Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Day Of Heart Reflections To Journal

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


Cathy said...

God Bless your relationship ship with your brothers. You are a gift God gave to each other. Things in life don't always go right, but you help relieve his heavy heart today and you know he feels much better. Forgiveness, Wow what an amazing thing that sometimes is so hard to do. But what a blessing we receive when we do what God wants, to forgive.

Ter said...

Thanks for sharing. I, too, am the black sheep of my family, and I'm okay with that most of the time. I don't like fighting about the fact that I don't really care to communicate with certain people at this point in my life. I felt (and still feel) that I gave it my all for too long and now it's time for those people to meet me half way. I have stopped trying, which is why they have noticed, but what they haven't noticed is that they never did try. and unfortunately, the few that have tried haven't gotten very far because they are being metaphorically constrained by the family members whom I have broken free from. I say this not because I feel that anyone is stopping anyone on purpose but just emotionally and perhaps genetically they feel they have to stay attached, and that's fine, in fact I did for a long time too, but after I lost my daughter, I came to the realization that some of these people are never going to change and they are never going to meet me half way and for some of these people my daughter will never exist in their eyes/mind, and that was it for me. Anyway, sorry for my ramble. Again thanks for your post.

Dawn said...

The Lord has done such a beautiful work in you, and I am so happy to have met you and have you praying for me. You have been a gift to me.

I am so thankful you had this good day with your brother. I have 3 brothers, but I am the oldest. I will be with 2 of them soon when we have our mom's 80th birthday. The other one is in England and his wife will be here. We all have the love of the Lord in common, but sometimes family dynamics can be challenging even then. I am looking forward to some sibling time together at my sister's house across town while Mom visits with her only sister, who is coming all the way from Minnesota.

You have a wonderful day! Yesterday was what spring is supposed to be. We'll see about today - it's scheduled to snow for Easter Sunday - I hope they're wrong!

Linds said...

I am so glad you had this time with your brother, and were able to show him true love and forgiveness. The past is over and done, and we can't go back and change things, just learn from the bad parts, and move on, with our eyes on the Lord.

You and Corky have based your lives together since you were 19 on a firm foundation of love and I am so thrilled that you brother acknowledges this and is happy for you both. This has truly been a blessing, this visit.

We all love you for these same reasons - compassion and honesty and love. Don't change, my friend!

boltefamily said...

Thinking of you and sending love your way sweet Laurie! I love you! thank you for sharing yourself!

pam said...

I can hear the love you have for your brothers. How blessed they are to have you as their sister. Family is so important.

Susie (So Blessed) said...

This is such a sweet, tender post...you are a true reflection of God's love, Laurie. I am so thankful that you and your brother had this cleansing time together and that you will be there to support him in the days to come. What a blessing...I will be praying for you, both.


Judy said...

Well written! Thanks for sharing your heart with us!