Updates, updates, updates. Sometimes update posts can seem a little redundant if not much has changed, but here I am writing you an update because big things are happening. I can see the Lord moving in such a mighty way and so many people have been asking for updates, so here I am. Updating you on all things.
First, my parents got my brother out of jail at the very end of January, per his public defender’s recommendation. I will tell you I fought with my parents about this recommendation for a while. Don’t get me wrong here. I love my brother and I wanted nothing more than for him to get out of jail, but at that stage, I wasn’t sure if getting out was the best option. I didn’t want him to think he was getting an easy pass out to continue on with the lifestyle he was living previously. I knew my parents would do their best to give him restrictions, and keep him from doing things, but there is only so much you can do to control a person without tying them to a chair and staring at them all day.
Now let me tell you how God is moving. The whole goal in getting out of jail when he did was so he could get into a rehab program. After praying for years that he would finally accept that he had a problem, he was rejected by not one, not two, but three different facilities due to the problem of dual diagnosis (addiction + a preexisting mental illness). Finally after a lot of work and a lot of waiting, he was accepted into a 28 day state facility in Columbia. They just had to wait on a bed for him to actually go. This time period of waiting was teaching us to trust, trust, trust that the Lord would provide everything he needed.
I was at home over spring break, enjoying my sleep and last few days of freedom when my mother woke me up with a phone call. She told me to wake up my brother, and tell him to pack up his clothes, rehab had a bed and he had to be there by 3 that afternoon. He got to work, we dropped him off and that was that.
A few days later, my mom called me to tell me that he finally admitted to actually having a problem. This is God working in changing his heart. While he’s working on changing his life, God is working in his heart and showing him that there is so much more than the heartache that alcohol causes for him.
While we were on the way, he was telling us about a couple of different situations where he should have been dead. He has no idea how he made it out of any of the situations alive, let alone all of them. God is so good. It is no accident that he is still here, living and breathing with us. By the GRACE of God he’s learning, he’s growing. He was chosen by an Almighty God to do a work in him, for Him.
Not only is God showing him a new life and new way to live, He’s also breathing His grace into my family. Being an addict is hard, and people like to judge over and over again, but then when you see if happen to someone you know, someone you love, its harder to see that. God has given my family and I an opportunity to see how to show grace to people who are messy, who are broken, because we all are.
Our first response is to be angry, but God’s wrath was satisfied with the death of Jesus on the cross, so our anger has to stop at the source, and we are to show grace to people who are struggling. Jesus himself hung out with the poor, needy, hungry, addicted, dirty, broken, sick, and outcasts. People were drawn to him and the people who looked at themselves like they were better because they seemed to have their lives together were angry. But Jesus loved the broken. He loved them enough to die for them despite the mockery, the pain, the humiliation. He has called us to leave our worldly thoughts (judging those who mess up, broken people) behind and show people love and grace in the name of the Father.
When my mom picked him up from rehab, she took him to the beach. They started to go shopping for some shoes, which he has been waiting months for, and they passed a sign on the side of the road for an open AA meeting. I started crying because he gave up his shoe shopping time for an AA meeting the first day he was out of rehab.
He’s getting there. He still has a long way to go, but he’s getting there. We are no longer seeing one step forward and two steps back, but actually the opposite. We’re seeing him taking steps in the right direction. I’m seriously amazed how how good he is, and how faithful he is. I don’t know why I’m surprised, because of everything he’s done for me, but my little human brain can’t accurately grasp how good he really is. Wow.