Family is of utmost importance in my life and defines every part of who I am. They are the people who help identify, build, and strengthen the qualities that God calls a woman of character to portray; as well as, continuously guiding and supporting me through the trials this life brings. These are people whom I'm related to, people who make home the place I constantly miss, and people who make a twelve hour drive to the middle of Iowa more than worthwhile. Too often people associate the word family with a group of people who share common ancestry; while this is more than true, I refuse to accept the constraints this definition places on such a significant aspect of a person’s life. Family is not a geographical location or a certain, designated group of people; I would argue that family is what creates a sense of well-being and is capable of overwhelming a person with a variety of emotions. Family is what makes a person frustrated, annoyed, and angry; but while all these may occur, each is eventually forgotten due to a relationship built on unconditional love and commitment that can never be severed.
This week as I anxiously anticipate my parents and little sister coming out to visit; I reflect upon the thought of life without family and this idea makes me cringe. God created family so that a person would have somebody to turn to in times of disappointment and hardship; as well as, in times of celebration and happiness.
This is why I am beyond thankful for my biological family who constantly supports me with whatever comes my way. I’m thankful for my parents who have taught me the importance of having a relationship with Christ; as well as, giving me an example of what to strive for in my daily interactions with others. I am thankful for my wonderful sisters who are capable of putting a smile on my face no matter how bad life may seem and in turn, are willing to lend a shoulder when I need a good cry.
To my Dordt family, thank you for welcoming me into your community. The support from faculty, coaches, and fellow students over the past couple of years has been incredible and I would not trade it for anything. To my basketball team, who has been my family since the first day of practice-- We have put months of sweat, tears, and energy into a sport that to some may seem meaningless; but it has brought us together in more ways than one could imagine. You guys are my sisters and I’m so proud of how we have transformed into players of determination, integrity, immense strength, and a faith that is unbreakable.
Finally, my dear roommates and lifelong friends, you have been there for me in so many ways and I have no idea what I would do without you. Late night talks, roomie dinners, spur of the moment excursions, tears of stress, and so much more have brought us together throughout our time at Dordt. You have been my backbone over these past three years and I would not have it any other way.
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”
God has blessed me immensely. I hope by sharing these few tokens of thanks, others might become appreciative of those who are there in the darkest of times; holding you up until the sun comes again. Family is not just biological or based on relation; it is far more than that. Family is a glimpse of pure happiness and is a gift from God to insure that his children are constantly shown physical love and support. Hold on tight to and never let go of the anchor that keeps you steady in times of rough waters. Ohana.♥