A Beacon of Hope | Articles | The Fellowship

A Beacon of Hope

    Dec 24, 2023 | by The Fellowship

    My sisters, K and B, had always been close.  They live about two blocks apart and often did activities together. Since their children also live in Dallas, family gatherings were frequent. Living four hours away, I missed out on a lot.

    Two years ago, K was invited to her daughter’s in-laws for Christmas.  Since it was out of town, spending the night was involved.  K takes bi-polar medication and did not think about it when offered an alcoholic drink -- and then another.  Both sisters were heavy drinkers, so K did not think twice about accepting the drinks. She got inebriated, to the point of staggering, falling down, slurring her words, etc.  Her daughter was mortified, and the in-laws were quite disgusted.  No one realized that her medication might have been a factor in her behavior. 

    The next day K went home, feeling terribly embarrassed and ashamed.  Her daughter stopped speaking to her and also withheld K’s two-year-old granddaughter from her. This estrangement was very hard to take as they had always been close.

    Time went on.  K developed severe medical issues and was very near death. She had a growth the size of a softball on her colon as well as cysts on her uterus. So very sick, K did not take good care of herself. Just getting out of bed was difficult, and she lived on things like bologna sandwiches and sodas. 

    B came over one day to check on K and saw how poorly she was. The unhealthy food especially horrified her. She wanted to help, but her offers were mostly declined because all K desired was to stay in bed.

    At some point, B and K’s daughter got together and decided to do an intervention on K about her self-care.  This involved not only her lack of healthy meals, but also her excessive drinking.  This was a bit comical because both of the interveners were also heavy drinkers. The confrontation got ugly, and K was very hurt and sorrowful.

    But K also wondered why they were not helping her with meals if that was so important to them. And how could they attack her drinking habits when they were guilty as well.  Even after her sister and daughter realized that medication had caused K’s drunken behavior, they were still unforgiving.  Therefore, neither was speaking to K, and she was getting sicker by the day.

    I got involved because K needed someone with her after procedures for the growth and cysts. Upon going to spend a week with her, I heard the whole story!

    I knew only God could heal these breaches and began praying earnestly for all three of them and also enlisted others to pray.  As the months passed, K and I drew closer.

    Recently, I read a Bible passage, Romans 12:9-21, about relationships and forgiveness and sent it to all three.  B texted immediately to thank me for the passage. K told me she dug up her Bible to read it.  K’s daughter was silent.

    Neither of my sisters are church goers. I can see that B has begun growing towards the Lord through other influences.  K is opening up when previously she never wanted to talk about God or religion. How awesome to start seeing answers to my prayers!  

    B reached out to K and suggested a visit over coffee.  They both had realized that boundaries were needed.  This was a very important step in beginning to heal their relationship.

    Then K had to have an outpatient operation on her thumb. On the day of surgery, she discovered someone had to stay with her for the first night at least.  I was called because things were still not 100% with B.  I live four hours away, and K was waiting to be released.  It was the day after Thanksgiving, and none of K’s friends was available.  So, I called B and asked her to stay with K for one night.  She said “no.”  I called K’s daughter and she said, “I am directing a play and have rehearsal in 20 minutes. I cannot go.”  Well, that left me.

    The friend who was with K called to say she could get K into bed and stay until 10 p.m. She felt K would be okay that night by herself.  This was a huge relief because I did not want to spend the wee hours driving to Dallas.

    I drove up the next morning and stayed for three days.  When I arrived around 2 p.m., B had called K that morning and came for coffee.  The next day, K’s daughter called and wanted to visit her mother.  So, to give them time alone, I grabbed a book and took off for the grocery store. I sat in the parking lot and read, besides a bit of shopping, until K called to say the visit was over.  Apparently, it went really well.

    Now, after nearly two years, K and her daughter are leaning towards making amends. My two sisters are resuming a relationship.  God is so at work!  Another really cool thing is that both my sisters independently have quit drinking.  What a privilege to see our Lord overcoming the wiles of the enemy and beginning to put our family back together again!

    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 
    Romans 12:21

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