The day after the authorities had contacted my mom and told her I wouldn’t be returning home, I had my first of many hard conversations with my mom and the first and last one with my sister. I won’t ever forget it. We were at my Nanee and Cha-cha’s house in the living room and my sister and I were both balling on the telephone. She told me I had to come home. My response was “I will be ok because Marohn and Aspen are here.” Boy did those words haunt me for years to come. She had taken it as though I didn’t need her in my life anymore. So just like that, I lost a sister. When she turned 13, after a summer here with my dad, she decided, for unknown reasons to no longer speak to anyone on my dads’ side of the family. Still to this day she hasn’t spoken to a single one of them. My grandpa, grandma and aspen have all passed with no explanation of why there was a sudden disconnect.
When I moved here, my mom at that time chose to stay married to my stepdad. Suddenly It was like I had become my dad’s and my sister was my mom’s. It was quite possibly one of the most defining moments in my life where I felt pure abandonment and unloved. It was as though they had cut my face out of all their family pictures but in real life. That Christmas just a month after I moved here, they had professional family photos taken with my mom’s side of the family and that picture still hangs in my grandparents’ house still to this day. My mom made a trip here and there to come see me for a weekend but nothing for very long. Many times, she would say she was coming just to cancel a few weeks before she was due to come. When I was going into eighth grade, I met my mom and sister in San Antonio for a week vacation. The morning that my sister was flying out, they called me into the kitchen at my aunt’s house and informed me that my step dad had adopted her, and she had officially taken his last name. They followed that by telling me to make sure and tell my dad when I got home that she was no longer a Stimac. I knew my dad had already been to hell and back and now I was going to deliver news that would crush his heart once again. That was the trip that life began spiraling. During that week, my mom had told me her side of the story of what had happened between her and my dad and I had so much anger inside of me that I had no idea how to release. So, I released it in the worst ways over the next few years. The following year, I got a graduation announcement for my sister a day before she was graduating. I was so excited, and dad said we could get in the car and go right then if I wanted to. I got on the phone, I was on cloud nine and my mom explained that I really was not welcome to come because there would be too much discomfort if I showed up. Anger sky rocketed, and my attitude went from desiring good to “watch how bad I can be.” I didn’t care about anyone or anything. I didn’t like my mom. I didn’t like my dad and I was ready to please “me”.
After the trip to San Antonio, I didn’t see or talk to my sister until Jadyn was a baby and I saw her for a few minutes at a restaurant. When we said goodbye that day, I knew she wasn’t in a great place and I knew that I may not ever see her again. There was such a disconnect. It was as if we had never met before and came from completely opposite sides of the earth. Like strangers passing in the night. It was odd and uncomfortable. I cannot even explain it to you. I just knew that my hope to win the lottery was higher than it was for me and my sister to ever speak and be close again.
Then few summers ago, my mom came to visit, and she mentioned her and my stepdad were looking to get divorced. I was so excited that FINALLY, after all this time she could see that all the stories I had repeatedly told her for years were true. A few different mental diagnoses had been made on my stepdad (DUH!) and he had been somewhat uncovered. His life was no longer a big secret to the people he had fooled for years. It was such a relief that she could see that my pain was real. They got divorced months later and it was the beginning of a healing process we had prayed for for years.
Two summers ago, Jason and I went to San Diego and on our way home, we went to dinner and a diamondbacks game with my mom and sister. It was the first time since before I left for thanksgiving break in fifth grade that my sister and I actually had a conversation. We have sent texts back and forth for months now and this summer when my mom was visiting, I mentioned that maybe we could come to phoenix to spend the thanksgiving holiday with them. My sister loved the idea and we booked the trip.
So, this week my family and I will travel to be with my mom and sister for thanksgiving. (Praise God) It is the first holiday I have spent with either one of them since I was in FOURTH grade. It has been twenty-one years of anger, lies, coverups, confusion, sadness, missed memories and twenty-one years of PRAYING GODS HEALING over our family.
What I know is this! God does NOT work on our timeline. He doesn’t even know time the way we know time, but I assure you he hears your prayers and he see your heartache. He loves you more than any one person could ever love you and he will always do what is best for you. For whatever reason, we weren’t ready until now to be at this place. A lot of healing still needs to take place, but this is step one to creating the most amazing memories and making up for all the lost years. I won’t lie to you. I am more nervous than a pig in a bacon factory, but I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude and pure love. Love covers a multitude of sin and forgiveness heals all wounds. I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for a God that keeps no records of my wrongs and offers me grace upon grace. Lord knows how much I need both of those in my daily life. What I am most thankful for, is moments in my life that I have the same opportunity to offer that kind of forgiveness and grace to someone else. Its even more precious when those people are my momma and my big sister.
So, this Thanksgiving week, if you are holding a record of someone’s wrongs and you are truly angry with them, I pray that you would find peace in truly forgiving them for what they have done to you. I Know for a fact that the ONLY way to release a grudge towards someone is really praying for them even when you don’t want to. Life is short, and we only have a limited time to share Christ’s Love with others. Remember that forgiveness isn’t for the other person but sometimes to lighten your own load. Forgiveness also does not mean you have to accept them back into your life. It means you release the hold or control they have on your life so that you can continue living to your fullest.
So get up and get going! You have some praying to do!
Happy Thanksgiving! What are you Thankful for?
Overwhelmed with Gratitude,