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STOP WASTING TIME


Lessons Learned the Hard Way


Did you know that sunflowers face the sun on sunny days and when the sun isn't shining they face each other? Close families do the same thing. They turn to each other when the sky clouds up. I chose the photo above because my mother loved sunflowers and the little girl is so sweet. Mom would have loved this picture. There is just something about the innocent simplicity of the focal point that makes you want to look at it for hours and just be there with her in the field of golden yellow sunshine. How could you not be happy there? Thousands of sunny flowers all around you, just breathing it all in would be heaven.


It is no secret that my family is facing a difficult time right now. One of our own is hurting. I think about my little sister often, more now than ever before. I am angry with myself for being estranged from her for almost two decades. What were we thinking? We are God's children and we are called to forgive and love each other, but for many years we didn't speak. It just pisses me off that we wasted that time. Now I am so far away from her that I feel helpless.


The other night I dreamed that we were young girls again giggling and laughing like we used to when we were kids. Then the dream changed and we grew older very quickly. In the dream we were laying together on a huge bed of purple covers. We were propped up on big fluffy pillows listening to music. She was curled up in my arms with her head on my chest. We weren't giggling, we were just cuddling. I held her for the longest time and we fell asleep together. There are a lot of reasons for this type of dream. I won't interpret it for you. Suffice it to say, the miles apart have left me with this really strong longing to just hold her in my arms and make it all better.


We've come a long way from not speaking. She rescued me earlier this year when I was at a very low point. It was right after the "Great Texas Freeze". I had been without power for 3 days. I was feeling very lonely and isolated. I detest being cold. Oddly enough it was also just a few weeks before my birthday. She contacted me and opened communication. It was something I had longed for and was too afraid of rejection to act on. We are close in age, and for a long time very close at heart, too. Not having her to talk to these several years has been very difficult. When she reached out, the sun broke through and it brought with it hope.


We renewed our sister-hood. We discovered that we had both grown in our relationship with Jesus because of all the things that life brought our way. The quarrel that separated us now seemed to be a silly thing of the past, and had no bearing on the future. We did a lot of growing up, which was long overdue. Needless to say with her recent diagnosis, it has caused me to really wonder why we wasted so much time being childish in our attitudes and afraid to forgive. The things we feared about each other were nothing more than the lies that Satan used to keep us apart. What did Joseph say to his brothers, "you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good." It is so like God to turn our wrong into His right.


Earlier this week I put together a book of purple photos, quotes, and scripture as a gift for her. I wanted to give her something she could read that would encourage her and remind her of how much she is loved. When I did this I knew I had to write a personal message in the book. While I was writing it occurred to me that not only is she my sister in this temporary life, but she is my sister forever. No matter what the outcome of her illness, eventually we will both leave this life and enter the next. In that life there will be no more crying, pain, suffering or hurt feelings. We won't stop talking, and in my minds eye we will be young and giggly girls again playing in a sunflower field.


Imagine Jesus during these last several years of our separation. He must have been disappointed in our stubbornness. But I also Imagine Jesus saying, "I'm going to grow you both into women of God, because I've got plans you know nothing about. You are going to need strength and a whole lot of me to get through some rough times. But we will all be closer when it is over."


That verse in the Bible that says "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose," it is for times like these. The "all things" that God is using to work good was our years of separation. His purpose is yet to be revealed, but it is obvious by now that God's purpose will be greater than we could ever imagine. He used those years to grow us, to test us, strengthen us, and now he is ready to work his purpose.


Imagine Jesus standing between my sister and I. He has a hold of our hands and we are standing on the edge of the world. There is a warm wind blowing gently and the sun is bright yellow like a sunflower. He smiles and says, "ready girls? 1 - 2 - 3!!" The greatest adventure awaits us. We can be assured that forever and ever there will be joy and peace and sunflowers.


Don't waste another day. Learn your lessons quickly because those you love are too important not to spend time with, hug and love on.


Isaiah 40:30-31 "Even youths grow tired and weary,and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."


Matthew 19:14 "Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”


Revelation 22:5 "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever."


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