A Feeling of Family
By Brandi Higgins
I feel very appreciative of my heritage. I come from a very long line of matriarchs. My great-great grandmother was alive and played an active role in my own life until I was 18 years old. Not many people are fortunate enough to have that longevity in their families. My great grandmother (we called her Meme) watched me from the time I was just a baby until I was old enough to be on my own. I remember so many times going through a rough time and my grandma (we called her Maga) saying “We are from pioneer stock. We can do anything we set our minds to.” We are strong women. We were raised that way. All the women in my family were strong. We may not always be physically strong, and that’s ok (most of the women in my family are though, so they pick up the slack for those of us who aren’t) but they were and are strong willed, fiercely independent, opinionated, passionate, caring, and would stare fear in the face and not look away. My great-great grandmother and her husband had one of the largest farms in Genesee County at one time and I have heard more than once that living on a cattle farm was no picnic when it came to work...or was it? At that farm there was so much focus on family, love, and doing what was needed. Everyone always knew there was a place to call home. Anytime you needed anything you knew there was a place you could go and someone you could talk with.
The feelings that I get when I think about my family are the same feelings that rush back to me when I am here with my church family. A couple of weeks ago, there was a service where we were singing “Here I am, Lord.” I was in the chapel area and wanted to sing so I went into the sanctuary where my dearest friend was in the very back row. I went and stood next to her; she gave me the biggest hug I think I had ever gotten from her. We sang together and it wasn’t long and another woman from church came and stood on my left. Then two on my friend's right-hand side. In that moment I have never felt more a part of something before. We were truly a family singing and saying together, “Here we are, Lord.” Each one of those women standing with me were women I looked up to for one reason or another. Just as I said in my children’s moment on Sunday morning, each person in this congregation can be a mother, father, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, and family to each other, if we only look for those opportunities. The women in the back row are almost all in different stages of life, yet we all sang with one heart and one voice. It truly was an amazing feeling. I was there in that moment with my family. Five strong, independent, loving, caring, and compassionate women all serving the Lord together.
This church is full of so many strong, spiritual, and loving women. I am thankful to call all of you my family! I am thankful for the woman who have become a mother, sister, grandma, friend to me. I am thankful for the things I can learn from you, thankful for the things I can teach others, thankful for the ways we can rely on each other, the ways we can comfort each other, the ways we are strong for each other. So, to all of you women at Westminster, Happy Mother’s Day!