it’s a rainy, dreary sunday in the murf and we just got home from a great message at Fellowship Bible Church. we’re going through the book of I Peter (i LOVE, LOVE, Looooove I & II Peter )… and this series, entitled bloom, is exactly what i need right now– ain’t God great that way? (totally throwin’ **spirit sprinkles** for the LORD! )
in the book of I Peter the author encourages us to grow and even bloom during time of trial, tribulation and adversity. and, boy i’ve been dealing with my fair share of all 3!!
for those of you who don’t know– my family is going through a major, sad situation with my beautiful, wonderful, little sister, erin.
last september, erin caused a serious accident while driving drunk. she and the driver and passenger of the other vehicle sustained serious injuries– she was charged with 2 counts of aggravated vehicular assault that carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.
immediately after the accident our family split into 2 camps–
the “your life is over” camp and the “God can use all things for good in those who believe in Him” camp. I am definitely and firmly in camp #2– granted, my camp needs a snappier, shorter name– but you get the idea.
i truly believe erin and the two victims of her terrible, selfish decision were literally pulled out of the wreckage with the jaws of life to have more time to know how much God loves them.
erin is my best friend, hands down– and i have some AMAZING women i have the honor of calling “friend”– but NO ONE knows you like your sister. before the accident erin and i talked on the phone maybe once a month.. sharing the surface details of our lives. after the accident we talked EVERY day– and between raving about our favorite cupcakes and how much we love edward cullen (that OF COURSE came up in coversation)– I opened up and shared my thoughts on Christ and how much He loves her and wants to have a relationship with her–
i take comfort in the knowledge God knew all of erin’s days before He knitted her together in our mother’s womb– i mean, if that’s true (and i believe it is) then this accident is an important part of erin’s story and also amanda and matthew’s story (the victims of the accident). so, that opened us up to prayer… we prayed for God to heal amanda and matthew and use this tragedy for good in their lives — that He would help them to forgive erin and asked Him to provide comfort and peace to them and their families. i asked God to help erin to see herself as He sees her — as a blessed child of God.. royal, chosen, holy, and through His mercy– forgiven. i continue to pray this every day along with asking God to protect, comfort, and guide her through her time away from me.
erin received 2 years in prison, 3 years strict probation, and her driver’s license is suspended for 10 years. to my parents this may look like a death sentence for her future in the world– but, i say God is good– i know he is doing a good work in her because i trust who He says He is.
i love my sister very much, and i’m so proud of the amazing strength, positivity, and focus God has gifted her with. she’s already a shining light to those around her and i pray God will continue to fill her with His word and she grows in her understanding of who she IS in Him.
my own faith and understanding of how MUCH God loves me has grown through the loving, sweet provisions God has given me. He has spoken specifically to me– showing me how well He knows my heart by providing wonderful women who have showered me with hugs, understanding tears, words of encouragement– even cupcakes, massages, and haircuts!! (that is a GREAT story!!– remind me to tell you sometime)
the outpouring of love my sweet husband, my dear girlfriends and even my 2 boys have shown me is humbling and i feel deeply, deeply blessed.
since september, God has revealed some amazing truths– one such truth is when tragedy strikes– some people will rise up to give comfort and love and others will say, “why try? the gig is up. you’re finished.” ultimately the choice is up to me– and, i choose HOPE.
i’m still super sad every day and i miss my sister desperately– but the love i have for her, my boys and my husband, the amazing comfort and support i get from girlfriends, and especially the faith i have in God– makes the sadness endurable and a rainy sunday not dark or gloomy at all!