny answers. It was at that table a lot of forgiveness and reconnecting took place. It was at that table that I learned the most about how to do relationship well, to speak about what was upsetting me & not hold it all in. It was at that table that I truly loved myself and each of my family.
We are not the perfect family! But that table was the anchor I needed to not be blown away at the worst times.
That table is now at my house. It is our table and it is full of dents & stains. My mum says I’m to never sell or bin it as she’ll keep it forever..she says it’s because she loves each dent as it was our forks slamming the table or our drawings marking it or a advent candle one Christmas that burnt a stain on it! I know it’s because these are our memories. It’s also that it represents our core.
We are a very close family & I still love that each birthday we do ‘family tea’ round a table together & everyone has to come celebrate that person! I love Christmas as that is when we all sit together & we say who we are most thankful for that year (not a family member..just someone we’ve appreciated or loved that year & why! Last year mine was Liz Askew)
I worry about the world my son will grow up in. How he’ll deal with hard times & I never want him to hear a swear word! I felt tonight like God said it’ll be ok because he’s given me that table.
So I want to sit at this table as my Lion grows. For each of us to talk, & to be vulnerable too. Not just want my kids to open up-me open up! That’s how they’ll learn.
Whether you grew up with a family who were a security to you or not. You can become this to your family. If you get a ‘table’ (or a sofa / step / garden / bench) then wherever you make the safe place be in your house- YOU will be the place they get their strength and wisdom from, their safe place. Because Holy Spirit is in your house & God is head of your table.
He is faithful & knows all..have a listen;