When Steph and I got married we were both aware that the other was interested in having a family. When the time was right we would have two or three kids; settle down and live the typical Australian life. However, about five years in, we discovered that we could not physically have a family of our own.
There was a period of grieving, but what we discovered after the initial mourning process was that the passion and desire for us to have and be family had not left; in some ways it had grown stronger. That was when we started a process of journeying with God to discover what it means to be a mother or a father in His Kingdom, and how it is different from what we typically understand these roles to be.
The key for us has been to keep our eyes on the Promise Giver rather than the promise itself. Earlier this year I was challenged by a friend to recall what God had promised us. When we took the question to the Lord, we were reminded of His promise: We would experience the joy of family and having new things birthed out of family—not that we would have a child ourselves. We both acknowledge that we follow a God of miracles but that was not our promise. When we take our eyes off of the Giver, the promise changes really quickly into the desire of our own hearts to have a child someday, and when that does not happen, feelings of bitterness and resentment start to grow. So instead we continue to fix our eyes on the Promise Giver; He gave the promise and He will see it into reality.
So physically what does that mean for us? How do we walk out kingdom family? For us it is rooted in relationship. We desire to have space to invite people into and make them feel welcomed and loved. Many of our friends live thousands of kilometres from their families and we desire to stand in the gap for them and be family when they need it; a comforting hug, listening ear, or a word of wisdom if that is what they are seeking. As we grow together, we will learn more about each other and our experiences of family, which in turn, will provide a more complete picture of what kingdom family might look like and then give us the opportunity to align ourselves more closely with God.
God is reconciling all things to himself, which means Steph and I are part of that process. Not only are our physical bodies being reconciled but also our thoughts and ideas that we use to shape the world around us. Our current thoughts and ideas are not yet the same as God’s, but as our minds are renewed and refreshed, they get closer and closer to the thoughts and ideas that God has. As we allow Him to shape and mould us, our ideas of family will become more closely aligned with His.