I have spent a lot of time on the other end of hurting my family. I’ve argued a lot with my parents throughout my childhood, adulthood, and even most recently as my seasons and life has changed and I always find myself in the same situation.
The older I get, the harder it is for me to express myself to them.
I find as I try to articulate in a mature, adult way that my parents hurt me, they can’t believe that this is possible.
My family sees me through the lens of their sacrifice, their suffering, every shirt they didn’t buy to pay for your education, to give you what you needed and wanted.
I will always appreciate my parents for the sacrifices they’ve made for me.
Yet, I struggle reconciling how I can express myself freely to my parents. Whenever I try to express how I feel with them, it comes back to these same issues of them seeing me only through the things they believe I can’t see – their hard work, their sacrifice, and all they have done.
I always see these things. It’s at the heart and soul of how I interact with them, but also the people around me. Every interaction I have is rooted in what my family has done and sacrificed for me. Every win in life, every loss brings me back to every incredibly selfless thing my parents have done. I don’t own anything I do – it belongs to them. You see, I see those things all a little too well.
I’ve spent a lot of trying to silence myself to this because I don’t believe my parents can change. I find it hard to believe my God believing parents are susceptible too to the same power of God that makes me change daily.
I am tired of everyone who around me says people can’t change, our families can’t change, and that we can’t actually break the wheel than keep it spinning.
I believe this approach is not only not Biblical, but setting us up for a lot of failure.
I want to believe my God is big enough even to change the cultures we live in. We don’t have to wait for a generation to leave to start changing the core of how we interact with our families and our communities. At the core of our churches is the problems and cultures we create at home. I know enough of you who are desperately trying to leave your one ethnic churches, who see the holes in it and want to believe it can change.
Wouldn’t it be easier to go to your parent’s church if you felt like you could be heard without hurting their feelings?
Here’s my public service announcement to the legacies I love, adore, respect, and honor
You can hurt me, too.
Both young and old, American or not, Indian or not, in front of God, we are all heartbroken and difficult people.
That’s how Jesus sees me. That’s how Jesus sees you too. That’s how he sees the most difficult person in your family, church, and circumstance.
I think God is asking us as a generation to face our legacies who are hurt and broken with gratitude, grace, and kindness. The longer we spend trying to silence ourselves, the harder it gets to have authentic, genuine relationship with the generations above us.
To our legacies: when will you realize the conversation must start today? When your churches are empty? When you do not see your children anymore? When your grandchildren have no interest in the culture and heritage you bear?
I am no longer interested in the rhetoric of “they will not change.” If you say it to me, I will openly pray over your disbelief. I will remind you the God I believe in can change anyone, even the people who we believe God can’t change.
It is no longer okay for both young and old to just accept the status quo of how we treat each other. I can’t begin to tell you from both young and old how we have just expected patriarchs to act a certain way, that they are “too old to change.”
No one is too old to change. If you are too old to change, that means you have decided God has no interest in refining your heart anymore.
Are you too old to allow the power of God to convict and move into your heart? Are you not even open to the idea of hearing and listening to the heart of your family?
Are you even too prideful you will lose your own family and community to your own beliefs?
I have been praying for the patriarchs of my world to change. I am believing God can actually seep into their hearts and allow them to lead with authenticity, kindness, and an open heart.
Do you not believe in a God who is asking us to refine and chisel ourselves everyday? To renew ourselves in fire daily?
Do we dismiss the book of Timothy and pretend God has not given ownness to young people to stand up and expect more from the churches they are in?
In our churches we have chosen to allow our culture to seep into the counterculture nature of God’s Word. Jesus spent his time with women, young people, and he didn’t look to just the older people to make statements about culture and how He expected us to create heaven on earth.
It is time for us to expect more from our legacies. It’s time for young people to graciously and kindly walk with our legacies instead of dismissing them as not able to change.
It’s time for our legacies to start trusting their parenting, trusting their children, and allowing us to be a part of the conversation.
I believe if we don’t do this – we will see broken families, broken hearts, and more importantly a complete rejection of the identity we are.
I absolutely loving being who I am. I love my family, the heritage and culture it has created for me because it is deeply embedded into the person I am. Anyone who knows me knows I am the spitting image of my dad’s kind, passionate, and generous heart and my mom’s patient, caring, and loving spirit.
Yet, I can’t stay in the conversation if I am not allowed an equal seat at the table. In all my identities:
- As a child of God who God can speak to
- As a woman
- As a young person
I think it is time for our us to start being ourselves in our families, communities, and churches. I think God is asking us too.