Then he said, “I beg of you, my Lord Jesus, show me grace and take me with you into your everlasting kingdom!”
Jesus responded, “I promise you—this very day you will enter paradise with me.”
Luke 23:42-43 TPT
Today my only biological sibling, my little sister, Sis', should've been 51...I was going to say, would've, but honestly today I feel like she should've been 51. Not that I don't trust God's plans, I just miss my sister...and though she took her life during the heat of a battle with this life, I know that God is sovereign over all things...and that night, that dark spring night back in 2002, she had no armor to put on...she had no weapons to fight with...she had no more strength to take on another day of war against herself. Many times I have thought to myself, "oh I wish I would've been there...I wish I would've known...I wish I would've stopped having expectations of her that she couldn't live up to... I wish I would've been a better big sister."
Instead of drowning in the cruel distractions of questions that can't and won't be answered until I join her in Heaven, God called this day my "Out of Order" day...His plans are only to give me hope and a future, so today He whispered, "hang an out of order sign on your bedroom door and take a walk down memory lane with Me." So, what does a "Daddy's girl" do when He asks her to spend the day with Him??? Right I argued with Him...you thought I was going to say, she listens to God and hangs the sign, didn't you? Well, no actually I started with every excuse that comes to a mom, Nona and wife. "Lord I can't do that my kitchen is a wreck," "I can't do that I need to go grocery shopping," or "I can't do that I need to work out." Finally, when all my arguments were met with Him reminding me "it's ok to take a rest day, trust me, all those things will still be there when tomorrow comes." Then He shared this sweet nugget with me from Mark 6:31b
So Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while.”
You guessed it, here I am...enjoying a "Sabbath" of sorts. While I was relaxing in His word this morning, during my morning gift of just lingering with Him and His promises, He took me to Job 11:13, "“If you would prepare your heart,
And stretch out your hands toward Him;" This is the NKJV...but as I was writing this He took me to the MSG translation of Job 11:13-20...
"Reach Out to God"
13-20 “Still, if you set your heart on God
and reach out to him,
If you scrub your hands of sin
and refuse to entertain evil in your home,
You’ll be able to face the world unashamed
and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless.
You’ll forget your troubles;
they’ll be like old, faded photographs.
Your world will be washed in sunshine,
every shadow dispersed by dayspring.
Full of hope, you’ll relax, confident again;
you’ll look around, sit back, and take it easy.
Expansive, without a care in the world,
you’ll be hunted out by many for your blessing.
But the wicked will see none of this.
They’re headed down a dead-end road
with nothing to look forward to—nothing.”
I get now why God asks us to go deeper with Him...He isn't trying to drown us in rules, NO quite the contrary, He's giving us His grace, He is giving us direction that will bless us...and others. While my usual reaction to this date is one of sadness and should haves, could haves and would haves, He is asking me to "come away with Him..." To let Him make the plans and me just put one foot in front of the other.
Today instead of drowning in a pool of tears, don't get me wrong I have cried several and I have sobbed into my Saviors arms, I am choosing to walk in His memories of 2 sisters He grew together. So here goes I am letting Him guide me with this new journey, without Him...well without Him I couldn't do this.
God reminded me this morning that He placed us side by side for a reason. I remember being by my Sissy's side for many of her huge moments. She was the exact opposite of me and for a good portion of our childhood that was very evident. We may have battled to the death of a couple of our stuffed animals, and I bribed her not to tell on me many times with things she didn't have that I did, like a radio, or tv or clothes...but let someone say a word against either of us, or one of us feel the crushing pain of being hurt and we forgot every thing we ever did to each other. My little sister was my battle comrade and I was hers. She was quiet and didn't speak up for herself, even when she had a right to...according to the worlds views. We weren't raised with the knowledge about God, we weren't raised in a family where we started our days in God's word, or even to say grace before each meal. Not that we were raised in satan's house, our parents just had not learned about how to live with and for God, so they didn't raise us with this important piece of wisdom.
