Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sadness...

It started snowing here last night and snow continues, beautiful to look at from the dining room table but not so wonderful for driving.  Hubby and son are out and about in the classroom and marketplace as I pray for their safety.  Not to mention a son-in-law who commutes over an hour in New England.  Sigh...

I had great plans for today.  I was going to get caught up on laundry and make cinnamon rolls and sort through a couple boxes in the garage and clean the kitchen and read a few chapters in the Bible and read some of The Lord of the Rings and then read a chapter in Noel Piper's book after doing the breakfast-lunch dishes.  I really was.

But two loads of clothing are spread out on my queen size bed so they do not wrinkle before I get them to their permanent homes and the dishes are done.  Other than that... nada, nothing, just a lot of looking out into space and thinking... not even a good ponder.

Sad news arrived this morning as my sister called to tell me our eldest brother had passed away.  This is not headline news since he has been in ill health for years and I'm afraid my other sister's involvement in his last months (because she also lives in Florida) has become a huge source of disagreement between my (now) only two living siblings.  Family drama...

My lingering burden about my brother... I did not know his spiritual condition.  Sometimes you just don't know.  Sometimes it is better that way.  Regardless, the eldest is now gone.  We have not lived in the same state for most of my adult life but his presence was always there, the brother with children older than me... who sung me Elvis songs (he had, at one time, been a professional county and western singer) as a child and walked me down the aisle at my wedding.  The one I think of as I cover my food with freshly ground pepper as he taught me so long ago.

I didn't grow up with the others, their father having passed away when he and my mother were in their 30s.  I came along later, a yours-mine-and-ours from a second marriage.  Our history was not always the same but there was much affection and fun.  Then there came a day that changed it all... when I made a commitment to live a life for Christ... in a family who had for the most part clung to hymns and memories of mamaw but not the Person... a lot like Elvis whose songs he sung.

Their view of our Lord came through the lens of the legalism in which my mother had been raised and rejected.  She loved her mama and she loved her mama's music but she did not love her mama's God.  Thus were raised a hard drinking-hard living group of siblings.

Even as a few came to know the Truth and followed Him, it still was not the same.  As I believe my mother came to know Him, too... it was not the same.  A wall I didn't understand at the time was put up by the others after it became obvious my decision to Follow was not another teenage whim.  I felt their distance and was quite bewildered until I had lived enough years to understand... their fear, their lifestyles, their need to stay away from someone with the Light.

I am certain much of the sadness I feel today as my brother's physical body finally gave in to the years of illness has more to do with that loss so long ago rather than today.  There is a reason He tells us in the Book that we may give up mother and father and sister and brother and friends and others to follow Him.

It is not a popular message and rarely taught today.  It is easy to neglect the teaching for I live in a country where one may only have discomfort at family reunions and a rolling of the eyes when ordering coffee instead of Jack Daniels. But others face real hardships each day from their decision, their very lives are in danger.  There is no cheap grace among those who believe in such countries.

I am sure the burden and blues will lift as I meet a new day but just for today... as the eldest of eight is gone and three remain... memories of what was will prevail to be followed of what will be and a new list of that which needs accomplished.  Tomorrow.  The day after.  Soon...

30 comments:

Terra said...

Brenda, I can relate to what you are feeling, as I face some similar issues in my family. Take care of yourself, dear blog friend. That is sad to lose a brother, that is certain. Perhaps you will see him one day in Heaven.

Musical Maggie said...

I am sorry for your loss. I understand about the not knowing where he stood with the Lord. I'm not sure where my father stood before he died. I believe that my mother accepted the Lord just shortly before she died although I don't know because she was no longer able to communicate as I sat beside her.

We can only pray that they made the right decision for their salvation.

I am praying for you and your family.

Becky K. said...

Brenda,

I am so sorry for your pain.
Praying that the peace of God is strong in your life as you go through the grieving process.

Becky K.

Vee said...

There is an ache for the one who leaves us and we just don't know where he or she is going. Trusting in God is the only help for such times and I know that you do. My heartfelt sympathy to you on this loss.

freetobeme - Anita said...

I'm so sorry, Brenda. You wrote so beautifully and honest and heart felt. Thanks for sharing. You are in my prayers.

Joanne said...

Brenda, I am so sorry for your loss and for the pain and sadness you are going through. I just took a book out of the library entitled:
If God is Good by Randy Alcorn.
It is one I have read before and a favourite read on that topic.
May the Lord comfort you as you journey this difficult road.
Blessings and His peace,
Joanne

Debbie said...

Brenda, God bless and comfort you at this time. My prayers are with you and your family. What's even sadder is that Christian families experience similar situations, as did my family surrounding my dad's death. We're coming out of it, though, and with prayer, God can heal and save. Blessings to you.

jAne said...

