MoreThanJoi Blog Repost - How I processed the death of my little sister (15). This was posted to my blog November 2012.
In November of 2004, I recieved notice that my little sister (15) had passed away due to choking from her own vomit after laying down right after she had eaten.
I took this news EXTREMELY hard, not only because she was so young and it was unexpected, but because I didn't have as close of a relationship with her as I should have had.
It also added to the problems that I was experiencing with the relationship with my father at that time.
After a year had passed by, the pain of losing her was still fresh internally like it had happened just the day before.
Yes, life had continued on... I continued with my normal routines... all of the things I did before my sister had passed did not change.
At times I would talk to her, allowing myself to believe that she would always be with me in spirit and she would get to know me from here on out as long as I never forget about her.
I even promised myself that I would let my future children know they once had an aunt, who was so lively and quirky. An aunt who although they will never have the chance to meet her, would have an angel up in Heaven watching down on them.
I even began to think that I had moved passed the sadness of losing her and could hold on to all of the happy thoughts and memories.
Until one day, I went to church. Alone as usual.
I arrived a little early (which was actually unusual for me at the time) and sat alone in a pew waiting for the service to start.
A girl came up to me, someone I had never met or even seen before in my life, and she introduced herself. She said, "I notice you always come to church by yourself. Do you mind if me and my sister sit with you this Sunday?"
Of course, I didn't mind and welcomed them to the space next to me.
This particular Sunday, the pastor preached the story of Lazarus (found in John 11: 1-44).
In short... this was a story about how a man named Lazarus was sick, he had two sisters Mary and Martha. The sisters sent word to Jesus, however by the time Jesus had arrived Lazarus had died and had been buried for 4 days.
Both Martha and Mary cried to Jesus and said "if you had been here, my brother would not have died..."
Now, it may be obvious to you why this story was so relavent to me and my life.
As the preacher told his message, I began to cry silently, not wanting anyone to notice how much of an impact this story was having on me.
At the close of the message, the pastor welcomed people to the altar and I was still afraid to walk up.
It was the girl and her sister who sat by me that saw my tears and said that they will walk with me if I wanted them to.
I allowed each of them to walk with me and as I grew nearer and nearer to the altar, I began to cry more loudly and feel weak.
As soon as the pastor laid his hands on me... I fell to the ground and began a crying fit...
It was like I couldn't control myself.
The pain from losing my sister hit me so hard I felt like I was reliving that day all over again.
Everything went black and all I could hear is people around me telling others not to touch me.
I felt so alone and as much as I wanted to feel embarrassed, as much as I wanted to just pick myself up and regain control of my emotions... I was forced to lie there and listen.
I heard someone telling me to just let it go. Let go all of the pain and the worrying, let go all of the anger, regret and resentment, and give it all to Jesus.
I laid there and prayed until my eyes were dry and there was nothing left to cry about.
All I had was Jesus to hold on to, to comfort me, to heal me. And it wasn't until that moment that I realized that He was all I ever needed to the first place.
To this day, I don't know how long I had been lying there or why after all that time I had been holding onto all of that pain.
But I truly laid my burdens down at the altar and never revisited that sad and empty place again.
The one thing I would like you to receive by reading this message is that on that Sunday morning... Not only did God heal me of my broken heart... He sent two angels (SISTERS) to walk with me... and do you know, the next Sunday at church I saw the girl and her sister, and I waved and she smiled. I walked over to speak to her and it was if she had never met me before. She was nice and courteous but she did not bring up what had happened the week before and she seemed neither standoffish nor overly interested in what I had been going through. That is how I knew it was nothing but the spirit of God that had been in her, to move her to sit next to me that Sunday.
One thing I have learned in life. It is true that God will never leave you nor forsake you. This has been one of countless times that God has shielded me from having to experience that type of devastation alone. Be it a friend, family member, stranger, or angel... He has ALWAYS made sure I had a shoulder to lean on and someone to help lead me to Him. And if there wasn't anyone there to touch me or hold me or tell me everything would be okay, He opened my mind to the realization that that is when nobody but Jesus can heal my pain and that is exactly who I should turn to when I feel sad and lonely again.