This is a testimonial about God’s goodness in guiding us when we trust in Him to do that. I was truly overwhelmed by this experience and had no doubt of God’s hand throughout. This happened in 2003, and I have never before nor since had an experience that was so intense in my knowledge that God was guiding everything. That is not to say that I haven’t had other experiences where I knew God was at work, but this affected me mentally, physically and spiritually, then and since, in ways I can hardly described adequately.
My younger brother and his wife were estranged from my parents for a period of over 14 years. This was due to gossip that was put into writing by my sister-in-law, which had been initiated by her mother. The motives for and cause that precipitated this gossip are a mystery to me to this day. The very despicable details are not necessary here, but suffice it to say that when my parents made it known that what had been written was entirely false and confronted the offending parties, things just fell to pieces and the estrangement commenced at the initiation of my brother and his wife. This was during a period when my brother had two lovely daughters and my parents were denied contact with them during these growing up years. That was a real blow to grandparents, especially for my mom.
I spoke to my parents virtually every Sunday afternoon by phone, and did so because I found myself focusing on the commandment to honor one’s father and mother. It became something I just had to do to ease the pain I felt and knew they felt.
As the years went by, my mom would express grief that was almost overwhelming for her at times. Would this never end? My dad suffered all this in remarkable silence, but I knew from his comments at times that he was torn up inside, first for my mom’s sake and then for the sake of my brother and his family. I remember telling Mom many times that all we could do was to turn over my brother and his family to God in our prayers, and trust that He would ultimately provide the answer.
So, the years went by and my mom began to weaken as she aged and ultimately was in the hospital in the fall of 2003 with congestive heart failure. She had been declining for several years, but this seemed somehow different. I called my brother to let him know, and to my astonishment, he said he was going to fly in to visit her. His wife was not going to accompany him. My wife and I had already decided to visit and realized this would be the first time we had seen or had any close contact with my brother in way too many years.
When my brother arrived, I agreed to pick him up at the airport and take him to see first my dad and then to the hospital to see Mom. At one point, my brother began to express conditions he would impose on these meetings, and I became furious and told him if that was the way it was to be after all these years he was then on his own to find both Dad and Mom and get himself back to the airport whenever he felt he had to leave. I literally started to walk away from him, but stopped and knew I was waiting for something to happen. I then had a deep sense that God wanted me to pause, pray for his guidance and not impose my will on the proceedings, if this was ever going to happen. I did that, and began to feel a sudden relaxation in my entire being that I find hard to describe. I felt from that point on almost like my actions and my words were not of my making. I came to the realization that this was, in fact, God working through me. I was His servant – there is no other way for me to describe it.
I went back to my brother and told him I was going to go talk with Dad before I could take him to visit. I told Dad all that had happened, and at first Dad was furious and said my brother could just turn around and go home. He did not want to see or meet with him and certainly would not allow my brother to see Mom and upset her further. Here again, my sense was that God had me tell Dad that we had to trust in Him and allow my brother to meet with him and with Mom. I felt my words were not my own. It took some doing, but finally Dad relented, reluctantly.
Finally, I returned to my brother and took him to see Dad. The reunion between them after so many years brought tears to my eyes. We then went to the hospital to see Mom, and her joy and happiness was worth more than I can tell. I’m sure her heart was filled with love and that she felt joy from then on, after so long, until she died on Fathers’ Day in June of 2004. My brother reconciled with both parents that day and stayed in touch fairly regularly afterwards.
That visit in the fall of 2003 would have been the last opportunity for this to have happened. My sister- in-law has never reconciled, and behaves like nothing ever transpired. I continue to pray for her.
I continue to strongly believe and feel that God worked His wonders through me and on my brother and my parents that fall day in 2003. I feel as if every action and spoken word was given me as a gift to use in that situation. It literally was not just me. If I had instead followed my own will and walked away from my brother, God would never have worked His will through me. He worked His miracle and answered prayer just as we trusted He would do. It took our trust and faith that He would provide an answer and He did not fail us. He is unfailing.
If you ever find me telling you this story in person, please forgive my weakness. I really can’t do it without swelling inside with emotion that can overwhelm me. Therefore, I’m glad I can tell the story to you in this written testimonial.