“For the LORD God is a sun and a shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; He withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity.” (Psalm 84:11)
The sun struggled, this Shabbat morning, to rise above a heavy layer of clouds. While standing outside I gazed eastward and witnessed a brilliant burst of light in the distance. What a miracle it is, the sun; one which only The Creator of all things can guarantee we receive. Yesterday I was reminded of miracles which occurred over this past year, in my and my family’s life. Yes, friends, miracles do still happen, even and maybe especially in the midst of the word’s trials. Of course they do, because this is when we need to see The Father’s glory most as a reminder of who is on the throne.
It has been some time since I last wrote about my sister, (“M”) with reason: my heart was broken and I simply couldn’t do anything other than pray and believe. In short, she had gotten heavily involved with heroin and meth; after being shown grace by many in the justice system over the course of a year or so, “M” was finally incarcerated without bail. There she stayed for a little over 2 years. After being released into transitional housing, our mother and I had the opportunity to visit, bestowing love upon her. However, soon after she got angry over a misunderstanding and ceased communication. After staying by her side through it all, this was incredibly disappointing. Heartbreaking. Yet, as I came to understand, necessary for our little family. This occurred in October of 2019.
Over the next year there was no communication at all. My heart was torn apart but I knew I had to put my faith in the One who holds “M’s” life in the palm of His hand. While my sister does not walk in faith, He lives within her. She knows He is there but has a hardened heart toward her Heavenly Father. Shortly after she went to prison, her earthly father passed away…this was a relationship that had been restored, shortly before her incarceration, after many years apart. Even he, the hardened man he was, knew The Father deep within (his dad was a pastor) and towards the end of life gave his life back to Yeshua/Jesus and repented. I hoped this would affect and positive provoke change in “M.”
Our mother finally heard from “M” around Thanksgiving of 2020. She was in the hospital at that time (an issue with her swelling of the knee). I didn’t ask to reach out to “M” immediately, instead praying and asking the Father to work in her heart toward restoration. It wasn’t until several weeks later I asked our mother to get permission to communicate, which “M” agreed to. I did so slowly and with restraint, for us both. The gap had to be bridged with care since so much trust had been torn down. It took months. Finally, after a “come to Jesus” conversation around our respective birthdays (2 days apart) about the past, could “M” allow us to move into the present and open paths for the future. I am so grateful The Father gave me courage and discernment to remain calm and steadfast. My sister is 12 years my junior and we had more of a mother/daughter relationship when she was young so our bond was strong, thus why it was hard to restore it once broken. Why? She simply didn’t understand that I was standing up to the enemy of this world on her behalf while she was in the miry clay and unable to get out. It’s hard to see it when you’re in bed with him.
Restoration of Family
Over the course of 7 months, we’ve spent bits of solid time together. Through a rebuilding of trust, “M” discovered is that she was “wrong” about me, who I am. The enemy had jaded her perspective of me through drugs, jail-time and some people in her life who tried to keep her from the family who loved her. Apparently she also came to understand that I am wise and posses trustworthy (and tried) advice that has helped her in the past 7 months and, I pray, into the future. The enemy convinced her that I was “toxic”, our Heavenly Father has since reversed those lies and revealed the truth: I represent real love.
I cannot state enough how incredibly proud I am of my little sister. Since leaving prison, she has stayed completely clean, even from prescription medications which was her initial gateway drug (being put on anti-depressants at 15-years-old when what she really needed was proper love instead of constant abuse from her father and step-mother, snowballed into an avalanche) and continues to work diligently on healing emotionally and mentally. Today, she is stronger and more cognizant than ever; as she puts it “I am not afraid to own my crazy instead of burying/hiding it.” “M” has discovered joy and purpose. She even just tossed a really unhealthy relationship to the curb. Best of all, she is moving closer in proximity to me soon! “M” has even developed a closer relationship with our mother, which she lacked in the past yet desperately needed.
Restoration of our family is the biggest answered prayer, miracle, He has performed for me. It is better than any physical or emotional healings that I’ve received. She, I, and our mother have all grown in many ways through this long season we’ve walked through.
Recognizing our prayer warriors
“But to you who fear my name, the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its (His) wings;
and you will break out leaping, like calves released from the stall.
You will trample the wicked, they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action,” (Malachi 3:20-21 CJB – emphasis mine)
Friends, I want to recognize something:
I did not pray her into this space alone…and I want to thank everyone, known and unknown, who stood in the gap with me, praying for her/us in times when I had no voice left. I know in my heart that your prayers reached His ears and moved very stubborn mountains. Thank you from the deepest depths of my being – I am forever grateful and humbled! The restoration of her life, our relationship, is priceless and I believe one day she will allow her heart to soften to Him and allow that relationship to be restored as well.
I pray this ray of Light breaking through this cloudy world we face brings you not only HOPE but elevates your FAITH.
Trust, brothers and sisters: The God of the Universe is very much on the throne!