“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Last week I shared a post that may have seemed a bit cryptic. Honestly, I recognized as such while the Spirit was moving me through it. I sensed what I wrote was more for me than anyone, but that someone out there would also receive from it. Today, I am led to expound upon the post “Walk Gracefully Through the Unexpected.” I mentioned in that piece how God answered a prayer, yet it wasn’t in a way that was either convenient or very comfortable.
The person God dropped at my doorstep was my sister; yes, the same sister I’ve written about in the past. I want to share how great is our God…she seems to be doing well in staying clean from drugs. The answered prayer was over her less than ideal and ungodly living situation. It really wasn’t good for her, not the environment or the arrangement. I’d been praying for the Lord to move in that situation; to remedy it so she was no longer there, but kept safe.
Well, sometimes we must be careful what we pray for!
The person she was living with kicked her out suddenly that week. She had nowhere to go. God must have led her back to Ohio, with two dogs and a cat in tow, along with what little she possesses stuffed into the bed of her big Dodge Ram. She put the feelers out on Facebook instead of contacting anyone directly, stating she was ‘Ohio bound’. Normally, I would respond asking her questions…this time I was led not to. Our mom was freaking out, worried something was wrong (my sister is on probation therefore leaving Kentucky isn’t simple). I let it go, deciding if she needed me, or to come to my apartment, she would reach out to me.
The next morning my sister finally contacted me and I discovered what had occurred. Although, not certain her coming to my already overloaded 1 bedroom apartment (because my mother is still staying here for the moment) was what God wanted, my initial response was she could come to hang out. After a bit of listening for God’s leading, I felt an invitation to stay was okay but only for the weekend at that point.
She arrived like the whirlwind that always seems to catapult her existence; after she rested a bit (she slept in her truck the previous night) we discussed her situation. One thing I must do is resist trying to save my sister. That is Jesus’s job. She must learn to take responsibility for her life, actions and self. She has a false sense of independence – this she doesn’t quite understand. One is not independent when others constantly put a roof over their head – for free. She has never lived on her own or even tried to make it on her own, at age 30. She claims her so called “street smarts” get her by. This isn’t likely God’s plan for my sister’s life. Nor does she seem to be seeking Him much right now, so may not be hearing divine direction very clearly.
There was one very important thing she expressed concern for upon her arrival: due to her situation she would no longer have access to the methadone clinic she was going to. Any addict attempting recovery knows it is nearly inevitable that they become really sick from withdrawal as they begin to detox. If this is the only reason God brought her to me, then I praise Him from the mountaintops. Another answered prayer: weaning herself off since methadone only keeps people addicted.
As she sat before me, holding back tears, I made her look me in the face, then told her she was going to be fine. I said it is time she trusts God because he wants her to lean on Him through this. She was already symptomatic by Saturday night but I don’t think she wanted us to realize it. She was leaving on Sunday evening to stay with another relative, also strong in their faith in God. She needed to be enveloped in His love and protection and they are aware. Before she left I sat her down, wrapped my arms around her and prayed for God’s healing and covering over her.
I didn’t hear another thing about detoxing the entire time she was in town. Praise Jesus for this. I am standing in the promise of deliverance for my sister.
To keep this story moving along…
My sister returned to my place a week later. I had prayed on what my heart was being led to propose to her and shared it with her to no response: My lease is coming up for renewal and I was willing to rent a house for us all if she wanted to stay in town (she is able to transfer her probation). The more I talked about it, the more excited about the idea she became. I continually prayed over this and asked for thy Lord’s will be done.
However, in the end, and after some issues with the dogs my sister allowed her anxiety to make a rash decision on her behalf: She was returning to Lexington, that night. She had no real plan but stated she could stay with a friend (repeating her 12 year long pattern because it is comfortable and all she knows).
I knew better than to try to stop her, however, was able to share some wisdom about life, my past experience with being homeless for a short period at the end of my residency in California; how I went kicking and puffing back to Florida after a year and a half in California due to a series of unfortunate events. How I too once had to face things I didn’t really want to face (mostly about myself) but it’s the only way to truly move forward in life. I explained she needed to make better choices because when trying to make life changes, one shouldn’t keep doing the same thing over and over, including her choice in companions. Not if she intends to make a better life for herself. She listened. She calmed down…but still packed her truck and left. As she said her goodbyes I was so happy to hear her state she wouldn’t be going to the methadone clinic any longer! I pray for God’s protection and am believing for complete deliverance in this area!
My sister would have happily left without even saying goodbye to us, thus why I believe God diverted my plans to volunteer at a gala that evening by allowing a sudden onset of stomach ickiness to keep me home. He knew she was going to run; I anticipated she might. Her decision and quick action hurt our hearts.
I am always the one who has to explain my sister, to our mom. You see, at age 9 she was taken from our mother and abused greatly by a step parent and her father, plus they planted horrible lies about our mom in her head. They also pushed prescription drugs for depression on her as a teen (the beginning of my sisters addiction). So for the past two years, she and mom have worked on a mother/daughter relationship. My sister does try; however, and sadly, the lies of the enemy keep winning. The situation is much like my father now wanting a relationship with me…it is difficult and uncomfortable, albeit Mom never truly disappeared from my sister’s life. Mom always tried to contact my sister although to not much progress because she lived 1,100 miles away…
What is the difference in the life of someone like my sister, you may wonder? Jesus. My sister’s heart is still very hard and she is absolutely terrified of getting hurt or trusting her biological family, therefore letting herself be part of a real family and receiving love from us, is sometimes too much for her broken heart and spirit. (She is also overcome by a Jezebel spirit that I very subtly try to shed light on.) As a family all we can do is love her from the “safe” distance she puts between us. Oh yes, she makes up other reasons such as how different we all are from one another, but I felt her excitement as we sat and searched for houses. She already began applying for jobs here so she could contribute and take care of herself.
The devil is a liar. Period!
I pray fervent prayers that one day, my sister will finally see God’s truth and allow His will, before her own very strong will, in her life. Most of all I pray one day, Jesus helps her open up to all the glorious healing that He has for her, if she is willing to accept it because “…he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Amen!