Not everyone may know me on this knew blog.
I have an old blog that has all kinds of information about me, about the things I love, the things I have experienced, the trials I have walked through either with my family or alone. It has stories, poems, life lessons, thoughts, rambles, and pictures, too.
But here on this new blog many of you may not know what makes me who I am today, the suffering and the grief that has shaped me to be who I am.
Probably you know me simply as a girl who adores her husband and now lives in Israel while her husband pursues a Master's degree in ancient languages, namely Hebrew and Greek. Yes, you may call my husband a language nerd, while I, on the other hand, may not be a nerd at all.
But today let me allow you to peek into my past, a past that hurts, but a past that has shaped me and made me who I am.
December of this year will mark 14 years since my brother, third to the oldest, went home to be with Jesus after approximately 4 years of battling Leukemia on and off.
14 years is a long time, but its a long time to be changed completely forever from the 12 year old girl I was before that time to the 12 year old girl I became after or the 26 year old woman I have become today.
I cannot say who I would be if God had allowed my brother to continue living on this earth, but I can say I would not know what I know today, and I would not be able to feel what I can feel today. I would not be able to weep or pray for others the way I can today. I would not know pain the way I can know it today and, therefore, I would not be able to give to others what I can give today.
I have learned that pain can shape you to be one of two different people. It can cause one to push ever closer to Christ, seeking him alone for comfort and for joy, causing one's heart to be softened by the tender love of Christ. Or It can cause one's heart to push further from Christ and harden the heart into bitterness and hate, hate of life and hate of God.
I can be one of the first to tell you that I really do not like suffering and pain, and the death of my brother is not the only pain I have ever experienced. Since then I have experienced other pain and suffering that has shaken my world and yet shaped me even more. And none of it was fun or pleasant. I would plead with God that I not have to walk through it again. And yet, by God's grace I have walked through all of that, and I am on the other side of those storms. And I am still alive and I can still laugh and smile and breath in the sunshine and dance in the rain.
And I know that there are more storms to be faced in this world. My storms of life are not over. I have not seen the last of the hurricanes that rock my world. And I hate the idea of walking through more fire. And yet I know that when other storms come to break my world, by God's grace I may come out broken and torn, but sometimes being broken is the most beautiful part of being made whole.