But all these years later, after God has gotten a hold of me and I realize that though she didn't know why, she had no desire to have a battle of words with others, instead she would walk away...silently. Though she had no idea she was living according to what Jesus said, she was. Though God has and is teaching me about how regrets can shape and corrupt my life, for most of my life I have lived in a state of regret mostly because of my inability to walk away silently. I am learning though, in fact it is actually becoming my reaction when someone hurts me, and I start to lash out in anger. I don't know if it's because my sister was the youngest, and she always had a big sister by her side growing up, but I do know that God created her to know how to respond. In fact my mom will tell you that I always had an answer for everything, she would say, "why can't you be like your sister, she knows when to be quiet and let it go?" When I was younger, and before I met Jesus, I would shout back at her...I would need the last word.
But these last few years, God is showing me the peace in just silently walking away, while I ask Him to shower them with blessings. In Proverbs 11:12, Mean-spirited slander is heartless;
quiet discretion accompanies good sense...I am reminded that always having to have the last word, well that is only going to end up hurting someone and in the long run it ends up hurting me. Jesus used God's truth when He was tempted by satan in the desert, He didn't use hurtful, angry, or bitterness to try to battle the liar of this world. So the farther I get in my walk with Jesus, the more He is arming me for the attacks the enemy and his minions wage against me. I am learning that I don't have to have the last word to the person, but I can take my desire to have the last word to God and lift their name up with a genuine request that He bless them.
My little sister lived this way for pretty much all of her life, she was a little more bold about speaking her mind as she got older, but it was really just her being honest. She grew to be very blunt, her filter was still there, but her big sister wasn't. I can think about the hours we would spend playing barbies, riding our bikes, or skating around and around our driveway...I also have a memory of trying to protect her from the darkness of a babysitter who would linger in the hallway, or offer to play hide n' seek with us...I was there the night she found the only man she ever loved in their marital bed with another woman and her child...I had to tear her off him as she ripped her fingernails off in his chest while he protected the other woman...I remember many nights of her protecting her big sister in bars as I drank myself into a crazy stupor and then danced on the edge of safety. She battled against the devil as I fought suicidal attacks and she refused to let me give into them, even slapping me across my face when I screamed one night in hers about letting me die!! I was at her weddings, both of them. I was at the birth of a child she placed for adoption and also her youngest child while she sucked on one toostie roll pop after another because she was craving a cigarette so bad. She was there during the birth of my daughter and also was the only one there when I carried and gave birth to the boy God asked me to be a birth mom to...in fact she's the only one, besides me, that met him and held him...she carried him to the nursery.
God had us side by side for most of 34 years...and for the last 16 years and 5 months I have not had her by my side. The woman who would physically fight a man in my defense...she took a 10 mm handgun, loaded it with a hollowpoint bullet, grabbed her Bible and a pen...wrote, "please forgive me God, I can't take the pain anymore," sat down at her kitchen table and put the gun to her chin and pulled the trigger...with that single act I lost my built in best friend, confidant, protector, and more than that...my only sibling...my little sister. No one could've ever convinced me that my little sister would take her own life, she was not a suicidal person...she was way to tough for that. But the wars raged and she couldn't fight them alone anymore...she didn't really know God, only that He could save her...in Heaven.
For a long time after that I felt like I had to make excuses for her taking her life, I would say she shot herself, but I know she is in Heaven because...and at one of the retreats I went to with MYRRH Minstries a friend reminded me that my sister is free, I don't have to protect her anymore...that she didn't leave this world to get away from anyone but herself, her broken mind.
I started this post out with Luke 23:42-43 in The Passion Translation...these Scriptures were the perfect reminder for this big sister on a day that I should be celebrating the birth of my little sister who took her life...regardless of how far we are away from God, it only takes one breath, one whisper of His Name, to bring Him back to us.
I miss you, I am sorry you felt so alone... I will be by your side again, when God calls me home. Thank you Sis' for making your last breath, Jesus' Name...Happy Birthday to you, my Sissy.
your big sister