I had an epiphany the other night when I was preparing for my Bible study class. We are studying a book called "I Didn't Sign Up for This Life... But I'm Finding Hope and Healing Along the Way." It's all about how no one signed up for the life we have. We aren't given a choice in what kind of families we have, what the major traumatic events of our lives are, etc. But we ARE given a choice on how to react to those changes, and what kind of relationship we want to have with God.
I have a tendency to be a bit negative (no...really? I never would have noticed!) It hit me really hard when I was reading a chapter on perception. The author was discussing families who lost loved ones, and how they react. The author's sister is a nurse in a pediatric oncology unit. She wrote "Instead of blaming God for taking your loved one away, you should be thankful for whatever time He gave you together" or something resembling that. And I realized that I've been concentrating on what I didn't have (my mom or my sister), when I should have been thankful for the years we had together, and the lessons they taught me.
This thinking lead to other things - instead of grousing about Jamie's medical and behavioral issues, I should be thankful that I still have him with me, and that he is relatively healthy and able to function like most other children. There are many parents whose children are in hospitals, or wheelchairs, or who have died. I'm lucky that I have Jamie with me every day!
So far as family goes, I grouse about a certain family member all the time, but how much harder would life be without the bit of support and love I get from this person? And God has blessed me with what I like to think of as a family of the heart, even if they aren't related to me by genes. So, even if I feel very scared and alone much of the time, I'm not really, because God is there, and my "heart" family is only a phone call away.