Boy oh boy. Of all the posts I wrote where I was most vulnerable, this has to be the deepest.
If you are afraid to write it, that’s a good sign. I suppose you know you’re writing the truth when you are terrified. -Nayyirah Waheed
So here it goes…
Growing up I protected my brother so fiercely. He was and still is EVERYTHING to me. Somewhere along the way me and my family lost him to the streets. He joined a gang. He ended up getting shot up. He was in central booking probably more times than I know (or care to know). Still to this very day, if I am home and hear sirens outside my body tenses up and I become overwhelmed with fear. It is probably some type of post traumatic stress now that I think about it. However, because we no longer live in the same state, the fear does not last very long. It comes and then, thank God, it goes almost immediately.
You do not know what pain is until you are at work and get a call saying your brother is in the hospital because he has been shot. I remember feeling like my soul had left my body. But guess what? Not even that stopped him from being in the streets. If you think he was not back on those streets with crutches and an arm sling, then sadly you are wrong.
I got saved trying to save my brothers life. Literally.
One day I decided I was going to start going back to church. I went to a new Church someone had invited me to and during service the pastor was saying that he used to run the streets with drug dealers and gang members as a child and obviously eventually got saved. This was probably an over sensationalized sermon to try and draw people in to get saved, but it served its purposed nonetheless. After service I went to him and asked him how he was able to get out the streets. He replied, I had a grandmother that prayed for me ferociously. I gave my life to Christ that day and I have been praying for my brother ferociously ever since.
I went to Catholic school for most of my childhood. Unfortunately, it turned me completely off to religion. I felt the way religion was taught to us in school was hyporcrital. I never could agree with the “if you sin, you go to hell” philosophy. I felt it was so extreme. Especially since I know my God is a forgiving God. I no longer go to that Church where I gave my life to Christ that day, but my spirituality has grown enormous since then. And although I am not deeply religious at this point in my life, prayer is the one thing that I never stopped doing. I holla at God all the time. He knows me VERY well, ok?!
I learned a lot from my baby brother though. One of the things I learned from him is that you cannot change anyone.
The person has to want to change on their own. You do not get to dictate when and how they change. That is between God and that person.
I used to get so angry and frustrated with my brother. I have had several emotional and mental breakdowns due to me trying to change him. I could not understand why he would not change his life for his family. I felt that he put everyone else above us even though we sacrificed the most for him.
About a year or two ago I was having these emotional breakdowns about my brother a little more frequently. I would be on the phone with my mother and sister crying uncontrollably. My heart was hurting so bad that I finally told myself I had to let go and give it to God. Once I did that our relationship changed. I had to learn to detach from him so that I could watch him grow into the man that God intended him to be.
I am so proud of the man my brother is now and I am grateful for the man he is becoming. He’s a totally different person than he was before. One of the things I am most proud of: My brother once told me he did not know how to pray and now tells me that he prays for me daily. *insert tear drop here*
My brother had a child in 2008. He was 18 years old. His son changed his life but it was still a long journey to get him on the path that God paved for him. His son is now 8 years old, trapped in a 50 year olds body. I am telling you this little boy has been here before, as in, he was clearly here in a past life. He is always preaching the good Word to his dad. It’s like the older and older he gets, the more it is clear that he was sent here to save my brothers life. My nephew was my brothers gift from God, sent by God. He ALWAYS puts my brother in his place and let me tell you it is
hilarious amazing to watch!
To my brother, if you are reading this:
I got saved trying to save you, but I now see God had other plans. He gave you your son to help you redeem your life. What a blessing to be able to watch, (although at times it felt like a curse). The only thing that I ask of you now is to please repay Him (God) by using your blessings to be a blessing to others. He also gave you the gift of your voice. Use it to help others redeem their lives. This is your purpose. Do you see what a blessing it is to have your passion and your purpose align?
There is hope and a way out of the “darkside“! You are a witness! To God be the glory!
Moral of the story: PRAYER IS POWERFUL. DON’T GIVE UP ON THOSE THAT YOU LOVE, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES TO SEE THE CHANGE!