I’ve been thinking a lot about hand-me downs lately.
I know. Large family. Hand-me-downs. Seems to go hand in hand, right?
But that’s not the hand-me-downs I mean. I’m thinking of what we’ve been handed from the generation before us, and the legacy we will hand to our children.
I readily admit I am a fighter. I grew up in a legalistic home with understood wrongs and rights, but no Biblical application to those rules. I lost my father before I ever got to know him and never emotionally attached to my mom. I suffered sexual abuse as a young teen and never received any counseling or help to process the emotions and baggage that came with. By the time I entered high school the walls of my heart were firmly in place, vowing I would always be strong enough to take care of myself because I felt I was the only one I could depend on.
But God in His grace had a plan. He kept me from many bad habits and addictions I could have turned to to numb the pain. He swooped in with a man I wasn’t looking for to show me what unconditional love could look like. He plunged us into full time ministry, making sure we would always be surrounded with the Godly mentors and examples we needed to grow up along the way.
But I’ve continued to fight the “fighter” within.
There are times it comes in handy. I fight for good mental health when everything in me wants to give up. I fight to work on relationships with my kids even when it’s incredibly hard. I live with chronic pain and I fight to do as much as I can every day. I fight to keep my marriage healthy.
I think everyone has a “fighter” within themselves. Sometimes we just have to be told that we’re allowed to fight for certain things.
Didn’t grow up going to church? Fight to find a body of believers and commit to them.
Didn’t have parents? Fight to learn how to parent in a Godly way.
Didn’t have close friends? Fight to learn how to develop close relationships.
Never witnessed a healthy marriage? Fight to understand your spouse and grow together.
No one in your home cared about health or fitness? Fight to learn good eating habits and exercise.
Grew up watching addiction destroy your family? Fight to break the cycle.
What hand-me-downs are you leaving your children and how will you fight for a better legacy for God’s glory?