Death to Life

Wednesday, August 14

Today marks what would have been the eleventh year of life of my little brother. Today signifies the joy and precious one the Lord brought into my life eleven years ago. And about four months from now marks the day he passed away ten years ago. My sweet angel, my only sibling, would be eleven today. He'd probably be starting fifth grade this year. He'd maybe be in a sport, probably watching lots of Spongebob, and we'd probably be bickering about who ate mom's last bite of ice cream. Undoubtedly, today marks the birth and short life  of the one who changed the course of who I am. Brandon's death was devastating to me as an eight year old child, but it was that exact grievance and hardship that the Lord used to pull me into His grace. Who knows if I would know God as I do now, if it weren't for the passing of my beautiful, little brother.

God's grace is so evident from day one. From the day of his death in 2003, it took me six years to finally recognize my Father. It took me six years of misunderstanding, confusion, and pain to understand His plan for me. It took death to give me life. There's no doubt God used my brother to change the lives around him. There's no question in my mind that without his death, I would not be who I am today. I would not see the importance of love, grace, and forgiveness as I do today. I would not have my passions of working with children and being a role model. I would not understand the way God works for His glory. Does it still hurt? Yes. Do I long for my brother? Yes. Do I wish it differently? Never. The Lord is good in everything. He is passionate, and mysterious, and altogether perfectly plans the course of our lives. I have been made new, even through tragedy.

Now I see obedience in the light of grief. For God's blessings are never empty, and His promises never fail us. Brandon may have died ten years ago, but the Lord is blessing me with a new brother. He is giving me the opportunity to love this little boy with all my passion, and all my strength, and to be an image of Christ to him, teaching him the beauty of our Creator. None of which I could have done before without knowing the sorrow of death and the essence of salvation.

Happy birthday, my sweet angel. I know you are sitting at the right hand of God, a son of the Father used to give life. 


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