“Put on then, as God’s
chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these, put on love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)
My sister was killed by her husband many years ago.
I thought I had put to rest the pain associated with her death. I had gone through a healing experience that brought me peace, removed the sadness and all the other emotions associated with her death, or so I thought. But the Lord wasn’t done with me yet. More healing was in store.
Recently, my aunt showed me a request on social media from someone wanting to know more about her family. The person only knew the last name of her estranged family.
“Who is this?” I asked when I read the post, looking at my aunt.
“It’s your sister’s granddaughter, Shannon,” she said.
Bam! Pain and sorrow struck again. I was so angry at my aunt that I left the house. As I walked, I grumbled.
“I dealt with this already! Leave things alone! Stay out of my business! Don’t open Pandora’s box!” Even as I said those words, I could not ignore the reflection exercise in my Lenten study that advised against “speeding past sorrow,” and called to “honor the losses in your life. . . slow down and be present to your emotions” (40 Days of Decrease, Day 6, by Alicia Britt Chloe).
Honoring the loss of my sister, I called her granddaughter, and a deeper healing began.
Shannon cried and gave praise to God when she heard my voice. For over thirty years, she had searched for her family. When no one came forward, she questioned God, but now she rejoiced that her prayers had been answered. We talked and shared many thoughts. I was unaware how much my sister’s death had such ricocheting effects on future generations.
Shannon and I are on our way to healing, to growing in God’s love and building our relationship in the name of Yvonne—sister, mother, grandmother. Jeannette McDonald