What Happens When Strangers Become Family?

I have just spent an amazing four days with some pretty cool people.  We attended a miniature family camp with our church where we played games, built birdhouses, sang songs, and much, much more.  Spending this time with my church family reminds me how important they were – and still are – to me.

I never knew what having a church family meant until I had breast cancer.  The support they provided was wonderful.  The cards sent my way when I needed it the most gave me many warm-fuzzies.  I couldn’t have asked for all the words of encouragement that were given, the tender hugs at a church service or the many prayers; they were more than I could have asked for.

Having the opportunity to spend this time with those that were there for me during the “dark times” gave me some inspiration.


The Power of Family –  When we look at family, we typically see just our small family unit.  However, family can be whoever you choose it to be; family is not always blood.  I watched my daughter interacting with her friends – each one a best friend in her world.  To her, those best friends are the sisters she doesn’t have.  They are the family members that will grow up right beside her.

Our Village –  It takes a village to raise a child right?  To see that they are well taken care of and that they grow spiritually and emotionally.  Having a village, no matter how big or small, is equally important to family.  These are the people that will be there for you during the hard times.  They will be the ones to lend a helping hand no questions asked.  Those villages full of family and friends help make the world go round.

Togetherness –  Yes, we spent time with our church family, but most importantly, we spent time together with the family we see first thing in the morning – full of morning breath – and the last at night with a goodnight kiss.  The time spent working together to create a finished product helped strengthen our bond.  Cancer has brought us closer as a family, but having that time together had the ability to bring us even closer.

The Future –  As a cancer survivor, at times I wonder about the future.  Will I be here to see my daughter graduate, walk down the aisle, or have her first child?  I don’t know the answer to that question, and life isn’t full of guarantees anyway.  But, I can surely tell you that if I’m not, that village family will certainly be there to fill my shoes.

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