The burdens, weights, pains and hardships from the last year were taking their toll on me and I was just physically and mentally exhausted. I had come home for the holidays to my parents’ house in Ohio for a much-needed break. Christmas night, about 1 in the morning, I walked in the kitchen after the movie we were watching ended and mentioned to my mom that I wasn’t feeling well.
At that same moment my brother, Micah, had come out of the bathroom after getting ready for bed. My mom asked him if he was heading to bed now, he paused, then looked straight at me and said, “maybe … but not yet.” He walked directly over to me and embraced me tightly in his arms. I just broke down and sobbed on his shoulder.
You have to understand, this was not a normal gesture for my brother. I cannot recollect the last time he ever hugged me like that. Our relationship, from a young age, had been strained in certain ways. Don’t get me wrong, we did have fun times growing up together, but we both knew how to push each other’s buttons and we butted heads a lot. As Micah grew into his early pre-teen years, drugs and alcohol entered into his life and he changed. He became someone I didn’t know. I loved him dearly and hated seeing what these things were doing to my brother.
When he was around 15 or so the abuse had grown so bad that my parents had to call the police to have him arrested because we feared for our safety and his. He needed this time in jail to dry out. This was such a hard time on our family; we loved him so dearly and wanted the best for him and his life. At times we felt helpless, so we did the best thing we could for him, we prayed. We prayed for God to intervene in my brother’s life and to change him. Only God could.
When he got out of jail, he had improved some, but the drugs and alcohol still had a grip on his life all the way throughout his teen years and even into his mid-20s. I think he may have stopped most of the drug abuse at this time because he started interacting with us as a family again. It was nice to have even some surface conversations with my brother. But there was still a distance, a separation in our relationship. I longed for a closeness with my brother, but that was still missing. So I kept praying.
My brother, now 32, had me enfolded in his arms encouraging me and telling me how God had gotten a hold of him and changed him. He kept reassuring me that God has a hold of me, too, even though things may be hard right now, God knows and I can trust Him. I just couldn’t believe that this was my brother! I just cried all the more on my brother’s shoulder. As I cried, it was as if the Lord Himself had a hold of me and the weights, burdens and hardships from the last year just faded away and an almost 20-year prayer was being answered before my eyes.
My brother that night didn’t let go of me for almost an hour. He said he wouldn’t let go until he knew I was OK. When the embrace ended, I thanked my brother and let him know how much it meant to me. He said, “Don’t thank me, thank God, He’s the One who did it, not me.”
Even as I am writing this, tears are starting to pool in my eyes and a smile comes across my face. I am again reminded of what an amazing God we serve and that He truly does answer prayers. I have my brother back and am enjoying getting to know him again. God knew that evening how much I needed my brother, his strength and this answered prayer.
“But Jesus looked at them and said ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God.’” – Mark 10:27. So as you are praying, I encourage you not to give up on those who you are praying for. We never know how those prayers could be working in their lives even now. God is always working behind the scenes and in ways that we may not understand. So keep praying and someday, when you’re not expecting it, the impossible will become possible!
Praising Him with You,