March, 2022 – Then. There Was One. Me.

March, 2022 – Then. There Was One. Me.

As I began to think of so many around me, both friends and family members — what I am writing here is probably nothing I could share with them.  As a matter of fact, I really couldn’t think of anyone whom I know, and know of their family situation, that I could easily say these words to.

It seems like family after family is at odds with each other.  Either there are feelings of hurt from words or actions – there are jealousies – petty differences that can’t seem to be forgiven – unforgiving spirits (altogether) – a feeling of unfairness in money issues, and more – and on and on it goes.

My family was far from perfect.  My siblings and I were typical kids growing up together.  But do you know how cleansing, how pure, how freeing it is to have said (an unspoken) ‘goodbye’ to my brothers and sister – and have our last words be, “I love you”.  And not just at the ‘end’, but most of our whole adult lives.

My oldest brother and I were estranged from each other for nearly two years back in the ‘90’s for something that I thought was such an egregious and irresponsible act.  I distanced myself from him, I think, as kind of a way of punishing him – but also, desperately waiting for an explanation – AND an apology.  That never happened.  However, my church, at that time, held a Solemn Assembly (spoken of in II Chronicles 7 and II Kings 10) where people from different churches gathered before the Lord for a ‘soul cleansing’.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was with 6 other people whom I had never met, and it was at that time the Holy Spirit chose to convict me in a powerful way, that I needed to forgive my brother.  I couldn’t answer for him – I couldn’t apologize for him.   I just needed to get rid of the sin out of my heart towards him.  It was amazing – and to use the words once again, so freeing.  I could love my brother without even thinking of judging him – just love him!  No regrets!

I think I went for probably two years without being in contact with my younger brother.  He had chosen a lifestyle that most wouldn’t appreciate.  My young sons had idolized their uncle, and I really didn’t want them to see or know of the life he was living.  So the best thing was just to keep them away from him.  After he ‘passed’, I said to my sister that I wish I had not always been upset with him, but had just loved him.  And typical of her wanting me to feel less badly, her response was, “Well, he gave us a lot to be upset about . . .”

Several years, however, before his Homegoing, he had done some soul-searching and in coming back to the Lord, chose to make new and infinitely better decisions.  We loved our re-newed relationship taking day trips on his huge motorcycle, sharing along the way what the Lord had done for us in the year before.  We even sang duets at some of my concerts.  Each time before I left the States for Romania, I would call him to say, ‘Goodbye’.  The last words I ever heard him say to me were, “I love you, dearly”.  No regrets.

As I related in ‘Sharing’ last month, my sister and I had very little in common – but we always loved and supported each other.  We always said, “I love you” – and then you would hear – “more” . . .    No regrets.

SO – my youngest brother passed away in 2007 – my sister in November, 2021 – and my oldest brother just a week ago (February, 2022).  Then.  There.  Was.  One.   Me!  I don’t know why God has allowed me to carry on.  It is difficult on the one hand no longer having siblings – but on the other hand, I rejoice that they are with our Jesus.  It is difficult for me to know of so many friends and family that are not at peace with each other – to have everything between them set aside before it is too late.  I could only hope/wish that all siblings would embrace their differences – just love each other.   So as I am the sole sibling left, I have that freeing feeling – such a feeling of peace between the four of us.  Thank you, Lord, for affording me that!  Now, this ‘one’ who is left is thankful to live out her life having no regrets concerning the siblings and concentrate on how best to serve her Savior with her whole mind, soul and body.

I John 4.20 says – “If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar.  For the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God – whom he has not seen.”  Those are pretty serious words.  I would encourage you to go before the Throne, and if there are some hostile feelings between a brother or sister and you, don’t try to answer for them, but just make sure your heart is right before God.  HE will work the rest of it out for you.  I am living proof!   If you are the ‘then there was one’, do it with no regrets.