I was having a conversation with my 15-year-old son Joseph during one of our afternoon school pick-up commutes. He began 9th grade this school-term and has been having a few thoughts about his interests and potential future career. During his middle school years, he was a part of the band and played the alto saxophone. My husband, who comes from a musical family and was a drummer, organist, and part of marching band in high school, was ecstatic that his son had taken interest in an instrument. He was so excited about Joey going to high school and joining the band, following in his footsteps. I can’t say that I shared in his delight, though.
I know my son, and I knew he didn’t have a real interest in playing an instrument or being in the band. Throughout his three years of middle school, I can count on one hand the times Joey brought his saxophone home. Whenever he did, it usually just remained in the trunk of the car until it was time to take it back to school for the next use. He never practiced outside of class, never made mention of it, and barely enjoyed performing for band concerts. To him, it was all just for a grade. Joey is amazingly gifted as a singer, songwriter, and arranging melodies; as a musician, though he has the ability, he lacks the passion. So, I would often say to Jeremy, “You know Joey’s not really into that sax, right?” He would respond with, “It’s in his blood. His granddaddy, daddy, and uncles all played instruments; he’ll learn to love it just like we did.”
In true LaKeisha fashion of not being one to crush another’s dream, I would simply say, “Alright, babe. But you do know that just because y’all did it, doesn’t mean that he will.” He wasn’t hearing me though. That man had hope, hear me?!
What a sad day it was in the Collins household when, right before band camp was to begin, Joey finally revealed what I had known all along – he was not in the least bit interested in playing an instrument or being in the band. My poor husband was crushed! I tried to tell him so he could prepare his heart and mind for the inevitable, but he was so sure that because his family history produced a lineage of musicians and band members, it would automatically be our son’s destiny.
We often hear the term, “History repeats itself,” but I am one to believe that is not always true, particularly when it comes to determining one’s path according to their bloodline.
This may sound harsh, but I come from a family history that I prayed I would not repeat. I grew up seeing male relatives physically abuse women, drug activity, unsuccessful marriages, poverty, complacency, and division. To think that any of those things were assumed automatic for me because of family lineage is frightening. I did not want to follow in any of those footsteps. I love my family, but I did not want to repeat any of their behaviors, interests, or lifestyles. Truthfully, though, I believed it was inescapable for me, simply because environment effects evolution, and sometimes it is hard not to become what you come from.
Oh, but God!
Naturally, we are identified by our family name, who our parents are, or whatever our lineage is known for. As daughters of The Most High, however, our identity and our destiny lies in the history of Abba Father.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we find this assurance: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” When you accept Jesus as your Savior, God adopts you into His family, and you then become a product of who He is. Regardless of what your family history is in the natural, your future is determined by your Father in the spirit. When you take on the nature of Christ, it obliterates your natural identity, and you are not on automatic pilot to follow in the footsteps of your family’s lineage, but in the steps of the path that God has determined for you. You have freedom to become who He says and not what they did.
God alone knows the plans He has for you, and His plan is not at all determined by who you come from. Who your mother is, what your father did, or whatever is normal for your bloodline, is not who or what you will become. It doesn’t even matter if you see yourself repeating the downside of your family’s history right now, God can redirect your steps. You are not bound to where those before you have been, but you are free to walk your own path to destiny.
You are every bit of who God says you are.
You shall do what God has predestined you to do.
Generational curses stop with you.
You will not carry on a history of shame.
You are not the mistakes of your lineage.
History does not dictate destiny.