(((((* gentle embrace *)))))

my heart goes out to you as this path is walked. i understand. too well perhaps.

jAne

Lisa said...

I am truly sorry for your loss, both back then and now.

Deb said...

I'm sorry for your sadness and loss, Brenda. No wonder not much was accomplished today, and that is fine. I just said a prayer for you and your family.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Dear Brenda, I am so sorry for your sadness and your loss. I think you will have to leave this loss in God's Hands and trust in his infinite mercy. But it is not surprising that you didn't accomplish all you hoped for today! Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to truly grieve. God bless you.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Brenda,

I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that somehow in the last days he had that he came to know the ONE who could save him...

Family dynamics can be very touchy. I am sorry that there is that grief on top of loosing your brother.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post...I am sorry for your loss and do know some of what you are feeling. I lost my brother 23 years ago and do not know what his spiritual condition was. One of those things I cannot "carry" so I give it over to the One who can.
Praying, Dee

Trudy said...

Brenda,

I am so sorry for your loss. May the Lord wrap his arms around you and give you comfort.

jackie said...

i am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. As i read your words, tears cam into my eyes as my family is, in many ways, similar to yours. i, too, was considered a rebel from a young teen and my turning my life over to the Lord was another indication of my rebellion ~ just another phase i was going through. They came to accept my "difference" but there was always an unapproachable wall. i hope that at some point in time, your brother embraced Jesus and you will meet him again in heaven, but in the meantime, His grace and comfort are there for you. i'll be praying.

Florrie said...

I have only found your blog recently, but I understand the sadness and loss you feel, before our mother passed I always believed we were a close family......but truths, jealous feelings and anger were vented, and like you I was completley shocked and bewildered by it all, being the eldest I tried to reconcile the family but in the end there was no way back without loosing my own sanity.......I had to walk away for the sake of my own husband and children.

It's sad to loose a family member, especially a sibling, whatever the circumstances.

My prayers are with you.

florrie x

Debra said...

Brenda, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your brother. I'm praying that God will comfort you and your family as only He can at times like these. Hugs, Debra

eyelandgirl said...

I'm holding you and your family up in prayer with a heavy heart this morning, Brenda.

Helen said...

I am sorry to hear your news, and of the sadness that you quite naturally feel. I pray that God will give you His peace at this sad time, and that he will hold you in his arms and carry you as you move forward. May you know His presence with you Brenda.

BusyBee said...

Great Big BeBe Hugs {{{Bren}}}

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I am praying for you. How hard it is right now, but I pray the Lord's grace will be both real and sufficient. I understand the pain of leaving all others to follow Him, and it truly increases our fellowship with Him, doesn't it? But the pain and loss are real, and for that I also pray.

Debbie in said...

Brenda, I am so sorry for your loss. May God give you the grace and peace to get through this. My husband and I both have many family members that don't know the Lord. I can so relate to this. May you feel God's love for you today in a special way. You're in my prayers.

Debbie in MI

Anonymous said...

Brenda,
I am so sorry for your loss. My prayer is that you will feel God's presence, love, and comfort today. I can relate as my husband and I have many family members that don't know the Lord. My children dread every Christmas Eve having to go to my husband's side. My prayer is that they will see Jesus in us and one day come to know him. It really does help us appreciate even more God's love for us and that we know him as Saviour. Praying for you.

Debbie in MI

Denise said...

I too understand how you feel about saying good by to our loved ones mostly by missing the past lives you used to have together.I'm sorry to hear you must go through this.May our Lord give you and your family a peace that passes all of your understanding.God bless,Denise

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

So very sorry for the range of emotions you are feeling. Trusting Christ through it all -- and only God knows our hearts, including the famous and just the everyday person. Thankful that His mercies are new every morning, thinking of you and your other siblings.

becka said...

Brenda, so sorry to learn about your brother. I pray the Lord will comfort you and give you peace as only He can. Many in our family do not know the Lord, so I can understand some of your feelings.

Anonymous said...

Brenda,

So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Praying for you and yours.

Lori

Lena said...

Please accept my condolences to you, Brenda, on the loss of your brother. It is indeed a time in which one's history relives itself, in one's mind, and if those memories aren't happy ones, it can be even more difficult.

I think, that religion is such a personal choice, and try hard not to judge, and my friends come from many different faiths, as well. I think I tend to look on religion, as philosopy, and I find wise words in many different faiths. I am one who thinks that God, doesn't judge us, but rather accepts the goodness in our hearts. We are all so very different, aren't we, yet very much alike, in so many ways.

I'm thinkin of you, and your family, and sending love, and peace to you all.

Heather L. said...

I am behind on blogs and so just read about your brother's death. I'm very sorry to hear that and will be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply sorry for your loss and moved to the core by your shared thoughts.
Prayers are being offered up on your behalf.
I know God has your heart in His healing hands.

In Christ,
Michelle