I know I already did a long post this morning about my day yesterday and a few odds and ends. But then at 8:00 am, my brother came for a visit, and the mood changed.
David is my older brother by 2 1/2 years and we were always close. He let me tag along with him wherever he went and was my protector. I was "Toots" (pronounced like tootsie rolls) and his baby sister. I still am both of these things to him. Ten years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinsons and it has been rough for him. He was in a very reflective mood today and in the past three years since moving to Arizona, we have only seen eachother three times. There was a time over 30 years ago that he became very judgmental of me for my lack of relationship with my mother. He was very close with her, I was not for reasons stemming from my Dads actions. It got so painful and I could not be honest with him, that I just left the family so that my presence wouldn't upset him. I did it for the family as I was thought of as the black sheep. I had a secret to keep and it hurt to walk away. It was fourteen years later that my brother called me and wanted to talk. We met in a restaurant and spent the whole day talking about the past and what went wrong. It was a day of restoration for our relationship, one orchestrated by the Lord. It was like Easter, our relationship had been resurrected. It was a day of great joy to be accepted for who I was. I will never forget that day of forgiveness between us. As we talked today, his heart was so tender and he kept talking about that time when he let me walk away and continued blaming me for all those years. And his eyes kept tearing up and I felt so sorry for him still feeling guilty. Gosh, that was forgiven so long ago and I have never looked back except in gratitude. He talked about how the family said Corky and I would never make it when we got married at 19 years old and how his marriage and my younger brothers marriages were the ones that the family gave their blessing to. Fifteen years ago and within 5 months of eachother, their wives filed for divorce and their worlds fell apart. I was the one they came to and I did my best to help encourage them through. Tears fell down his face when he said that Corky and I were the ones that lasted and all for the right reasons. So many things were discussed today, his heart needed to relieve the pressure of the burden he was carrying. It was humbling for me to listen. I say all of this to remind myself that forgiveness is something that is for our benefit to let go of bitterness and resentment, not necessarily letting the offender off the hook. But today I realized that I needed to reassure my brother that when I forgave him, it was forgotten as far as the east is from the west. Then it hit me in my heart, this is what the Lord does for us, the same exact thing. He forgives our sins and never brings them up to our face to accuse us. We accuse ourselves. David still feels bad and it tears my heart up. I don't want him to carry a burden that is no longer there and I did my best to encourage him to let it go, it was no biggie to me. Long ago before forgiveness, I wanted him to feel bad as I had been made to feel bad. It was very immature of me back then and I get no pleasure in seeing him hurt now. I think when he left today, that he was more assured that all is really well with us. I know that this disease he has makes him feel very vulnerable and alone. I will be praying much harder for him from this day forward to feel the peace of the Lord. He loves the Lord with all his heart but today his human side was spilling over. We three are orphaned now, both parents gone for quite some time. I am okay with it but both brothers miss our mom deep in their hearts. I must remember to be tender to their feelings, while mine are on another page of life. I don't really expect anyone reading this to understand or get much out of it, I needed to journal it for myself to hear. Life is coming full circle once again for the three of us but I am so thankful my most painful time was in the beginning and not the end. Once again I am so thankful for the lessons I have learned through the storms. I am still learning to dance in the rain, but I am getting there day by day. This Easter, I am renewed in my thankfulness to the One who lived and died for me, and guides me through every storm. I am so thankful for His redemption and restoration. I don't want to think where I would be without Jesus. Not an option. Tonight I will go to sleep with extra tender prayers in my heart for my big brother, still one of my protectors. I love him dearly.
Love and Hugs, Laurie