My husbands family is your typical big family, and we all get together at least once a week for events big and small, or just to enjoy each other’s company. We share meals, cheer each other on, attend dance competitions and basketball games, birthdays and holidays.Or, if it’s been a few days, we just get together to be together. I always wanted a family that was together in everything, and that prayer was abundantly answered.
What’s was really different for me though, was the dynamics of their conversations. With 8 children in the family, conversations almost always turn into everyone shouting for their voices to be heard. What start off as a normal talking around the table, slowly turns into very loud exchanges and lots of interruptions as everyone fights for time. Add to this, that along the way, one conversation branches into 15 other ones and sometimes you forget and never get back to the beginning, and it can get very confusing.
When we were first dating, I would just sit back and try and keep up with the ping pong of voices and topics switching as often as speakers. I am from a big Italian family, and they were loud and had big personalities, but my role was the quiet listener. It’s what I’ve always been, so it was natural to resume the same demeanor.
But as time went on, I become apart of this family and I wanted them to know me for more than the quiet girl that listened. I wanted them to see me. To do that, I had to get good at speaking up, and talking above the rest of the chaos of voices.
Not the easiest for me. At first, I’d start a conversations, get interrupted and sling back in my seat, as the topics switched and shifted. I was timid to speak up, I didn’t want to be rude, and I didn’t know how to be heard.
As time went on though, I learned that to be heard, I had to fight for it. I’d talk louder and interrupt others to bring them back to my topic. I’d cut people off, break off topic, come back to the question someone asked 30 minutes ago, make jokes, and learned how to become apart of a beautiful family dynamic that I didn’t fully understand until I was apart of it.
From the outside, it may look like chaos; but, inside, it’s absolutely beautiful.
I think our relationships with God are just like this. At first, we are so unsure, assuming we need to reserve ourselves, be quiet and filtered to fit in. But, as we learn who our God is, by listening and observing, we slowly begin to feel at ease, breathing him in and learning how to speak and pray to Him. Then, the relationship is natural, not forced, but beautiful. We become part of it instead of a bystander. We let it blossom and turn, asking questions and waiting, not for the instant answer, but the one we get back to later on, when the time is right.
No matter what stage you’re in, God is there, listening and loving, waiting for you to step out of your comfort zone. He wants us at the table with him, laughing till tears spring in our eyes, speaking with ease and joy, and sharing all our moments big and small with Him.