Love has no bounds

Update on my missing daughter is she took a bus to LA in April. Great to get an update although an earlier departure than would be substantiated by other information from her apartment super who said he saw her car move in late May. Time passes so quickly that it’s hard to be accurate on these types of things. In any event, a good lead and full court press at work in the LA area. Actually, I’m glad she went there in April when COVID was spiking in the Northeast rather than in California. Perhaps by now she is in a support system. Please pray for her safety.

This whole experience has been mind blowing and spirit growing in so many ways. This week I have been so blessed to, in particular, have had amazing interactions with my daughters-in-law. Not only have they both been incredibly supportive to me with loving phone calls and chats, but the one who used to live in LA is working non-stop on the situation. She is tirelessly reaching out to her many LA contacts since she lived there for a number of years, thinking of strategies, and being there for me, motivated by her love for my missing daughter as well as her love for me.

As many of you know, we are a blended family. Although Sid’s and my children were all adults living away from home at the time of our marriage, it was still a difficult change. I especially recall one “child” worrying about no longer being a nuclear family with her original parents. At that time, now over 17 years ago, and as the subject came up, we would discuss that very few families remain nuclear since, God willing, children grow up, get married, have children. Families grow, and as they do, our nuclear family love circle expands. That’s the design. With that particular “child”, as she began to know me better and I her, I’m happy to report we have love for each other as mother and daughter in the deepest sense. So it is, too, love deepens with these precious daughters-in-law, and in some ways, with all those who have shared their love and concern with me during these difficult times.

Perhaps we are given the model of the nuclear family as the training ground to teach us how to love. Through our life experiences, and as our families and friendships grow, we learn how to grow our love muscles to be able to love others outside of that beginning family. For those like many of us from dysfunctional families, the road to knowing how to love others develops throughout our lives as our worlds expand to include love relationships with others. We are given multiple opportunities to expand our ability to love others.

During these days of trial, I have worked hard to control the amount of time I am immersed in the situation regarding my missing daughter. To do otherwise would be intolerable. In addition to taking care of myself by eating well, getting adequate rest, exercising, prayer jogs, and ukulele playing, I find that when I check in on others with love in my heart I feel the best. As I do so, I am growing my love capacity, perhaps even more meaningfully since during a time of intense personal adversity. Our life’s journeys are designed to make us better people, more in His image, to become able to love more. As we love others, our spirits find Him.

Expanding our capabilities to love new family members, and the precious people who become part of our life stories, grows love in the world, person by person. With that as a model to embrace, this world would become an amazing place.

I thank God for the precious opportunity to magnify my love world to include such beautiful people. Hope you are growing yours as well.

Shabbat shalom.

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