Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Jesus Story - Part 3

I really don't remember where I was or what I was doing when I received the phone call about my brother's accident. I just remember hearing the words, "He broke his neck and he's paralyzed."

It just so happens that my parents gave my two brothers rhyming names. The family joke was when you called one, they both came running.

I can remember hearing people talking and saying, "No, you must mean the other brother." No. It was this brother too. Two brothers. Two broken necks. One year apart. One paralyzed. One not.

Both of my brothers are younger than me. But this brother was the one who disappeared from my mind's eye and memory during those five years of being a pretend housewife and mother. He was always very independent and did things his way. He got himself in some trouble over the years. No one ever seemed to be surprised. I think some just expected it.

My brother was fearless. He did crazy stuff. He loved motorcycles. He raced dirt bikes. His accident occurred while he was preparing for a race. He was flying over one hill to another (the jump trick has a name, but I don't know what it is). He undershot the jump and came down hard. He broke ribs. His lung was crushed. He was paralyzed.

Late that night I found myself standing alone in a hospital intensive care room. All the lights were off. The only light came from the glow of equipment that surrounded him. He was unconscious. He didn't know I was there.

Even now the tears flow. I still can't believe I can see this scene in my mind's eye like a movie playing back.

I realized as I was standing there that I didn't even know my own brother. He was a stranger to me.

In the year between my youngest brother's accident and this brother's accident, I had bought my first home. I don't really remember what all I was thinking on the long drive back from the hospital that night, but I just needed to get there. I needed to find that same spot next to my bed.

And it was there I found myself again crying out to God, the same God who had heard me a year before, begging and pleading for my brother's life. "I don't even know him, Lord. Please don't let him die." It was here, next to my bed, that I recalled the promises I had made to read my Bible and pray every day. I had kept them. In doing those two things, I had come to realize that I was not living my life in a way that was pleasing to God. I was still the same old girl I used to be. I was living in sin and I knew it. For now I knew what God had to say about sin and I was in trouble. I knew at that moment in time I needed to make Him Lord of my life. I turned it all over...everything that gripped my heart and held me captive. And it was there I found a love that would never let me go.

After a very long hospital stay, my brother left in a wheelchair. He refused to move back home where someone could care for him. He was going to handle this new chapter in his life his way. And he did.

Since this is my story, I won't share my brother's story today. Maybe down the road I will do that. I will say that my brothers both knew, because I told them, how their accidents impacted my life. They both knew that God used their story to change my story. I don't believe for a second that God devised this horrible plan that my brothers would suffer for my account. No, I believe God used their stories and opened my blind eyes to see how great a need I had. No amount of money nor stuff nor man could ever fill the gaping hole that was inside my heart. There was only One who could fill that hole and He had found me.

My brother passed away very unexpectedly five and a half years ago (2005). He died the day before he was to turn 40. We later found that he had succumbed to pulmonary edema as a result of his paralysis.

God allowed me time to get to know my brother. It wasn't always an easy journey. He had this way of driving me crazy. He would lick his lips before he would kiss me. He knew it made me nuts and so he did it all the more. When I would bend over to hug him, he would grab me and try to pull me down. At the time, I didn't think it was funny. It often made me mad. But I loved his determination. I adored his smile. I spoke to my brother the week he died. We always told one another, I love you. Just the night before as I was talking with my father on the phone, I heard him say in the background, "I love you little seester!" and I told him I loved him back. I didn't know I would never hear those words again.

Oh, how incredibly kind and merciful He has been to me. To hear my cries and answer them in ways I never imagined.

There was a song I would listen to over and over and over again. It was my song for my story. A long time ago I loaned the cassette to someone and never got it back. But I found it on YouTube, so here it is. After all these years, the tears still come. Whoever created this video used Bible verses to tell His story...the same verses that pierced my heart and opened my eyes. Amazing!

Steve Camp, He Is All You Need

Still loving Him,

P.S. Next time I'll talk about how my life changed when Jesus became my Lord.


  1. All I can say is: WOW, how very powerful is this song with just the right words. Derik, my oldest Nephew left us too soon.
    Love You

  2. There are no words. The song is incredibly beautiful, as are you.