Monday, May 11, 2009

The Somewhat Neglected Blog

I really didn't intend to go so long without posting... And even now, I am only going to jot down a couple of things for which you might pray for:

  • I am having an MRI tomorrow at 1:00pm. This is the routine MRI of my head to ensure that the spots on my brain from TSC haven't grown (one in particular), and also to examine whether or not any others have developed. If all goes well, the specialist I go to visit in July will tell me that I don't have to have another one for two more years (as he did for my last MRI back in 2007). Of course my husband will be accompanying me, as he is always the calming factor when I have to have such tests performed~
  • Keep praying for my brother. I'm not fully comfortable posting all of the details here, but do keep praying for him. The Lord has provided some sweet, grace-saturated times for me to talk with my parents, and I hope those only continue in the days and months to come. My mom has found what looks to be the ideal place for my brother to go for extended treatment and care, so we are all cautiously hopeful that he will follow through. While he has to make the decision, I just keep reminding all of my family down there to keep encouraging him and reminding him of why this particular opportunity seems ideal at this point~

That is really all I have for now, but I will leave you with another quote I received in my daily email this morning:

“All change comes from deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ and living out of the changes that understanding creates in your heart. Faith in the gospel re-structures our motivations, our self-understanding, our identity, and our view of the world. Behavioral compliance to rules without heart-change will be superficial and fleeting.” ~Timothy Keller

Friday, May 01, 2009

A Call to Prayer

“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace, nor are your best days ever so good that you are beyond the need of it.” - Jerry Bridges
It's interesting sometimes how a series of events can change from one day to the next... As recent as yesterday afternoon, I was going to post with this picture and quote that have been on my mind since I spoke to my brother on Wednesday. I was going to tell you how there was a glimmer of hope in our conversation, how he was more honest with me about what he is really struggling with than he has perhaps ever been before, and that I'm torn as to whether or not I should be thrilled or frustrated about his being forced to attend AA meetings for the next eighteen months (my opinion of such programs as AA, especially for individuals like my brother, is for an entirely different post).
But the thoughts and feelings about that conversation won't be going into this particular post. Here I am doing two things - confessing some feelings I was having yesterday and asking you to pray (continue praying, for those of you who have walked with me for many years now). My husband and I were out to dinner when my mom called to let me know that my brother had been put in jail...again. I was honestly filled with so much anger and frustration upon receiving the news that I could have easily flown down to Texas and punched my brother in the nose. And if I am still being honest, this is not the first time I have been driven to such thoughts. The levels of anger I feel in different circumstances often remains below the surface and simply manifests itself in different ways, but what I was feeling last night was pure, unhidden anger. I was angry at how ridiculous these situations are in which he puts himself in, angry that my parents were having to call me yet again, angry that they are now feeling the weight of years passed wondering "what they did wrong," angry that my grandfather has let him stay this long - yes, folks, I was angry.
Such anger is honest, sure, but definitely unproductive. I told my husband last night that there is more good in my having moved away four years ago than I had previously realized. My adolescence is marked by carrying a weight on my shoulders that was unnecessary and not mine to carry. Moving almost 800 miles away helped in making me realize that about myself and removing that burden from myself and placing it in the hands of the One in whom I rest and trust. However, nights like last night rekindle that desire I was once carried daily to fly in and fix everything. Anger toward my brother is not going to solve anything, and it's not a godly response to the situation at hand. Punching him in the face to relieve frustration...well, that clearly would not help things along. My struggle resides in the weird place I find myself in, wondering how in the world I can be a consistent voice of the truth that so desperately needs to be heard, as well as a voice of encouragement to my parents, from so far away.
This is my call to prayer for any who may be reading. The days and months and years only become more exhausting in some ways, and my parents seriously struggle with wondering what is left for them to do. As confessed in this post, I have to deal with the immediate reactions of anger and frustration that consume me everytime I receive one more of these familiar phone calls. All of the above are honest, expected responses, but my prayer exceeds how we feel. My brother is in need of a Savior. Years have slipped by as he as continues on in slavery to his sin, and his depravity fuels all of his desires for independence. He is blind to what true freedom really is, and deaf to the truth that He is in desperate, life-saving need of a Redeemer. This is the truth that I must continue proclaiming, for I can do no other and there is nothing left to say. I have to continually preach the truth to myself, ridding my mind of ungodly thoughts and feelings, and remember that every day we have with him is a gift. May the Lord grant me unimaginable boldness, even from 800 miles away. Pray for salvation, that if in His will, the Lord would break through the darkness and shine the light of the Gospel in his heart. There is no other hope, no other freedom, than that.