All good stories have a messy middle. Characters start off filled with hope but soon enough, tension arrives and it looks like everything is falling apart.
Think of your favorite movie or book. Without a few ‘sit on the edge of your seat’ moments and characters’ knuckle-biting decisions, you won’t have a compelling story. A story where everyone gets along and everything goes perfectly isn’t memorable. Tension paves the way for triumph. Pain sets the stage for provision.
Your family’s story is no different. It’s compelling because it’s messy. However, when tension enters the family dynamic, our tendency can be to pretend it doesn’t exist so we can paint a perfect picture to the world around us.
And yet, research indicates that children do best when they know their authentic family story. As they understand the struggles of their heritage and are reminded of places of triumph and tragedy—spoken from a place of authenticity—they gain a realistic foundation of hope and perseverance.
Take an objective look at what’s happening in your family’s difficulties. Then, recognizing God’s hand in the midst of these situations, make this messy middle a part of your story.
Below are 3 questions to get you started in crafting your family’s legacy story. Take time over a family dinner to ponder them and begin to write the story that will give your children and grandchildren the roots they need to thrive.
What hardships did you and your generation (or previous generations) face? How did you fail and how did you grow?
What victories have been gifts of grace to your family?
In a few words, what is the theme for your family?