You remember the television series from the '70s. . .seven children, two loving parents, two supportive grandparents, all living together in the same house. There were lots of smiles, lots of laughter, lots of homespun lessons as well as homespun clothes. Even when children were unruly or disobedient, they were always loved and accepted. Mainly there was always someone to be with, play with, love. Image from Wikipedia
I did not grow up with the Waltons.
My sister was thirteen when I was born, my brothers ten and four. By the time I was seven, my sister had married and moved over a thousand miles away. It was the saddest event of my childhood.
My brothers, although willing to play the occasional game of kickball with me, had no time for a "baby sister". (The name one brother still calls me to this day.)
There were no children my age in my neighborhood. The closest was a boy who was about three years younger than I was. Occasionally we would sit on our bikes and chat, but there was no one to actually play with. Lets face it, most boys just don't know how to play with dolls.
School didn't offer me much opportunity for friendship either. Shy, fat and not pretty (I have photos to prove this point) I wasn't very popular and didn't make friends easily or well. It wasn't until I was in the eighth grade I had the pleasure of having a "best friend".
My best friend was with me the night I became a Christian. That year was the beginning of the end of our friendship because she attended another school. My thoughts and desires changed since my heart had been changed so we didn't quite think along the same lines anymore, either. While I found myself devoid again of earthly friends, there now resided in my spirit that Friend that is "closer than a brother". A Friend that would never leave me, never forsake me, never disappoint me in anyway.
And what a miracle, with that Friend came a whole family of friends. . .of brothers and sisters who were bound to me with a bond that can never be broken. A bond that is forged in the sacrifice of the cross. A bond that is tied in the Savior's love.
Now I have friends closer than I could have ever imagined. I have "friends" more innumerable than the stars in the sky. I am a member of a family. . .a family of friends that is bigger, sweeter, more loving than the Waltons could have ever dreamed of being. Our Father has more wisdom than John Walton could have ever mustered. Our Elder Brother has more tenderness than John Boy's weepy eyes could have ever managed to convey. Our Spirit has more sure guidance than Grandma could ever give even with her prodding broom.
What I have wished for has come upon me, abundantly beyond what I could ask or think.
"Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."