I love being with my family!
Yesterday my brother and his fiance arrived, joining her two daughters with us. We miss the other two girls and my two nephews while they are on summer visits with other family, but we are so glad to be together.
My brother and I have always been close, being only 20 months apart. When we were little, everyone thought we were twins. He is the one who taught me to ride a bike, who made me laugh, and who helped refine me so that the Savior could make my weak places strong. He and I were iron that sharpened iron. Now that we have both been baptized, this has exponential-ized, by the power of the atonement and sanctifying of the Spirit. I am so grateful for these miracles, not just for their healing, or even for the restoration it has brought, but for the truth it maintains and the love it grows. I love my little brother so much!
And he is nice enough to be engaged to my best friend from junior high. We have been friends since we were 14! There were many years I was gone, and those years were hard. Because I worked so hard to push myself away from those hard years, it all seems so long ago and far away. But she has been sweet and patient and telling the best stories that help me remember. Now it is flooding back to me, and I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude with how our friendship has come full circle these years. She has taught me so much about unconditional love, and she is wise with discernment skills. So she is a friend to me that helps me stay healthy, sort through the dramas of life, and continue on this healing path we have started in our individual lives and as a family.
Our whole friendship, all these years, has been very complimentary. No drama, no ugliness, no nasty girl fights. Just turn taking in the ups and downs of real life, as we were learning our own growing up lessons and dealing with the experiences and challenges of surviving adolescence and young adulthood.
Now, somehow, she and my brother and I are the adults, with a crew full of children looking up to us. It is kinda weird sometimes, to realize we have all grown into this place. But we have, and so here we are.
She got baptized the spring before I was baptized in fall, and then my brother was baptized a year after me. We were gathered, just like the Scriptures promise. It’s almost like we have been family all along.
Last night we took the kids swimming, and had good talks while they played. I cried like a girl, for because it is so healing to me, so strengthening to me. We have come so far, all of us, through so much, and now we are in the place of just being together, of being at-one, of being friends, of being family.
I am glad for these precious days. Our schedules are crazy, and they are busy being parents besides. This time together has been a gift, and it is one I want to honor. I feel we have been “nourished this long time”, like it says in Jacob 5, and I am grateful.
I do love my family so very much.