Tuesday, January 17, 2012

He Who Promised is Faithful

For those of you reading this, I must preface it by saying that it will make more sense if  you've read my previous post, "For My Brother...", which you can read here. 

I was caught off guard at the incredible response to the post that I wrote for my brother.  The only people that I shared that letter with is a group of women who share at least two things with me:  homeschooling and a love of Christ. I shared it only in a closed loop Yahoo group that you must be accepted into by a moderator.  No one can read our posts outside of that group. I knew that they would pray, and keep my family in their thoughts.  I also knew that they would love me, regardless of the words that I needed to say.  It's a wonderful thing to know I have that, by the way, and I'm so grateful that I do.

One of those sweet ladies, Roxanne, attached that post to her Facebook wall because she has a heart for the hurting, and an understanding that some things just need to be shared. I was unaware she'd shared until two days later when God began to work and use His power to reach people who needed to hear. Within 6 days that post had been reshared at least 15 times, and by at least 8 people who I have never met or spoken with. My sister, Kathy, had seen Roxanne's post because my name was tagged in it, and she shared as well.  I received a large number of emails from people who I have never spoken with, and many of them shared their heart wrenching stories with me.

This is the story of a faithful God, who works in ways that we cannot begin to fathom.

On Wednesday, January 4th, I spoke to my Pastor, Mark Williams, about my brother.  He was lying in a hospital and I had not seen him in almost 18 months.  I did not want to see him. I wanted to "reason" with God and frankly, that reads as I wanted to argue with God. I felt God nudging my heart to visit my brother, extend forgiveness, ask for it in return, tell him that I love him and allow God to work. I didn't want to respond. The flesh is a wicked thing, isn't it?  Being the godly man that he is, Pastor Mark told me God didn't ask if I'd like to forgive my brother, he lovingly reminded me that my forgiveness is tied to my willingness to forgive.(Lk 6:37) He urged me to do what God was requiring of me, and reminded me that obedience is honored in God's house. My heart responded to that.  I love Jesus, and I know He loves me. He loved me before I loved Him and He loves me while knowing I am nothing without Him.  But, I still didn't want to go.

I visited my brother on Saturday, January, 7th. That's right...I had waited three more days before I entered that hospital room. I'm so thankful that God didn't have Ken's date of departure on His kingdom calendar before those three days were up! I am so thankful that God's time, and heart, was patient with me. And here's where the miracles began to pour in...He is so much more patient with us that He has to be!

I wrote that post for my brother on January, 10th...the day he died.  By January the 13th, I had received more emails on Facebook about that post than anything I'd ever written.  Hands down. It had been shared over and over and over...many times by people I had never met.  One of them was from a man in Clinton, S.C., who oversees a Christian rehabilitation center for men.  The pastor of his church read my letter to those men and his congregation. He was so precious and humble in his email.  He, like myself, was awed at the power of God's grace and intervention.  

I received emails from people who simply wanted to send their condolences and I received emails from people I didn't know, but who were also living out my story.

And then, I received this email from a godly lady named, Susie.  I've known Susie, and her husband Earl, since I was in high school, but Susie had seen my post on someone else's Facebook page and didn't even know what it was about until she read the entire blog.  Here's the email that Susie sent to me:

 I just wanted to tell you I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I just read your blog about Ken and I just had to tell you... My girls play in a band with Thomas Mossburg. We were at Brookview Nursing Home in Gaffney playing Christmas songs for the residents & a man in a wheelchair had a nurse push him over to Earl & me & he started talking to us. He told us he was from Chesnee. We told him that we were from Chesnee too so he kept talking. This was on Dec. 16th & I'm not sure how it was brought up but, he told us that he had just gotten saved the day before & Earl told him how important it was to be saved & live for the Lord. He said it sure is(with a big smile on his face) & then he teared up. He told us how he hadn't lived right. But, that he was saved & how good it felt. It took me reading what you wrote about your brother to realize that the man we were talking to was your brother. I thought this might be some comfort to you and your family.

How AWESOME is our God?!  My brother was an addict by the time I was three and I have never seen him healthy and whole.  I WILL see him in heaven and Christ makes all things new.  I am genuinely overwhelmed at the thought of seeing Ken happy and free. God is good...

What's just as incredible about Susie's email, that she could NOT have known, is this:  My brother's birthday was December 15th.  Re-read Susie's email now...she spoke with him on December 16th.  My brother was born on December 15th, 56 years ago...and he was also Born Again on December 15th in 2011.  God had allowed us to know that my brother was saved.  God had allowed us the comfort of knowing that Ken is with Him, and has used my brother to reach so many others.  Ken's life has blessed others.  A life filled with addiction, self-loathing, selfishness and hurt has been used by God to bless others and reach them. My heart toward Ken was filled with bitterness, hurt and self-absorption, but had been used by God to bless and reach others. Through Ken, and a simple blog post, God has shown Himself and His willingness to reach out to us.  He is FAITHFUL!

I couldn't begin to describe all that's happened in the last few days from that post, but I can say with absolute faith that if you believe that anything in your life is bigger than God...you're wrong.  He is willing to forgive and heal you.  If you've believed that somehow, anything you've done is bigger than God's ability to forgive...Can I just lovingly say that, thankfully, you're wrong?  He loves you right where you are.  Seek Him and you'll find Him.  Ask Christ to come into your heart, because He's willing.  He's already died for every sin you've ever committed, and you're not going to suddenly surprise Him now.

And for those of you out there like me...stubborn and argumentative, but your heart genuinely loves Christ...God honors obedience, too.  He didn't ask that you love everything he asks of you.  He's never written anywhere in His Word that you have to do cartwheels when he commands something of you.  What he DID say is that He's faithful, and He sees.  What He did say is that those that love Him hear His voice and walk in His ways.  If there's something...anything...in your life that God has been urging you to do, but you have hardened your heart to His voice, please let Him work.  It's for your good, and His glory.  He deserves it and what's more, He's so generous with His children that He blesses you for your obedience.

Frankly, writing some of this has been hard...very hard.  I LOVE to talk, but I really dislike sharing personal things about myself with people I don't know very well.  I am, essentially, I very private person who rarely shares very personal things, even with people who do know me well.  But, God asked something of me, and I responded.  His graciousness needed to be shared because it's really that incredible.  So I'll say it one more time:  If there's something that God has been laying on your heart, and you know it's what He's asking of you...go do it.  Seeing Him in action is worth any pride that must be laid aside.
"Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." 
Hebrews 10:23


  1. Wow..I just blog hopped from lpm...I was reading comments on those going or not going toHouston...I was just checking to see if anyone close to me was not going...but. maybe could meet up....I clicked on your name and it took me to your blog...and I saw you were from SC ..i live in NC....anyway I read your posts about your brother. GOD IS GOOD!!He is faithful! Obedience is not always easy but your story of forgiveness is one that you can share and help others in the same situations. Thank you for being real. May God continue to heal areas in your life.

  2. WOW!! Isn't God so good to let you know that your brother accepted Him into his life...and on his birthday!!! AWESOME!!!