There’s something to be said about betrayal.
Merriam-Webster defines the root of that word, betray, as “to fail or desert especially in the time of need.” I guess I had never really considered what my sister had done to be a betrayal at the time, but in hindsight, she did fail me in my time of need.
At an astounding 16 years older than me, this particular sister was old enough to be my mother, considering the fact that our mother had birthed her at the same age. She was tasked with the responsibility to care for me even at her age because she was the oldest and that’s what the eldest child does. Even as she went off into college and adulthood, I was still like a sister-daughter to her, as she was often given charge over me. In my teens, it seemed cool because sisters are always more lax than mothers and this division of care often resulted in blind spots that allowed me to get away with things that I truly had no business doing. My siblings in general have always been like older friends who allowed me to do things that my strict, Jamaican mother would have boldly disagreed with. Siblings- they make excellent getaway vehicles.
As the final child, older siblings are supposed to be the people that you turn to for everything. You are supposed to feel as though there is nothing that you can’t bring to your siblings because they will always be there for you. Like parents, they are supposed to have your back in public, and reprimand you in private. Their love should be unconditional and their hearts are always supposed to first beat for you. Or, at least that’s what television led me to believe.
You see, my interactions with my five older siblings has never been ideal. I grew up without my brothers (my mother’s two sons were in Jamaica and I didn’t know my father’s son until adulthood) and my sisters were so much older that they had their own lives. From my other posts, you know what happened when I was introduced to my mother’s sons. Life definitely became less ideal after that day in 1990. Whatever beliefs I had about sibling relationships was tarnished and inevitably destroyed in 1992 and I have been struggling since that day to live despite the huge hole in my heart created by betrayal.
I didn’t know the word back then but I felt its effects and affects. I naively thought that only my brother had violated and betrayed me, but today I realize that she, too, betrayed me. In my time of need, few were there to support me, but an even smaller amount of people disregarded and dismissed my feelings, implying that their issues were more important than mine. Understand this, while this is my site and space to be free and honest, no healing comes from living in the past and continuing to hold onto the pains of yesteryear. Today I am simply releasing another layer of heart in the hopes that continued healing will come.
Yesterday our Executive Pastor preached from Genesis 45 and before he even began to preach, I knew that his word from God would be specifically for me. And as he read the scripture, I felt God pull on the strings of my heart and silently whisper to me, “let me set you free, My child.” Joseph, Hannah, and Job were always the three people that I connected with the most in the Bible. So when sermons come from those chapters of the Bible, I know that God is literally saying, “Chelle, listen up, love!” As I listened to Pastor Harris preach, I heard God’s heart as He worked to heal mine. I had felt so much anxiety this week leading up to yesterday (the day that my eldest sister and niece would arrive for their one-month visit) and I could barely breathe. My anxiety got so bad that my monthly visitor stayed for eight days instead of three, I could barely sleep, and I was experiencing debilitating chest/heart pain. I couldn’t show up and pour into others because there was nothing but anxiety within me. The last time they had been in town things went south quickly and we are all still healing from that. I struggled to breathe last week, but today I am breathing a bit better… because of hope.
Truthfully, I have no hope or faith in my sister, my niece, or my overall family… but I do have faith in my God. I saw a post yesterday on Facebook that said, “the thing that we worry about the most is the thing we trust God with the least.” As I read that, I instantly thought about my family. My family has always been my greatest source of pain, yet God was saying then and even now that He wants to heal that pain, too.
Well God, here is that pain.
Today, Beloved, the only “inspiration” that I have for you is a simple fill-in-the-blank exercise. I challenge you to sit with God to fill in the blank and then allow Him to help you heal. Whatever you are facing, give it to God and trust that He alone can make things as they should be. The same God that healed the woman with the issue of blood, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, and created the entire heavens and earth, is the same God who can heal you of whatever you give to Him.
So let go and let God.
I’ll go first, Beloved.
God, here is my pain.
Now, it’s your turn…
God, here is my _____.