Tuesday, March 12, 2013

24

I wish I were surprised and could say so, but the fact is: call attention to the return of your joy, and you'll almost certainly discover a cat and its poop in your minivan, also a dead bird in your driveway. I'm not even much phased, anymore; I just clean things up best I can and roll with Plan B.

(Plan A had involved my migraine-stricken friend Anjie.)

I was on my way to the zoo with the little kids, Plan B. I called my brother on my way, as I am wont to do, because I like to razz him about monkeys. He was in bed and couldn't get up. Some form of paralysis, he said, and he could shuffle a little after getting assistance to his feet, but he couldn't lift anything.

After my sister-in-law returned with meds, I hung up with my brother and called Pastor David, who prayed with the little kids and me via speaker phone. The kids and I drove on to the zoo and had a nice enough time. I called my friend Christy on the way home (where I found a dead squirrel in the driveway), and she prayed with me, too.

Cade got off the bus, and I scrambled to oversee his homework process and drive him to his dad's, manage my (napless) daughters, and clean up the main part of the house while carrying Baby Chip. It was crazy town, and when Rob arrived for small (large) group, I was cleaning the bathroom.

But, later, I laughed myself to tears because--when a man other than your husband leans in the doorway talking to you as you give your toilet a frantic scrub-down?--you know you've become family. And I could've handed that toilet brush right over; he wouldn't have blinked. So funny.

Soon enough, the log cabin was stuffed to the gills with six families, and how we've managed to get ourselves a thirteen-year-old babysitter who can manage as many smaller kids as we can shut in a playroom (fourteen, last night), I'll never know, but there we were: eleven adults learning and praying in peace on freshly-vacuumed carpet.

Rachel and Zach lingered and were eating with us when the phone rang: my mom. My brother had lost all use of his arms and legs and was in an ambulance, headed to Knoxville. I hung up with Mom and blinked my dry eyes at Rachel and Jim. I felt insulated, isolated, underwater. A little numb in the face, but floaty. At peace.

And the lame--with his restored level of potassium--walks again, today, and will soon leave for Baltimore and Johns Hopkins and a neurosurgeon. Please cover him in prayer, along with my sister-in-law and nephews.

You know, he told me, recently: he no longer fears anything but the Lord, and I made light, a little, saying something about my great fear of mice. But I understand, suddenly. A person can reach the point of utter surrender: do what You will, Lord, as if it were ever up to me, anyway. I'm all in. I acknowledge without reservation that everything I have and everyone I love has always been under Your supreme authority. I'm tired of pretending otherwise and, in fact, I'm awfully glad You're in control, because I'm so tired. So very tired, Lord.

And there is no fear on that foundation of faith, only peace. Only peace.

For My Brother


28 comments:

  1. so many, many things I want to say: I am praying for your brother. I love you! I really, really love the way you write. And that nugget about God's sovereignty is perfect awesomeness. xooxox

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    1. Thank you, my beautiful (God-sent) encourager.

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  2. I'm so glad he's doing better. This post was such an testimony Brandee.

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    1. Thank you, JoAnn, for all of it: your prayers, especially. I'm so glad we're friends.

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  3. Oh Brandee - that prayer of surrender at the end of your post - no words right now.
    praying for your brother - and for you to keep knowing His peace

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  4. This is a beautiful journey you take us along on. From the way you love your friends to the free prayer you cover life with to the way your kids see Jesus all around them...so beautiful. I am covering your brother in prayer, my friend. So grateful he is walking and replenished in potassium. We'll pray the neurosurgeon's hands will be guided by our good God. Love to you.

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    1. Thank you, Dear Laura, for your words, here, and for community.

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  5. Praying for your brother. I love that you have such a close small group! And that you still cleaned your toilet with someone else there. That is really being open! =)

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    1. Thank you for your prayers! And, yes, let it never be said that I was less than wide open! haha

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  6. "And there is no fear on that foundation of faith, only peace. Only peace."

    Such beautiful, perfect words.

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  7. Brandee, I love the feel of going through enough with folks til your family. Prayers for your brother. All of your kind words at my place, all of your encouragement means so much, friend.

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    1. Thank you, Nacole, for stopping by...and for the prayers. xo

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  8. I think in times of testing, trial, storm, whatever you want to call it, if we can filter past our emotions, there, in our spirit, we find peace. Our spirit, where His Spirit dwells, is the strong place inside of us because of His indwelling presence. I love the picture that within me is this beautiful fortified sanctuary that nothing and no one can shake. I don't know if this makes any sense at all to you...but I hope so.

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    1. Yes. And thank you, Elizabeth, for your words of wisdom.

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  9. "as if it were ever up to me, anyway". Wow. And yes.

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  10. What a gift of fellowship and community you have! On one hand it makes me jealous, but on the other hand, I love how you celebrate it and know that you have a good thing. That so warms my heart.

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  11. Dear Brandee
    I am so sorry to hear of your brother! Dear one, I wish I could just give you a big bear hug and help carry those burdens of tiredness, but rest assured, the time will come when there will be no kore tears or tiredness. Oh, and I love your description of the cat poop! I usually get doggy poop every morning in the TV lounge! Visiting via Emily's.
    Much love
    Mia

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  12. AW, honey. So sorry for your brother's continuing struggles and praying with you for answers, for healing. And you are right where you need to be - waiting on the Lord, acknowledging your own powerlessness to change one thing about all of this. Waiting with you, Brandee. Hoping with you. But doing so with the prophets: "Though he slay me, yet will I praise him. . . " Oh, but it's hard sometimes.

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    1. Thank you, Beautiful Diana. That verse in Job holds special meaning for me, actually. http://brandeeshafer.blogspot.com/2012/01/13-pt-2.html

      Isn't it something how the Lord works?

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  13. such surrender, such depth here, dear friend. prayers abounding for that brother of yours.

    they shall mount on eagle's wings, walking and running without growing weary.

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  14. Wow, Brandee. Praying for you and your family. May you know so real the power of his strength in your weakness. Bless you in all your vulnerability.

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    1. Thank you, Ashley. You're just beautiful.

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